Homemade Bratwurst

I recently made some Bratwurst at home. It’s probably the easiest sausage to make and the most rewarding. There’s nothing in the grocery store freezer section that compares to these homemade, German-style sausages.

I got the simple recipe from the Home Sausage Making cookbook.

Bratwurst

  • 3 feet hog casing
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean pork butt
  • 1 pound veal shoulder
  • 1/2 pound pork fat
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed caraway seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

You just cut a shoulder roast into two-inch chunks and partially freeze it on a tray for about 30 minutes. Then you grind the meat, mix it with the seasonings, and grind everything again. I know the recipe calls for lean pork, but I was worried my roast was too lean, so I tossed four of pieces of pork jowl bacon into the grinder to raise the fat content. It lent an almost unnoticeable hint of smokiness to the sausage. You don’t necessarily have to refreeze the mixture between grindings, but you absolutely have to do it before you go to stuff the sausage into the casing. It needs to be stiff enough that you can break off ping pong ball-sized chunks and drop them into the hopper one after the other. The looser the mixture is, the more difficult it will be to stuff. At least, that’s how it is with my machine.

I poached the sausages in water at 200° for a couple of hours and then finished them on the grill. They came out perfectly cooked. I served them over Bavarian-style sauerkraut with an assortment of mustards. The wife and I thought these were the best sausages we’d had in a long time.

Homemade Bratwurst
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