Bratwurst is a type of German sausage traditionally made with pork and veal, although there can be many other variations. This type of sausage is heavily spiced and usually served with mustard and a hard roll. Traditionally, it is also served with a side of sauerkraut and beer. In German, bratwurst literally means "finely chopped meat sausage". Once you have filled the sausages, they are usually grilled or fried before serving. You can make it at home by following the steps listed below. Making sausage isn't that difficult; you just need the right tools. Here's how.
Ingredients and supplies:
- 4 lbs. ground pork (can substitute beef with 20% fat content)
- 1 lb. ground veal (can substitute pork or beef)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon mace
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 cup non-fat-dry milk
1/2 cup water
- Casings (33-36mm hog casings)
- Meat grinder
- Sausage stuffer
Mix the meat. First, run the meat through a grinder. The meat should be very cold for this process to work correctly. Then, combine the ground meat with all of the spices, and mix it well. You should test the taste by cooking a small patty. Then, add more spices, if you like. Getting the spice mixture exact is more a matter of your tastes than following an exact recipe.
Fill the casings. You can simply form patties with your bratwurst, or stuff it into casings. This will be easier to do if you have a sausage stuffer, but it's not necessary. Many meat grinders have sausage stuffer attachments available. Prior to stuffing the casings, do not refrigerate the sausage, or it will make your job much more difficult. You should also soak the casings in water prior to using them. They should be full but not full enough to burst when you begin to form links. With practice, you'll be able to fill each casing with the right amount every time.
Form bratwurst links. First, press your forefinger and thumb together, making a slight indent in the sausage about every 6 inches. Then, at each indent twist 3 or 4 turns. Be careful not to tear the casings.
Cook the sausage. Bratwurst is not a cured sausage, so it needs to be cooked before you serve it. You can either grill it or fry it. It should be cooked immediately after you make it, or refrigerated for up to a day beforehand. Before you cook it, make sure to pierce it with a fork, or it could explode. Serve in the traditional way, or with cheese, relish, or onions.
Now you can make your own sausage. Once you've got the basic recipe down, experiment with different spices. Unlike sausage from the supermarket, you're in control of exactly what goes into it. You can adjust the ingredients used to make more or less, too. Bratwurst can be frozen prior to cooking.