Are there two more beautiful words in the English language than “encased meats?” Probably, but nothing comes to mind.

It may not come as much of a surprise that bratwurst, sausages (both smoked and fresh), hot dogs and even vegetarian versions of these all hold a special place in my heart. They can be simple or extravagant and are easily and quickly prepared for an impromptu party (a “sausage party,” if you will), especially at this time of year. They can play starring role in big tailgating productions and low-fuss family get-togethers alike. And after a night of indulging in fizzy lifting drinks, they taste pretty good in your very own 1 a.m. after-hours kitchen bar.

Gateway is the exclusive retailer for the new Big Mo’ Brat, which tastes fantastic, especially in a South Union Bakery bun.

If you’re searching for unique, delicious encased meats, look no further than Gateway Market. We have a great selection of special brats, sausages and dogs worth highlighting.

As some of you might know, we have used Carl Blake’s Iowa Swabian Hall pigs at both Centro and Django. They are a unique Iowa breed, a heritage version of a prized German pig raised at Blake’s Rustik Rooster Farm near Frederika. These hogs are also cousins of the very fatty Chinese Meishan pig and the muscular Ossabaw pig, a wild breed from Ossabaw Island, off the coast of Georgia in the United States. They have a particularly tasty fat that makes them a perfect candidate for encased meats – especially bratwurst. Over at Gateway Market, we have teemed up with Mo’ Rub, an independent, Des Moines-based spice maker, to be the exclusive retail distributor of the Big Mo Brat! Stop by the meat counter at Gateway to try the now-famous Iowa pork, which has been featured on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern and the Colbert Report.
Gateway Market is also making some very tasty brats and Italian sausages in-house, both cased and bulk. We also offer sausages from Chef Martin in Chicago, which specializes in European-style products.

Portuguese-style sausage is something totally different to put on the grill this summer. It can be found near the meat counter at Gateway.

If you’re looking for a different type of sausage, try the Amaral’s Portuguese sausage (Linguica and Chourico) in the cooler case adjacent to the meat counter. Gateway might be the only place west of the Mississippi to offer these sausages which are popular in the Portuguese-American neighborhoods of southeastern New England. An Iberian relative of Mexican chorizo, these garlic-paprika-laced Portuguese sausages are best cut to bun length and butterflied before being grilled over charcoal. (They can also be sliced or diced and served with eggs if it rains on your cookout.)

I love these Boar’s Head Beef Frankfurters, which can be found in the open cooler near Gateway Market’s cheese counter.

Other stars in the sausage stables would be the Boars Head hot dogs, which as I mentioned last week are quite possibly one of the tastiest dogs I have ever had… and that’s saying something! (You will find these dogs in the cooler to the north of the cheese counter at Gateway.) The Niman Ranch sausages and dogs hold a special place in my heart and stomach because I love those people and their products. The hot dogs are especially good cooked over charcoal – get a nice char on them for optimum flavor!

Gateway has all kinds of encased meats that you’re sure to love. Today is the final day of our “Meat Sack Sale” – 15% off any and all meat you can fit in a reusable shopping bag, so be sure to stop by before firing up the grill for all your Independence Day festivities. Let the “Hot Dog Party” begin!

You can check out the previous two “hot dog party” blog posts here and here.

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