Tailgating with Joe Drozda: Take your temp at game time


ND-0905-Tailgating column 4

Commentary by Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Most high school games are played in the evening after school. This time of year that means a cooler temperature. College and NFL games are played at mid-day, afternoon, as well as evenings, so temperatures can range from cool to hot to cold. It’s important to consider the forecasted temperature to plan a tailgate party because one just wouldn’t serve hot spicy chili in 90-degree weather any more than he or she would serve cucumber salad in the snow.

To date we have focused on warm weather menu items. This time of the year, it will be OK to get out the grill and prepare some hot items. According to our survey, the most desired tailgate item is a sandwich made of a sausage (brat, Italian or even a hot dog) on a bun. It’s popular because it’s not only tasty, but it’s also easy to eat. One doesn’t need a fork or even a plate to enjoy a sandwich.

Since tailgaters most often want to go all-out for their party, the favorite item we see is the bratwurst or Italian sausage on a fancy bun.

Sausage Sandwiches

You’ll have to search far and wide to find a better tasting sausage than this one. It is so juicy that the first bite requires a napkin, close to the mouth, just to catch the delicious juices that gush out!  Remember to never break the skin of a bratwurst or Italian sausage with anything but your teeth.


2 pkgs. of Johnsonville Original (not cooked) Bratwurst or Italian Sausage

2 Cans (12 oz.) or Bottles of beer

1 large Onion chopped coarsely

10 Sausage Rolls

French’s Classic Yellow Mustard

Other Items needed

1 pair clean white cotton Work Gloves

Aluminum disposable Baking Pan

Preparation on the night before

Carefully place the sausages into a deep pot. Add the chopped onion and enough beer to cover them. (Drink the rest of the beer as you work). Be gentle with the sausages so that the skin (casing) is not ever broken (use no tongs or forks). Cook the sausages and onion at a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the sausages, beer and onion from the heat and let them cool. Take the sausages out of the liquid and place them in a re-sealable plastic bag. Pour the liquid into a re-sealable bag as well. Refrigerate the meat and liquid until cooking at your tailgate.

Preparation on game day

Place the aluminum pan on your heated grill and add the beer and onion liquid and some freshly chopped peppers. Place your sausages on the grill and gently turn them with gloves (no tongs please). As the sausages brown, serve them on a bun slathered in French’s Mustard or place them, on hold, in the aluminum pan until needed.


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