Saturday, November 17, 2007

Food Crafting - A recipe for some family fun!

Today, I'd like to share a little bit of a personal story. This is the time of year that my husband, Dana longs for. This is prime time hunting season. I'm sure if you are a hunter or if you are a hunting widow like I am at times, you will relate to this story. For hunter's, and for us, it's not about the thrill of the hunt. It's an opportunity to teach conservation to our kids and to put alot of meat on the table. We don't buy much meat by choice, because Dana happens to be an awesome outdoorsman. Our freezers (all three of them) are full of a variety of wild game from venison, turkey, wild boar, some occassional frog legs along with a variety of fish and fowl.

About this time every year, we teach the kids how to process the deer that Dana harvests. We even have a burger making day - quite a tradition in the Peterson house. We even package it with cute little personalized labels. Today was no exception. Although we didnt process deer or burger. We did take the burger we've already processed and embarked on a fun food crafting experience.

We made brats! Crafting doesn't always have to be with paint or just has to be a fun time with family or friends and creating something....

So if you are up for a BRAT making's a little tutorial. It's actually quite easy.

We purchased a Brat seasoning kit from Walmart. It came with the "hanks" which are the casings that you stuff the sausage into. We made four pounds of three different kinds, a plain, italian sausage and our favorite beer and cheddar here goes

This is what the hanks (casings) look like. Gently separate them. Open one end and put it on the end of the faucet. Turn on the water and watch it fill just like a water balloon. Let the water flow thru for a couple of minutes. Drain the water. Put the wet "hank" in a bowl of cold water with one of the ends hanging over the bowl. Repeat for 5 hanks. (We made 12 lbs with using 5)

Mix in a can of beer. But the recipe is 1/4 cup per lb. Then mix is a bunch of cheddar shredded cheese. Make sure it is well mixed.

Now it's time to put it into the meat grinder. Ours came from Bass Pro Shops. It's a monster, but a hand crank will do just'll just need some elbow grease. Notice that the hank is completely on the sausage stuffer attachment. Turn it on and fill the casing with just a little bit of sausage. Tie it off with a string.

We add enough meat for approximately a 6" brat, then twist. Now the key to twisting is alternate. On your first twist - twist toward you, on the next - twist away from you. This way your brats will always be ...well...a little "twisted"...
Just keep twisting until you use up all your meat. When your done add another string and tie off the end. We wrapped in sets of 3 and froze them. Now....reap the fruitage of your labor. I highly suggest making an extra brat or two because you are going to want to throw them in the broiler for a taste test. YUM YUM!!!
Sorry Johnsonville....guess we'll be making our own brats now!

Thanks to everyone, who's given me their feedback on classes. I bought a webcam we're on our way to online classes and videos! Stay tuned!!

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