Sheboygan isn’t the capital city of Wisconsin, but it is home to my favorite bratwurst. Other American cities are associated with brats, like Madison Wisconsin and Bucyrus, Ohio, which both have annual bratwurst festivals, but you can’t beat a Sheboygan in my book. August 16th is National Bratwurst Day, and I’m grilling Sheboygan brats for dinner, sans the beer-soaking that many brat lovers like to employ. If you like your brats with brew, try poaching them in a pilsner with some onions and a little butter before grilling to get that genuine Wisconsin flavor.
Although I think of Wisconsin when I think of brats, they originated in what is now Northern Bavaria, probably in Nuremburg, Germany. The Old High German word “brät” meant finely chopped meat. There are regional differences in bratwurst recipes, but the basic variety usually includes minced pork or veal, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. If you’re adventurous you can even try making your own brat burgers, so you can enjoy the taste even if you don’t have all of the sausage-stuffing gear professionals use.
Just blend a pound of ground pork, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Form the meat into burgers and grill. Make sure the burgers are cooked through with no pink in the middle since you’re using pork. The finished burgers taste especially good with pretzel buns and spicy mustard.
Which ever way you decide to celebrate Bratwurst Day, enjoy!
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