On this St. Patrick’s Day, when we went out for perch — even though corned beef and cabbage were served at the roadhouse where we go for fish — another Wisconsin delicacy was on our minds.
A friend posted this to Facebook last night:
“Time for a couple of cannibal (raw beef, seasoned) sandwiches on onion rye bread and then off to bed.”
Hmmm. Is that something you really want to eat before bed? Is that something you really want to eat? We batted that around on Facebook for a while.
The former question, I guess, is a judgment call. On the latter question, the answer is yes, at least for some of us in Wisconsin. Before we go any further, here’s an instructional video on cannibal sandwiches “Krajewski style.”
This gent used ground round to go with his raw onions, rye bread and black pepper. Our panel of experts suggests ground sirloin — or better yet, ground steak — and either way, the fresher the better. This traditionally is washed down with cold beer. What this gent is doing with vodka and Red Bull, I have no idea.
The ingredients were Part I of the debate.
Part II revolved around what you call it. The elegant name is beef tartar.
My friend, who grew up along Lake Michigan in eastern Wisconsin, calls it cannibal sandwich. So do most of the folks around here, in the shadow of Lambeau Field.
But I was living in central Wisconsin when I was introduced to this delicacy. There, an hour and a half to the west, we call it wildcat. All these years later, I remain a wildcat man, and not a cannibal sandwich man.
There really only is one song for this. And, no, it is not by Total Coelo.
“Meat Man,” Jerry Lee Lewis, from “Southern Roots,” 1973. (The buy link is to a two-fer CD also featuring “Boogie Woogie Country Man,” a 1975 LP.)
This wild tune (which I am shocked! shocked! to learn is really is not about meat) was written by Mack Vickery, a longtime Lewis pal and collaborator. He also wrote “Rockin’ My Life Away” for Lewis.
Vickery, an Alabama native, kicked around Memphis in the late ’50s and early ’60s as a singer. He didn’t have much success at that, but he wrote a bunch of hits for country stars in the late ’60s and early ’70s.