Bratwurst Sausage Recipe
Everyone has their own favorite sausage. There’s Frankfurters, Hungarian, Schüblig, Kielbasa, and many more. Sausages are known for being the perfect pair for beer and bread whenever you watch a game or want a sumptuous breakfast. However, people get confused between Bratwurst and sausage. Are they really the same? Here, you’ll know more about their differences and how to make the best Bratwurst for the Oktoberfest.
Sausage and Bratwurst: What’s the Difference?
Sausage is the umbrella term for ground meat that is dried, smoked, or fresh. They are sold in links or in bulk and are mixed with different types of herbs depending on the region where it is made. Bratwurst, on the other hand, is a specific type of sausage that is sold in links and is made from pork or veal.
More on Sausages
Sausage can be made from different kinds of ground meat. It can be made from beef, pork, chicken, or veal. Most sausages are mixed with herbs and spices, while some are mixed with fat. The term sausage came from the Latin word salsicus which means “seasoned with salt”. Hence, sausages are often seasoned with salt to further preserve it during the olden days.
There are three types of sausages – dried, smoked, or fresh. Dried sausages are preserved ground meat that is placed in a casing. The casing serves as protection for the meat when they are dried. Salami, Spanish chorizo, and Pepperoni are types of dried sausages.
Smoked sausages are also placed in casings. The difference is that they are smoked before they are sold. More common smoked sausages are Kielbasa and Andouille.
Lastly, fresh sausages are sold raw. They are also placed in casings but are sold in links. Fresh sausages are the ones you see in groceries. They can be steamed, grilled, fried, or baked.
More on Bratwursts
Bratwursts are a kind of sausage that originated in Germany. It is sold fresh and it is bought in links. Unlike other sausages that are made of meat, Bratwursts are made from pork, veal, or both. They are mixed with ginger, coriander, nutmeg, and other spices. Bratwursts are just one kind of German sausages.
Even if Bratwursts are common in Germany, there is no substitute for making your own homemade sausage. Here is a simple guide on how to cook Bratwurst. This serves 10 pieces of Bratwursts.
- 2 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into ½ inch pieces and frozen for at least 45 minutes before grinding
- 12 ounces pork back fat, cut into ½ inch chunks and frozen for at least 45 minutes before grinding
- 1 ½ tablespoons salt
- ¼ cup dried milk powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground white pepper
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mace (nutmeg can be a substitute)
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon crushed caraway seeds
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 32mm natural hog casing, around 4 feet
- Take out the frozen pieces of pork shoulder and pork back fat and mix them evenly in a bowl.
- Grind the meat using a meat grinder through a ¼ inch die. Do this in smaller batches while making sure that other batches are kept cold. Note: the meat should maintain its cold temperature so that the fat does not get soft and soggy. Once the meat is ground, place it back in the freezer.
- To create the Bratwurst spice mixture, get a medium-sized bowl. Place all the spices and mix it evenly.
- Take out the ground meat from the fridge and place all the mixed spices on it. Mix the spices well with the meat. Use a paddle to help mix everything evenly.
- Place the hog casings in your sausage stuffer’s tube. Stuff the ground meat to the stuffer and turn on the machine. Make sure that the meat is tightly packed to prevent air from getting inside the casing. Once it is air-tight, twist and then knot the ends.
- Do the same for the rest of the hog casings. Be careful not to overstuff the casings as you go along.
- If you will store the Bratwursts, place them in a Ziplock and put them in the freezer.
- If you will immediately consume them, poach them in salted water. Then, fry or grill them.
Related Post: Sausage Stuffers
A Few Tips:
- To know if the seasonings taste right, get a sample of the meat with the spices and fry them. Here, you can adjust the flavor to suit your preferences.
- If the meat is too hard and dry, add a little ice water. This will help soften the ground meat before placing them in the stuffer.
- To keep the ground meat cool while prepping, place it in a plastic bag, and put it in a bowl with some ice. This will help maintain the temperature.
- Try to keep the stuffed Bratwursts at 4 inches long only.
What Goes Well with Bratwursts?
While Bratwursts can be eaten on its own, there’s no fun in eating it as it is. Here are some sides that complement the Bratwurst taste perfectly.
- Sauerkraut – You can never go wrong with sauerkraut. Sauerkraut and Bratwursts go together and are considered the best pairings.
- Potato Salad, German style – A typical potato salad, minus the mayo. More bacon in the salad, the better.
- Sweet and Sour Cabbage – Cabbages sliced into strips mixed with a sweet and sour sauce made from mustard, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar.
- Grilled Corn on the Cob – A simple corn in the cub with a dash of butter grilled in its sides to make it moist.
- Coleslaw – A simple coleslaw is always a great pairing for any type of meat. You can use a creamy coleslaw or a vinegar-based version of it.
There are many Bratwurst sausage recipes you can find online and each has a different way of making it taste more German, less German, etc. As you continue to make Bratwursts at home, you will learn to create your own homemade Bratwurst recipe that is specific to your tastes.