Nothing says 4th of July like grilling hot dogs, brats and sausages. Thankfully, Minnesota has some great choices for locally produced sausages. Sometimes I have a hankering for spicy Italian, other times a straight up all-beef hot dog is the only thing that will do. With a local hot dog you have greater control over what ends up on your plate. I always try to avoid the nitrates, extra sodium, and other preservatives in national brands. Organic and grass-fed add benefits too.
This weekend we had planned to camp in a state park, but our plans were derailed by the government shutdown. Instead, we’ll be picking some more strawberries, watching fireworks, and grilling on the patio. Here’s a few choices for some local hot dogs and brats. Don’t forget a local or homemade bun!
Prairie Pride Farm roughly 85 miles from St. Paul, is a 5th Generation family farm with a huge selection of sausages, ranging from the traditional wiener to an italian sausage stuffed with mozzarella cheese. They offer fully cooked brats, simply drop them on the grill until browned. Â Order online or check out Linden Hills and Mississippi Market co-ops in the Twin Cities. Both carry Prairie Pride Farm products.
University of Minnesota Meat Lab located on the St. Paul campus of the U of M is a secret source for homemade sausages. Â Every Wednesday from 2-5 pm, a line of people form out the door of the Meat Lab for great hot dogs and brats. Â All are made on the U of M campus from local ingredients and are part of the Food Science department’s research. Â Try the apple or the wild rice brats (they’re excellent!), then bring home andouille for later!
Kramarczuk’s It’s hard to talk about Minnesota sausages without mentioning Kramarczuk’s. Â A Northeast Minneapolis legend, Kramarczuk’s mentions over 40 varieties of sausage on their website! Â All are made with more than 50 years of experience and a knack for what local Minnesotans want from a good hot dog. Â If you happen to be out at Target Field this summer, Kramarchzuk’s sausages are in the lineup there as well. Â The brats and hot dogs are made fresh daily and brought the the ballpark before home games. Â Their polish sausage can’t be beat!
Happy 4th of July everyone! Â Celebrate the weekend with some good local food!