Friday, July 4, 2008

A Wisconsin 4th of July Dinner

For the 4th of July, we had brats, potato salad, and lettuce salad.

As an "immigrant" to Wisconsin, I had to be introduced to brats (pronouced to rhyme with "hots"). My husband very rarely eats red meat, but he makes an exception every now and then for brats. I think it is some sort of food ritual to affirm his connection to Wisconsin. I like them just fine myself and am always happy to eat them!

I've read that real German-style bratwurst are made from meat that is processed very fine, like the meat for hot dogs (you should excuse the comparison). However, real Wisconsin-style brats are made from more coarsely-ground meat, similar to Italian or Polish sausage. One of my ex-boyfriends, a native Wisconsinite, swore that the best way to cook brats is to boil them in beer, then let them cool and dry, and grill briefly to brown and heat them. My husband and I usually skip this step and just grill them until done. And because we are "foodies," we serve them on a part-whole-wheat bun with grainy Dijon mustard and sauteed onions, with multi-colored home-grown lettuce and a Belgian ale. And potato salad, of course -- with fresh dill from our garden.


Madam Chow said...

Sounds pretty good the way you do them! And my mom hailed from Wisconsin - I still have family up there.

Jules Someone said...

Mmmmm. Braaaaaats. I love me some good bratwurst. Where are you in Wisconsin? Never heard of Mazomanie. Every time we take a trip up north, we have to stop at the Brat Stop. That and the Cheese Castle. Gotta love WIsconsin!

Barbara said...

Hardly anyone has heard of Mazomanie, unless they've read about the controversy about the nude beach north of town. And hardly anyone knows how to pronounce it, either! ("May-zoh-may-nee" with the strongest accent on the first syllable.)

Mazomanie is west of Madison, Wisconsin. If you head west from Madison to go out to Spring Green and visit Taliesin North, one of the homes of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, you'll drive right through Mazomanie. Let me know if you're in the area!