I hope you got a chance to watch a little football over the weekend.
This week I thought I would remind people what is the very best tailgate
food of all — brats.
Simply put the best tailgates in the world are at Lambeau Field in
Green Bay — and the absolute beginning and end of tailgate food is the
Brats are a spicy pork sausage and with the exception of the leaves
changing, they are the best part of fall. This is the official Wisconsin
way to do the brats.
Before you leave for your tailgate, boil your brats at home in about
pitcher of beer (4-5 cans) in some butter and sliced onion for about
12 minutes (some people use a packet of Lipton Onion soup mix with the
beer). The more hop flavor in the beer, the more it will add to the
flavor of the brats. Remove the brats, wrap them up and put them on ice
until grilling time. You might want to chop up 2 large onions as well and
put them in the cooler too. When you get you tailgate all set up, bring a
disposable aluminum pan and pour in about two beers and add in about half
the onions. turn up the heat to keep the brats warm after you grill them.
Since the brats have been precooked, all you really need to do is heat
them through and put a nice char on the casing. Once they are done, they
will stay nice and hot in their own “hot tub.”
Get the best brats you can. Hillshire and Johnsonville are great, but if
you have a butcher or meat market in your area, those are even better.
Serve them on a hoagies buns with grilled onion and brown mustard. It
takes a little longer than just throwing hot dogs on the grill, but then
again, how often do you see Packer fans eating hot dogs in the parking
Tailgating tips of the week:
• Park near “professional” tailgaters. They often have a television with
satellite feed set up. Share a little food and enjoy a little tube. There
is nothing better than watching ESPN’s College Gameday as the grill is
going and people begin to arrive. Just for the record, Erin Andrews is
now doing Gameday starting at 9 a.m. on ESPNU.
• Tie a bottle opener to your beverage cooler handle so it doesn’t get
lost or “walk off.”
• If you have ever had to use “the facilities” that are provided in
parking lots, you will be a huge hit with those at your tailgate if you
also have a roll or two of bathroom tissue. Trust me this will be the
biggest hit of all.
Todd would love to see photos from your best tailgate. He will pick one
to publish with his next tailgate column, and the others will be posted
online. He only asks that the photos be of appropriate conduct and that
the date and event accompany the picture. Send your photos via email to