La Porte City, IA: Black Hawk County
There’s a lot of places we’ve seen in our adventures here in Iowa and we can bring up endless memories of them. However, there’s only a few landmarks that have given us more content, happiness, and amazement per square foot like Kramer’s Sausage Company did. Grab a jar of mustard, a handful of kraut and a sturdy hand. There’s a world of meat you’re about to encounter.
The two gentleman above are the trusty brothers who employ a group that has the passion to produce some of Iowa’s most infamous sausages and much more. The next time you hear about someone saying they have a big smoker, I want you to think of the picture above with Gigi standing at it’s door. The next time someone says they have a ton of meat to prepare, I want you to think of the picture above. They produce thousands of pounds for their own use and process deer for the local hunters as well. There’s no slowing down at Kramer’s. Let’s see what we took home!
Who doesn’t crave a great sandwich! We made homemade Chicken Salad and combo’d it up with Kramer’s Turkey Pastrami then layered it up with soft pumpernickel bread, creamy coleslaw, and plenty of fresh veggies. That’s jaw dropper. Or jaw locker…
Let’s talk turkey a little more. If those huge smoked turkey legs, on the left, look familiar , you might have seen them at the Iowa State Fair. They supply them for giant events like that and for folks with giant appetites like us. We made a sweet chili-citrus glaze on ours and proceeded to get very messy and we weren’t even mad. As you can see, Gigi found her spirit animal.
I’ve been eating Braunschweiger since I was kid and this was the first time I’ve had it smoked. Where has this been my whole life! In La Porte City, that’s where! We spread it on a Triscuit Crakers and topped them with my wife’s homemade pickled red onions. Your next party needs this!
You can’t talk classic Iowa food without bringing up our state’s love for dried beef. Especially when you make cream chipped beef and gravy like we did. We went heavy on the beef and you will too if you taste Kramer’s dried beef.
Yes, you need bacon in your life and yes, Kramer’s knows how to smoke these bellies up so they get in yours. Thick cut, tender, smoky and it hardly shrinks at all when you cook it. You get the perfect amount of juicy meat with the crispiness you need in your bacon. We made BLT-Apple wraps and the rest of the family was very fortunate they were able to have some of this bacon as I prepared it.
Let’s get to more of that sausage at Kramer’s! They’ve been crafting their famous Bratwurst for decades and its going to keep these sausage makers famous for years to come. You only need a few minutes out of your day warm these up. We pan-seared them up, sliced’em and made pizza sliders. English muffins topped with bell pepper, red onion, Cheddar-Jack cheese, that delicious bratwurst and sauerkraut. Pizza night just got a little more interesting.
Smoked pork chops could be my favorite cut of all time. Kramer’s has this covered, as you can see, and they sizzled up in our skillet in minutes. You’ll love them with sweet red cabbage!
The Waterloo area is home to a growing Bosnian population and Kramer’s is coming up with items they’re familiar with. Kramer’s brought another great ethnic experience to our cooking and their Balkan style sausage can compete with any other sausage out there. Very plump, juicy and gives you another reason to go mustard dunking. We’re giving out The Iowa Gallivant’s Wurst Award in December, and La Porte City showed that they are true contenders. Thank you, Kramer’s!
Be sure to read about the other communities contending in Iowa’s Wurst Road Trip!
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