by Alice of Hip Foodie Mom
I’ve always loved cheese. Even as a little kid I’d grab slices of cheese right out of the fridge and eat them as a snack. If given an option of a cookie or cheese, I’d go for the cheese. This love of cheese only grew as I got older and my tastes matured. And with our move to Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland and the home of Wisconsin Cheese, I realized just how many varieties of cheese there are. It was like coming home and being reunited with long lost family.
Over the course of the year that I’ve lived here in Wisconsin, I have tried fried cheese curds, 25-year aged cheddar, the best ricotta I’ve ever tasted and brick cheese. But nothing would prepare me for one of the most unique cheeses of all, limburger. Now this cheese is not for the weak at heart. This cheese means business.
Rightly named the “stinky” cheese, Wisconsin limburger, which was first made in Belgium, is an assertive cheese and was made to complement Germans’ taste for highly flavored game and meats. Today, a single cheese plant in Monroe, Wisconsin, produces all of the surface-ripened limburger made in the United States.
And this year marked the 100-year anniversary of the Green County Cheese Days in Monroe, Wisconsin, the grandfather of food festivals in the Midwest. The festival celebrates the cheesemaking, dairy farming and Swiss traditions that continue in the region to this day. So, to celebrate the Green County Cheese Days’ 100-year anniversary, I made the ultimate sandwich. The Limburger and Bratwurst Sandwich.
Now, this sandwich is not for everyone. But if you’re open to a little adventure and deliciousness, this sandwich is for you.
When they serve limburger here in Wisconsin, I hear they give you a breath mint along with it. Take a few because I added some delicious pickled red onions (one of my favorite things) to this sandwich. Toasted rye bread with melted Wisconsin limburger cheese, Dijon mustard, grilled bratwurst, and a raw red cabbage slaw for some bite and texture, this sandwich has it all.
I hope you enjoy!
By Alice Choi of Hip Foodie Mom
For pickled red onions:
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 bottles red lager beer
8 slices rye bread
6 oz. Wisconsin limburger, sliced into 8 pieces
Pickled red onions
1 to 1 1/2 cups red cabbage, shredded
2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
For pickled red onions:
Place onion slices in mason jar and set aside. Using small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour vinegar mixture over onions, cover with lid and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. To store, cover with lid and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Heat grill to high heat. Place onions and butter on medium-sized tray. Grill until softened. Pour in beer, add bratwursts and cover tray with aluminum foil. Reduce heat to medium and poach bratwursts for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from liquid and grill bratwursts until nicely browned and charred slightly. Remove from grill and slice each bratwurst in half lengthwise.
Toast rye bread and immediately place two slices limburger on bottom slices. Spread Dijon mustard on top of slices. For each sandwich, place one sliced grilled bratwurst onto limburger cheese, top with pickled red onions and shredded cabbage. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of brown rice vinegar over shredded cabbage and cover with top slice, mustard-side down. Enjoy sandwiches with a dark beer.