The flavors of a bratwurst, grilled and served like a burger. If you haven’t had this Wisconsin classic, you need to!
No state tailgates like Wisconsin tailgates.
I know that’s a bold statement. But, I’m confident it’s true. When hoards of people show up in the early morning before a late afternoon game to set up camp in a foot (or more) of snow: that’s tailgating dedication.
Wisconsin: A Beer State?
When you think of Wisconsin, you tend to think of beer, but I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve seen my share of wine bottles un-corked at a Wisconsin tailgate too. And, with Gallo Family Vineyard‘s mini bottles, you don’t even have to worry about remembering the corkscrew.
Enjoying some wine with your tailgating fare becomes just as easy as cracking open a beer.
And, really, who wants an ice cold beer when the outside temperatures are flirting with freezing? Wouldn’t you rather have a full bodied red wine to warm you down to your toes?
I know I would.
Wisconsin Tailgate Food
When it comes to tailgating in Wisconsin, it’s all about the meat: burgers, brats, chili. We’re talking food that sticks to your ribs and sustains you for a long, enthusiastic game. If you’re enjoying the game at home, some people like to break out a spread of hearty finger foods that can be munched on throughout the game. But, true Wisconsin tailgating happens outdoors, in the parking lots and fields surrounding the stadium. And, once football season really gets going, you’re lucky if you’re tailgating above 60ºF.
As Tim puts it: you can’t eat finger food with gloves on.
What Is A Brat Burger?
Bratwurst is probably the most quintessential Wisconsin tailgating food, but brats don’t stop at the traditional grilled sausage. Some people love the brat flavor, but would rather have their meat in patty form.
That’s where the brat burger comes in.
Making Homemade Brat Burgers
It’s easy to make your own brat burgers. Ground pork replaces ground beef as the base for the patty. (If you don’t have a meat grinder, ask your butcher to grind a pork shoulder for you.) The pork is then seasoned with classic bratwurst seasonings, which infuse the patty with all of that glorious brat flavor.
Just like in a classic brat, sauerkraut and mustard are the only toppings you need. (But, if sauerkraut isn’t really your thing, these are just as tasty with ketchup or un-adorned.) And, if you’re really feeling like channeling your inner Wisconsinite, you’ll put your brat burger on a salty and chewy pretzel bun.
If you love a good brat, you’ll be head over heels for this burger version.
(And, it is definitely glove-approved!)
Pairing Bratwurst With Wine
We paired our brat burger with Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio. The Pinot Noir has a deep juiciness that pairs wonderfully with the brat spices and smoky grill flavors. The Pinot Grigio is a perfect, light wine for sipping as you hang out with fellow fans, and its brightness brings a nice balance to the pork and chewy pretzel bun.
Be sure to find out where to pick up some mini-bottles of your favorite Gallo Family Vineyards wines for your next tailgate by heading over to their Store Locator. And, you can stay up to date on all the Gallo Family Vineyard wine news through their social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
For best flavor, let the seasoned pork rest for at least 3 hours before shaping your burgers.
Yield: 8 brat burgers
- 2 lbs ground pork shoulder (if you don’t have a meat grinder, ask your butcher to grind it for you)
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp caraway seeds, ground
- ½ tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 8 hamburger buns or pretzel buns
- Sauerkraut and mustard (to top)
In a large bowl, mix together meat and seasonings. Let the meat mixture rest for 3 hours, up to overnight.
When you are ready to grill your burgers, preheat your grill to medium high. (You should be able to hold your hand a few inches from the cooking grate for 6-7 seconds.)
Divide the meat into 8 roughly even sections and shape them into patties slightly larger than your bun. (The pork will shrink a bit as it cooks.)
Grill the burgers for roughly 4 minutes per side, until they are firm and cooked through.
Serve the brat burgers on a bun with sauerkraut and mustard, if that’s your thing. If not, they’re just as good with ketchup, or any other burger topping for that matter.
For more great tailgating inspiration and wonderful Gallo Family Vineyards wine pairings for tailgate season, check out the recipes from the other Sunday Supper members below.
- Buffalo Chicken Dip by Whole Food | Real Families
- Chicken Thigh Kabobs with Spiced Yogurt Dip by MealDiva
- Chorizo Queso Dip by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms by Casa de Crews
- Grandma’s Brownies by Alida’s Kitchen
- Hatch Chile Deviled Eggs by Shockingly Delicious
- Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Skillet Jalapeno Popper Dip by Life Tastes Good
Game Time Mains
- Al Capone Dog by Palatable Pastime
- Bacon Bleu Cheese Sliders by The Crumby Cupcake
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Quail by Flavor Mosaic
- Brat Burger by Curious Cuisiniere
- Brie Tomato and Quinoa by Family Foodie
- Crispy Chicken Wings by Feeding Big
- Crispy Maple Hot Wings by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Melty Turkey Cheese Sliders by Feed Me, Seymour
- Sticky Sweet and Sour Baby Back Ribs by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
The Victory Celebration
- Apple Crisp in a Jar by Desserts Required
- Caramel Apple Dip by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Double Crusted Apple Pie Galette by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Who says you have to be at the stadium to tailgate? Here are Five Easy Tailgate Food Tips plus Football Party Recipes #SundaySupper with Gallo Family Vineyards. Need more tips on tailgate planning? Check out Gallo Family Vineyards’ blog.
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.