Well, I'm one of the only Chicago residents who is backing the Packers today. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the Bears, but if the Bears can't be at the Superbowl, I might as well support our neighbors to the north. The Trib's Eric Zorn provides some good reasons here, but for me, it's more about loving Wisconsin in any shape and form. Their beer, their cheese - is there anything better?
So in honor of the Packers' awesome season and Superbowl appearance, I made epic beer brats to celebrate the glory of Wisconsin.
A word about ingredients. I bought the brats this morning from the Hasselmann Family Farm booth at the Oak Park winter farmers' market; this farm provides delicious and high quality, grass-fed beef and other ethically raised animal products. I boiled the brats in water and a bottle of Bell's Best Brown Ale. (Dave wouldn't let me use any of the New Glarus. Oh well.)
As for the brat's accoutrements, I was also able to purchase a baguette from some French nuns, which I cut up and split for brat buns. The sauerkraut is from Gene's Sausage Shop in Lincoln Square, Chicago; the red onions are from my CSA, and the relish is made from assorted summer CSA veggies.
I served the brats with my tarragon potato salad and a little of the homemade relish. They were very good, and Dave even had a second brat. I have to say, this was one of the best bratwursts I have ever had. Although I didn't boil the brats in Wisconsin beer (Bell's is from Michigan), I did eat my meal with a New Glarus Dancing Man Wheat, which is one of my absolute favorite beers of all time. What a lovely meal.
I should add a note about dessert: we had slices of an apple tart, also purchased at the farmers' market today. We bought it from the same French nuns who sold us the baguette. Although I didn't make it, it was so beautiful that I had to post a photo.
Seriously. So beautiful.
OK, back to the game. Just had to post about my lovely Superbowl meal. Go Packers!