Before we get too far into Springtime and all those warm days that turn us away from things like Stews, I wanted to share this dish from Wisconsin. Kiddo and I loved it. Hubby not so much.
In Hubby’s defense, when it comes to Bratwurst, he is a die-hard Green Bay Fan. There is only one way to eat Bratwurst – cooked in beer, blistered on the grill, slapped into a bun and smothered with onions. Hubby feels why mess with a good thing. Why? Why not? Sometimes messing with a good thing produces an even better thing. Sometimes you get a whole new experience. And yeah, there are times when you walk away shaking your head and swearing “not gonna do that again.”
In my house it’s Wednesday – better known as Wild Card Wednesday. It’s the day when anything goes at the supper table. Even a stew featuring Bratwurst. While this stew is a bit rich (with all the creams), it’s also satisfyingly different. I’ll leave it up to you – yea or nay.
Creamy Wisconsin Bratwurst Stew
1-3/4 lbs Yukon Potatoes (about 4 medium)
2 medium Carrots
2 Celery Ribs
1 medium Yellow Onion
1 medium Yellow Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 lbs Bratwurst Sausage
1-1/2 cups Half-and-Half
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold Water
Parsley Flakes for garnish
Optional for Serving
2 large or 4 small Sourdough Bread Rounds
Peel and cube potatoes, place in the bowl of a 5-quart stock pot. Peel and chop carrots, add to potatoes. Clean celery, trim ends and chop ribs, add to slow cooker Peel and dice onion, add to pot. Stem, core and chop bell pepper, toss with vegetables in the stock pot.
In a mixing bowl, whisk stock with seasonings. Pour seasoned stock over vegetable mix, set aside.
In a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat, brown skins of the bratwurst. Place bratwurst over the vegetable.
Bring to a boil. Covered, reduce to a simmer and let cook, until sausage is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about an hour. Remove sausages from the pot; cut into 1-in. slices. Return sausages to potato mixture; stir in creams.
Mix cornstarch and water until smooth to create a slurry; stir into stew. Cook, covered, on high until thickened, about 30 minutes.
Optional: Cut tops from the bread rounds, hollow out the bread and set bread bowls aside.
When ready to serve the stew, ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley flakes for color, serve and enjoy.