In these dwindling warm days, if you should find yourself thinking “I wish we’d fired up the grill more this summer,“ take heed: It’s not too late! For those of us who have stood over a grill in a parka, it’s really never too late, but the smoke and the sizzling meat pair much better with sunshine and the smell of freshly cut grass than snow and 4:30 p.m. sunsets. So consider this your pep talk, and get to the butcher. Clancey’s Meats & Fish (4307 Upton Ave S) is in our South Minneapolis orbit (along with Everett’s and Finer Meat Co.), and we pass through its door at least a few times a summer.
The brats and Italian sausage are reliably excellent, but this time we grabbed a couple of the “Bandwagon” jalapeño cheese sausages ($11 per pound, about four sausages). We cooked them in a skillet in onions and cheap beer, and then we threw them on the grill over lump charcoal. Though the spice level registered barely above a tingle, the chunks of diced green jalapeño added a fresh taste while the cheese added an indulgent richness to an already rich affair. The casings had a good, crisp snap without any toughness. We also had Clancey’s brats and a couple of high quality smoked cheese brats from the grocery store refrigerator case, and we all agreed that the jalapeño cheese links were the best of the bunch.
Clancey’s is definitely on the higher end of the price scale, as you might guess from their tony Linden Hills address, but their quality and craft justifies the pricing. It’s a small shop, easily bigger behind the counter than in front. Along with steaks, chops, smoked fish, and pickled vegetables, they make sausages for every occasion (breakfast, merguez, Italian sweet and hot), but what’s better for the last days of summer than a jalapeño cheese? It just won’t be the same in January.
Clancey’s Meats and Fish, 4307 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, 55410; 612.926.0222