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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

April 2 2013

Brats and Beer Cheddar Chowder

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded (1/2 cup)
3 large shallots, chopped
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth or 1-3/4 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk, half-and-half or light cream
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 ounces Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cooked smoked bratwurst, knockwurst or Polish sausage (about 12 ounces total), halved lengthwise and
1 12-ounce can beer or 12-ounce bottle ale

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and shallots; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is very soft and golden.

In a large screw-top jar, combine broth and flour. Cover and shake until combined and smooth. Stir into the onion mixture. Add the milk, caraway seeds and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Gradually stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts, but do not boil. Stir in the bratwurst and beer. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. If you like, serve with rye bread. Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings (7 cups).