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Real Brats Anyone???

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
OK...I need your collective knowledge.

I am looking for fresh and/or REAL bratwurst to purchase for cooking at home.

I know a couple of places that SERVE brats, but I am looking for QUALITY brats that are close to authentic german style to grill/boil/cook at home. In other words, I am not looking for prepackaged grocery store brands (and DEFINITELY NOT JOHNSONVILLEs). Preferabley I am looking for butcher shops, but whatever.

Any of you know of places either online or in the states where I can purchase some?

Thanks!!!
post #2 of 17
With or without beef?

IAC, try Sheboygan Meats (or Sheboygan Bratwurst Company - can't recall their exact name right now) for a non-beef bratwurst and New brsaunfels in Texas for brats with beef. Both have been satisfactory for me ... and remember, Google is your friend :smiles:

Shel
post #3 of 17
My spouse is german and we used to buy all our meats at Schaller and Weber in NYC. He loved their sausages and meats, and said they tasted really close to the German foods. We haven't had their bratwurst, but you can give them a shot if you like. They are sold over the internet at http://www.germandeli.com/sw001.html
good luck!
post #4 of 17
What's a real brat? Bratwurst is a somewhat generic term applied to many variaties. What regional bratwurst variation do you consider authentic?

You can find recipes for many regional types on the Internet and make them yourself for the freshest bratwurst. Whether it's more real than another is subjective.

Coburger variation is one of my favorites.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 17
You don't like Johnsonville Brats? I find them as good or better than most any brat I have ever had, and I eat a lot of brats. Here in the Milwaukee area there are many places that make their own, and on occasion I'll do something different, but usually its Johnsonville simmered in beer, then briefly browned on the grill. Serve with grilled onions and Secret Stadium Sauce or the mustard of your choice on a toasted roll.

Works for me.

Kevin

Homemade pizza all winter long.
post #6 of 17
Hey Stewey,
if you're feeling really creative you can always try this homemade recipe! :D

http://www.oscarenterprises.f2s.com/..._bratwurst.htm
post #7 of 17
There was a place called "The Brat Stop" on 75th Street (Hwy 50) and
I-94 in Kenosha Wisconsin. If my memeory serves me correctly they used to sell from a store front case as well as in house (plus had some great bands perform there too). I have no idea if they are still there nor if they serve/sell brats if they are.

What's wrong with John sonville other than the annoying commercials? Johnsonville is what many places served that I'd been to as a visitor (FIB) in great state of Wisconsin (Although I never "once got my ***** kicked in Wisconsin") as a youngster growing up in Ill. There were plenty of Brats and beer shared among my friends and I especially when Ill went 21 and we weren't grandfathered in at 18. Unlike our neighbors just to the North a few years later.

I've heard of Sheyboygan Meats and I'm sure I have had a couple from them too. Not sure about the beef part since I had always believed Brats to be made from pork and their cousin Knochwurst was veal. Beef was always reserved for the Polish sausage or Hotdog. :lips:
post #8 of 17
I know a family-owned sausage place in Illinois which may be able to help you. My Rotary club buys 5-600 brats every year for a fund-raiser we run. His store's walls are covered with brat awards from every sausage competition you can think of .

See if he will ship long distance...

http://elburnmarket.com/

If you can get 'em, you will like them very much. Also ask about his cheddar brats. For that matter, find out about the dozens of other sausages he makes. They're all great.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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post #9 of 17
OldSchool, the Brat Stop is indeed still open: http://www.bratstop.com/main.htm

I lived directly east of it in Kenosha for 18 years. They've survived a fire or two and some other troubles over the years, but they're still there at one of the busiest highway intersections in the U.S. interstate highway system.

Here in Wisconsin most supermarkets and independent markets have their own grinds for brats and Italian sausages. It's not uncommon for deer hunters to have their venison made into brats, although I doubt that's a traditional meat.
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post #10 of 17
Yep, still going strong. Been a few years for me. Almost stopped a couple of weeks ago going the opposite direction of what you were talking about.

And you're right, the only thing wrong with Johnsonvilles are the commercials.

Stewey, here's a couple from the Milwaukee area. I just recently found out the first existed from a thread on the LTH forum. They have pictures of the place in the thread. Seems like a really cool place. I may stop there this week. Can't find a website for them, but they do mail order.

The second is a little market in the suburbs. They make their own sausages which are really quite good. They've won championships.

European Homemade Sausage Shop
1985 S. Muskego Ave.
Milwaukee, WI
414-384-7320

http://www.karls-market.com/#

Kevin
post #11 of 17
I second the recommendation for Elburn Meat Market.

The University of Illinois college of Agriculture processes their own hogs and sells bratwurst to the public in 5# and 10# packages. I'll have to look up the phone number.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
WOW! Thank you all for your input. I have always heard wisconsin had some of the best brats around.

I also heard that somewhere in Ohio there is a bratwurst festival each year--love to make it there someday.

And to explain my thinking about johnsonville brats: It is not that they are bad or anything...I am just ready to pay the extra money to expand my bratwurst horizons.

Here in Vegas, most grocery stores ONLY carry Johnsonville...no matter how hard you look. I went to a couple of butcher shops that carry brats, but they tasted like....how do I put this...they had the right seasonings, but not necessarily the right texture nor flavor. (I know, I know...that doesn't make sense).

Anyways, when the olympics were in SLC, we went to the olympic square and ate at the German house. My gawd! that was some of the best bratwurst I ever had. They were long, but thin, and perfect!

Here in Vegas, we also have the Hofbrauhaus beer hall (excellent hef. beer by the way!) and they too have some wonderful sausages of all kinds.

So basically, I have been using those two as my standard to compare other bratwurst. So even though I know they are a decent brand, I am WAY burnt out of Johnsonvilles.

I will explore all the places you guys recommended and will report back! Thanks again!:bounce:
post #13 of 17
You might want to contact the Fred Usinger Co (1030 N. Old World Third Street, Milwaukee WI 53203). The little elves have been making sausage and Brats in Milwaukee for over 100 years. They are pretty gosh darn good especially cooked the way MuskyHopeful outlined (or just grilled, for that matter). Usingers do ship. You can call them at 800-558-9998. They have a catalog highlighting some of their other home-made sausages too!

(I sound like a commercial, but really, I don't now or did I ever work there!) :lol:
post #14 of 17


Bubbamom, how could I forget "America's feinste Wurst"? I'm so glad you jumped in this discussion. :D
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post #15 of 17
Dude, you can find anything in Vegas. Try looking for butcher shops off the strip in the "livelier" (read: seedier) parts of town. If you can;t find them in Vegas certainly Laughlin or Henderson. If not try Bullhead City, AZ. I lived there and we got some solid brats from this butcher shop/market who's name escapes me now. Look on-line maybe. A local source will likely cost less to ship and you'll get the product faster.

Johnsonville are pretty good in a pinch. Cook 'em in some Sam Adams beer with sweet onions, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, grains of paradise (or peppercorns) and some sea salt then grill them outside and serve on fresh baked buns with some spicy mustard and top with the onions from the beer. With all that flavor you won't really taste the "Johnsonville" anymore. Could work for your local brats too.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

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post #16 of 17
Usinger! That's the one I couldn't remember. I kinda feel like your post Mez. LOL

Thanks for the link. That place looks nothing like the little "hole-in-the-wall" place I remember. Since it's a small trip down memory lane and not to steal the thread but I have to ask..... Is the Pub 'n' Grub still up there in Kenosha too? When I lived in Lake Geneva and whenever we did the Great Lakes Dragway weekends we made our way there too.
post #17 of 17
Alas, no, Pub n' Grub is long gone. But if you remember Ron's Place on 52nd St. in town, it's still there and going strong in spite of having two fires! They're across the corner from Tenuta's Italian deli and liquors.

I live about and hour from Kenosha now, but a couple of friends and I often throw a cooler in my trunk and head down to Kenosha. We hit the Jockey factory store on 39th Avenue first, then head to Ron's for a burger (T. Hurst special is my fave). After that we spend an hour going through the aisles at Tenuta's, stocking up on Grana Padano, olives, olive oil, giardinera (best ever), pine nuts, etc. If you want they sell bocci ball sets too. :D We end up at the deli counter to buy San Daniele prosciutto and some of their homemade sweet or hot Italian sausage (very coarse grind on that). Tenuta's is one of the best things about Kenosha in terms of a visit there. (I still have many good friends in town from teaching there for 18 years.) Here is the link for Tenuta's: http://www.tenutasdeli.com/tek9.asp. Give my regards if you go there!

Mezz

Edited to add: it appears Tenuta's site is undergoing an upgrade at the moment. You can try giving them a call if you have questions; they're very helpful.
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