Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kartoffelklösse, American Bratwurst and Thüringer "Rostbratwurst"

I have to confess that this is the first year in my life that I did not make, or have kartoffelklösse during the winter. My sister and I are always trying to out-do the other when making kartoffelklösse. This month my brother sent me a picture of her kartoffelklösse dinner. She is busy perfecting making them in advance, freezing them and serving pure white kartoffelklösse every time. She also made rouladen to serve with it. Okay I'm mad I wasn't there. At this time there are very few people in my family who still make traditional kartoffelklösse (not a boxed mix) like my grandmother did. It really is a lot of work.  
My sister's kartoffelklösse. Okay you win! Just wait until next year.
My grandmother hid her dirty dishes in the bathtub waiting for us to leave so that she could wash them. 
She had more dishes!
After I published this post my sister sent me a picture of her flash frozen kartoffelklösse just to rub it in. The beauty in freezing some is whenever you're in the mood just pop it into the refrigerator to defrost for the best breakfast potato in existence.
Flash frozen kartoffelklösse
Today I received an email from one of my distant cousins in Germany. He looked over my blog and said that I was "
missing our famous “Thüringer Rostbratwurst” (aka. Roster), not to be confused or substituted with Bavarian “Weißwürste.” He couldn't tell me how to make them because they get them from the local butcher.
Bratwurst, cheeseburgers and hamburgers. Can you smell that?
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, a "Thüringer Rostbratwurst (Roster)" also known as a brat in American English, is a sausage usually composed of veal, pork, or beef. The name is derived from Old High German Brätwurst, from brät-, which is finely chopped meat and Wurst, or sausage. Though the brat in bratwurst described the way the sausages are made, modern Germans associate it with the German verb “braten”, which means to pan fry or roast."
Fire licked Bratwurst getting their grill on
They are apparently bigger in length than our American bratwurst, about 5.9 - 7-9 inches in length.
It is also nice to hear from distant family members that I have never personally met from time to time. He got me to thinking more about one of my favorite sausages, the bratwurst.  I am putting this winter behind me and salivating at the thought of a good old fashioned barbecue. 
Back in the beer tub for a soak until needed
Even in America, especially the Midwest the bratwurst has a loyal following of die hard fans. If you cross the Illinois border and go into Wisconsin (Packer's country), you are also in bratwurst country too.
Maybe you prefer them with lots of onions
A couple of years ago my wife and I traveled North into Door County, Wisconsin and stopped along the way in Sheboygan, the brat capitol on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is here that we were introduced to the "double brat." A double brat is two bratwurst sausages on a butter-grilled hamburger roll. Usually it is served with onions (raw or grilled), French fries, pickles and beer.
My first double brat! I prefer mustard.
I actually ordered one brat and this is what I got. Depending on who you talk to it is uncertain who makes the "Official Sheboygan Bratwurst." This year you can visit Sheboygan for "Brat Days," July 31, until August 2, an event celebrating bratwurst since 1953. To learn more check out their website at 
If it's in the fridge put it on the grill

You don't need a reason to have a barbecue, just good friends and family!
If you're a bratwurst lover and have great ideas for celebrating a good old fashioned bratwurst barbecue please leave a comment below. It's going to be a long summer. Time to get your grill on!
No matter how you cook them they're just great
If you have perfected the fine art of kartoffelklösse making (the old fashioned way), please leave comments or tips for keeping them white in the comment section below. 
PS. I prefer the white veal bratwurst over the traditional. There are also skinless brat patties. Any will do when the grill is on.

© TMelle 2014


Lissa Harris-Suazo said...

Any day is a great day to grill some brats! Yum! Let's have some next time I come for a visit :) Nice blog Uncle Tim!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I read your blog every time you have a new post up. I'm a displaced Chicagoan living in the desert southwest- for 20+ years- how the time flies. Many of your posts bring back great memories, tastes, smells, great food, good times I had growing up, and as a young man in Chicago. Love a Chicago barbeque- with cold beer of course (Mexican carnes and pollo is pretty tasty too). I do get back every couple years... family & friends. Much thanks for your write-ups and sharing including family memories (its all familiar)- I hope you intend to keep the project continuing.