Usinger’s Outdoor Grilling Stage

Be sure to catch Mad Dog and Merrill at the Usinger’s Outdoor Grilling Stage at the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel Sports Show.

This year’s featured chefs are America’s Grilling Buddies, Mad Dog & Merrill, appearing all 5 days! 

Here’s the Schedule:

Wednesday, March 2

1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 3

1:00PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM

Friday. March 4

1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 5

11:30 AM, 1:00PM, 2:30 PM, 5:15 PM

Sunday, March 6

11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM


Cathy’s Portuguese Soup

Watch Video

8 cups chicken broth

3 pounds total of Usinger’s Andouille and Chorizo Sausage – split each sausage link lengthwise, then cut the halves into 1” to 1-1/2” chunks

2 ½ pounds of peeled potatoes, chunked in large pieces

2 cans of diced tomatoes  (14.5 oz cans)– salsa style or fire-roasted

2 bell peppers, diced

1 head cabbage – chopped coarsely (I substituted one and a half pounds of bagged coleslaw mix made up of green cabbage and carrots.)

3 medium onions, chopped

8 medium carrots, sliced

3 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 cans of kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

Salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large pot (I use an 18-quart one) – adding the cabbage last.  Hold back 2 cups of the chicken broth.


Once all the ingredients are in the pot, pour the remaining chicken broth in, then add enough water to completely cover the ingredients.  Bring to boil, then simmer until thick (about 3 hours).


Serves 8 – 10 generously.


Make it your own by adding different types of Usinger’s Sausage and bacon to the soup!

Meet Usinger’s newest Master Meat Crafter – Josh Swart

The Master Meat Crafter Training Program is a unique, one-of-a-kind program that provides participants with a well-rounded, in-depth, and comprehensive knowledge about Meat science and meat processing principles. It also delivers development opportunities for future meat industry leaders, and helps to ensure the US meat industry remains strong and viable for years to come.

It is comprised several meat science short courses and workshops, an extensive mentorship program to share the knowledge gained with employees or coworkers, and individual research projects based in the candidates’ processing plants. Topics covered throughout the two year training course include general meat processing, fresh meats, curing, fermented & dried products, cooked & emulsified products, food safety & meat microbiology, and development/implementation of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points).

Master Meat Crafter graduates set the Wisconsin meat industry apart as a leader in the nation. UW welcomes people from other states to come learn from their Master Meat Crafter Program.

This unique program had humble beginnings as a means to strengthen and improve the meat industry in Wisconsin. As the initiative gained momentum, the Master Meat Crafter brand has expanded as far as the east coast and Alberta, Canada. Upon status, each graduate will be able to exhibit their expertise and knowledge by use of the Master Meat Crafter logo on their product labels, signage, web presence, or personal branding.

The Master Meat Crafter Program has been developed in conjunction with the Specialty Meat Development Center and is supported by DATCP, University of Wisconsin Meat Science Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors.  The goals of the program are to:  1) provide participants with well rounded, in-depth, and comprehensive knowledge about meat science/meat processing principles, 2) provide development opportunities for the future meat industry leaders, and 3) help ensure the US meat industry remains strong and viable for years to come.  It was created and is currently organized by Dr. Jeff Sindelar, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor and Extension Meat Specialist.

Master Meat Crafter program is part of UW.

Congratulations Josh!