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Aint you a brat!

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I bet you all have heard (or said) that phrase before. But I'm talking about bratwurst sausages. The month of October instantly brings to mind Oktoberfest and the pungent, spicy, aromatic images of German sausages. Bratwurst, being one of my favorites, is meant to be fried or roasted, hence the German word 'braten.' But I think you will find the addition of this sausage in New England chowder is just about as good as it gets. Pop by Bean's in Bangor for their Oktoberfest and see what they have to offer; that's where I got the brat for this recipe. By all means, substitute kielbasa for this recipe, or even cheddarwurst or chorizo.

The Yankee Chef's brat chowder

My inspiration for this chowder comes from my dear friend, Michele Ragussis. She was the finalist on 'Food Network Star,' Season 8. She considers herself a master of New England chowder. Although I agree she is quite good, The Yankee Chef is better. Sorry, Michele!

  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 lb. peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 c. whole kernel corn
  • 1 lb. Bean's Fully-Cooked Bratwurst Sausage, halved lengthwise then diced
  • 1 14 oz. can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 c. half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 t. caraway seeds, crushed and optional
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 10 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 12 oz. pilsner or beer

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, corn and bratwurst; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and flour until well combined; set aside. Stir broth into the onion mixture. Add the cream, caraway seeds and black pepper. Bring up to almost a boil and add butter/flour (roux) mixture. Whisk in very well. It should immediately thicken. Gradually stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts, but do not boil. Stir in the beer. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. If you like, serve with rye bread. Makes 7 cups. I didn't add salt to this recipe because I don't think it needs it, but by all means season to taste.

Last modified on Friday, 05 October 2012 11:08

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