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Devour the Competition: Fried cheese curds and beer-braised bratwurst

Bratwurst, better known as "brats," are a great tailgating tradition. Originally brought to Wisconsin by first-generation German immigrants, this delicious rich sausage is the "official food" of the University of Wisconsin and Green Bay Packers fans. The University of Wisconsin is based in Madison, self-proclaimed "Brat Capital of the World" and is the home of the annual "Brat Fest" over Memorial Day weekend during which Cheeseheads serve more than 200,000 brats each year. Sheboygan, Wisconsin, an hour south of Green Bay, calls itself the "Bratwurst Capital of America."



1/4 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup beer (Goose Island FLY-PA is suggested)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 pounds cheese curds, broken apart


36 ounces beer (again, Goose Island FLY-PA is suggested)

8 large pork bratwurst

8-10 ounces sauerkraut

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

8 large hot dog buns



Heat deep fryer to 375 F. Whisk together milk, flour, beer, salt, and eggs to form a smooth, thin batter. Place cheese curds, about 6 or 8 at a time, into the batter, stir to coat, and remove with wire strainer. Shake the curds a time or two to remove excess batter. Deep fry the curds until golden brown, 1 or 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, serve hot.


In a large saucepan place bratwurst, beer, and add water to cover bratwurst halfway up the side. Place pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer bratwurst for 20-25 minutes. Remove bratwurst from pan and keep warm. Add drained sauerkraut to simmering liquid and steep for up to 10 minutes.

Lightly toast hot dog buns on a hot pan or griddle. Set aside. Grill bratwurst until hot and charred slightly. Assemble the sandwich by placing hot sauerkraut on toasted buns, top with bratwurst, and then shredded cheddar. Serve immediately with fried cheese curds. Serves 8.

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