Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

Ahh, the joys of winter. When you’ve lived in Wisconsin your whole life, you really have no choice but to embrace the cold and snow. I, on the other hand, continue to fight it. Don’t get me wrong, there are days the snow can be down right gorgeous and there are other days it feels really warm and cozy to be “snowed in,” but that’s where the nostalgia kind of ends for me.

This weekend we attended the Polar Plunge – a fund raiser for the Special Olympics. It was held at a park about five minutes from our house. It involves cutting a huge hole into the ice on a lake or a pond and finding a bunch of crazies willing to jump into the ice cold Midwestern arctic water to raise money for charity. Immediately after a jump takes place they run as fast as they can to a hot tub to bring their body temperature back up. Fun, right? Ummm. Not for me. 

My brother-in-law, Andy, jumped this year and he qualified as a Power Plunger – which means he jumped MULTIPLE times. Crazy. He’s a police officer here in town and he and his team jumped in wearing their uniforms. I captured it on video and missed his first “sneak” jump where he actually did a somersault into the air before he hit the water. He jumped before he was supposed to and then got out ran around the platform, joined his team for the second time and jumped again! Good grief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an example of Wisconsinites embracing winter {insert applause}. Me, I went home with the family and made this Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder. A flavorful, hearty, cheesy, Midwestern-inspired soup. I embrace winter. . .but I do it through food rather than jumping in icy cold water. I truly believe my heart would stop. I’d rather it keep beating for a few more years, if you know what I mean.

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder -A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

So, let me introduce you to the Wisconsin beer brat. Bratwurst just isn’t bratwurst if it’s not simmered in beer and onions. That’s how this dish begins. This soup is EVEN EASIER to throw together if you have grilled brats leftover from the night before, which happens in our house all the time during the summer months. There’s nothing wrong with serving soup in the summer – Let me just put that out there.

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

This combo of coarsely chopped carrots and shallots just makes me happy. Some people like carrots, some people don’t. Let me tell you what – I LOVE carrots – especially in soups and with roasts. One of the things I don’t like about carrots, however, is how long they take to cook. So many times I’ve ended up with a soup where everything was perfect except the carrots – they were still too crunchy. So, I actually cheat a little when I add them to soups. I steam them beforehand.

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

Spoiler Alert: I don’t just do this with carrots, I do it with celery and other veggies as well. It saves SO much time!

Alright, so the brats are ready. Look at those yummy onions. Those brats have soaked up the beer flavoring and they’re ready to go! 

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

Normally when I’m not making soup, this is when I would throw these on the grill for a couple minutes and then break out the sauerkraut and ketchup. Another reason I can’t wait for summer.

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

So, all of this is mixed with creamy, dreamy shredded Wisconsin cheese. Oh. My. Goodness. Just let it simmer for an hour or two. 

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

It’s just a bowl full of deliciousness. A bowl full of comfort. This, this is how I embrace Wisconsin winters. Can you blame me?

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder - A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!

Just go ahead and make this soup, and then let me know how you would choose to embrace a Wisconsin winter – through food or by jumping into an ice cold lake. All kidding aside, what Andy did was for an awesome cause, and I am super proud of him for doing it. . .and multiple times! He’s got more guts than I do. He deserves a bowl pot of this soup for sure!

Beer Brat Cheesy Chowder
 
 
A flavorful, cheesy and delicious Midwestern-inspired chowder sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter,
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cooked and chopped
  • 14.5 ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4-5 bratwurst
  • 2 12 ounce cans beer or ale (or. . .to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic pepper
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, pour in one of the cans of beer and add the onions and bratwurst.
  2. Cook the bratwurst for 20-30 minutes over medium high heat, turning the sausage occasionally with a tongs and stirring the onions. Cook bratwurst until no longer pink inside. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the shallots until tender.
  4. Remove the bratwurst from the skillet, set aside, and add the cooked onions to the shallots.
  5. In a bowl, whisk the broth and the flour together until smooth.
  6. Stir into the onion mixture, add the Half and Half and black pepper. Heat until it starts to thicken - about 5 minutes - stirring frequently.
  7. Gradually stir in the cheese and reduce the heat to low.
  8. Cut up the cooked bratwurst, first lengthwise and then sliced.
  9. Add the bratwurst to the saucepan along with about ¾ of the can of beer. Continue to add additional beer to taste.
  10. Simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
Notes
This soup is wonderful with leftover bratwurst from the grill as well!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 522 Fat: 37g Saturated fat: 18g Unsaturated fat: 13g Carbohydrates: 18g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 1011mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 21g Cholesterol: 113mg

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Comments

  1. Oh yes please!! This sounds delicious!! Definitely perfect for this snow day we’re having right now!! Definitely pinning this for another cold day!

  2. I wonder if I could make this with California cheese (kidding!). Looks scrumptious.

    visiting from #sitsblogging

    • Ha, Ha Audrey! I do tend to play up that Wisconsin cheese thing! I can’t wait to hear how this chowder tastes in California! LOL

  3. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says:

    We love soup and this looks delicious! Carmelizing the onions would give it such great flavour! Thanks for sharing at our party!

  4. My family would love this for dinner! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  5. That sounds amazing!! Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!

  6. Jumping into freezing water takes a special kind of dedication. What a great cause. I live in Michigan and totally agree with you. Snow can be gorgeous and cuddling up by a fire with a good book is the best, but being cold for 5 months out of the year? No thank you! However, this recipe sounds delightful. Thanks for linking to Tips & Tricks. Come back and party with us tonight! ps. I pinned this to our Tips & Tricks board. 🙂

  7. Rebecca says:

    OMG! This sounds amazing! We might be kindred spirits : )

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