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Homemade Bratwurst

Don’t let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you!

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com

Disclosure: We were provided with a copy of the cookbook mentioned in this article for review. We were not compensated for our time. As always, all opinions are our own.   

What is a German Bratwurst?

What kind of question is that, you ask?

Really. Think about it.

What makes a bratwurst, a bratwurst?

Many of us have VERY specific things that we think of when we hear the word bratwurst.

If you’re in Wisconsin, the spicing is very particular and they’re probably boiled in beer and then grilled. That’s called a Sheboygan brat.

It’s German-inspired. But is it traditional German? Does anyone care?

 

To us, it’s a curious conundrum. So we’re going to dive a bit into what makes a traditional German bratwurst.

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comThe different shapes of German Bratwurst

Wurst is the German word for sausage. And, brät means minced or finely chopped meat. (Although, it can also be tied to the verb braten, which means to pan fry or roast.)

So, basically, what we have in a bratwurst is simply a sausage made of minced meat (or a sausage that has been pan-fried).

Quite simple. And, quite open to interpretation.

And interpreted it has been. In Germany, there are over 40 different versions of bratwurst! Here are a few:

  • Nürnberger Rostbratwurst (from Nuremberg) are small, thin, and heavily seasoned with marjoram.
  • Fränkische Bratwurst (from Franconia) are long and thin.
  • Kulmbacher Bratwurst (from Kulmbach) are made mostly of veal.
  • Thüringer Rostbratwurst (from Thuringia) are long and spicy. 
  • Würzburger Bratwurst (from Würzburg) use local wine.

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comWhat makes up a German bratwurst

Traditional German bratwurst are made up of a finely ground mixture of pork and veal. The fine grind and meat mixture gives the sausages a lighter, almost fluffy texture.

Some German recipes will use milk and eggs to enhance that fluffy, light texture.

The spices used to flavor a traditional German bratwurst typically include salt, pepper, nutmeg, and marjoram. Other seasonings like coriander, cardamom, ginger, caraway, and garlic are sometimes used, depending on the region and the butcher.

(In case you’re curious, the Sheboygan bratwurst that is popular in Wisconsin is made of pork that has been coarsely ground. While the seasonings are much the same as a traditional German bratwurst, they tend to include more of the “other” seasonings listed above.)

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comThe Art and Science of Sausage Making

We received a copy of Tonia Reinhard’s “The Complete Art and Science of Sausage Making” cookbook as we were starting our exploration of homemade sausages.

In her book, Reinhard breaks sausage making down into easy to understand concepts and steps, taking all the mystery out of making homemade sausage. 

We will be using her guide to make many sausages in the future, but when we received her book, we knew that her homemade bratwurst recipe was the first one we wanted to tackle.

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.comOur Homemade Bratwurst Recipe

If you’re new to homemade sausage making, you’ll want to check out our post on African Boerewors sausage. Towards the end of the post, right above the recipe, we share three key essentials of homemade sausage making.

Like I mentioned before, there are MANY ways to put together a bratwurst, and everyone has their own idea of what the perfect bratwurst is.

Our idea of a “perfect bratwurst” comes from our travels in Germany, paired with the undeniable fact that we do live in Wisconsin, where the Sheboygan brat reigns supreme. Because of this, we like to think that our preference for bratwurst embodies a nice balance between the two.

While Reinhard’s homemade bratwurst recipe gave us a great start towards creating our perfect bratwurst, we did find that we wanted to tweak her seasonings just a bit, to better capture the flavor profile we were craving.

But, with just a few tweaks, we had beautiful homemade bratwurst that rivaled any store-bought versions we had tasted.

Are you ready to dive in?

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com

(While you can always serve your bratwurst on a bun, like we do in Wisconsin, a more traditional German way to serve the sauce is as a part of a plated meal. Don’t forget a good, grainy mustard, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and a hearty rustic bread. And definitely don’t forget the beer.) 

 

Yield: 8 (1/4 lb) bratwurst

Homemade Bratwurst

Don't let homemade sausage intimidate you. If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you! | www.CuriousCuisiniere.com

If you've ever wanted to make your own German Bratwurst, this easy Homemade Bratwurst recipe is for you!

This easy homemade bratwurst recipe was adapted from "The Complete Art and Science of Sausage Making" by Tonia Reinhard.

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ lb boneless pork shoulder, cubed
  • ¼ lb boneless beef shoulder, or veal stew meat, cubed
  • ½ c powdered milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 4-5 feet hog casing for fresh sausage, rinsed

Instructions

To Make the Bratwurst

  1. Grind the pork and beef cubes in your meat grinder using a fine grinding plate.
  2. Place the ground meat into a large bowl and add the powdered milk and seasonings. Using your hands, mix the seasonings into the meat.
  3. Add the egg and milk. Mix, with your hands, until the mixture is evenly moist.*
  4. Prepare your sausage stuffer and your hog casings. Stuff your sausage mixture into the casings as directed by your sausage stuffer.
  5. Once all the sausage meat has been used, twist the sausage into 8 links and tie off the end of the casing.
  6. Prepared sausage can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator before cooking.

Cooking the Bratwurst

  1. These bratwurst can be cooked however you traditionally cook store-bought sausages: on a medium heat grill, in a skillet, or boiled.
  2. We do recommend cooking the sausages while the links are still connected. Separate the sausages to serve.

Notes

*At this point you can test your sausage for flavor. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté a small portion of the sausage mixture until no longer pink. Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Taste the sausage once cool and adjust the seasonings of the raw meat if desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 sausage

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 29g

Did you make this recipe?

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Sarah Ozimek

Sarah is co-owner of Curious Cuisiniere and the chief researcher and recipe developer for the site. Her love for cultural cuisines was instilled early by her French Canadian Grandmother. Her experience in the kitchen and in recipe development comes from years working in professional kitchens. She has traveled extensively and enjoys bringing the flavors of her travels back to create easy-to-make recipes.

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Joe

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Hey der fellow Cheeseheads. Though we moved from Wisconsin many years ago, we still have family and friend ties there. One of the ways we celebrate Wiscaahnsin is by having brats and onions - preferably during a Packer game. My brat standard was probably set by getting a klement's brat as a kid at old County Stadium with secret stadium sauce. Anyhoo - my question is - do you compare your brat to a Johnsville style flavor (usually the only kind we can get in New England and not necessarily my favorite but good); a Usingers style; Klement's or just traditional German? Haven't tried your recipe yet but have tried another which didn't really capture the "Wisconsin" flavor. Look forward to trying it soon. Thanks for your article and recipe. Now it's time for a bloody Mary. Go Pack!

Sarah Ozimek

Friday 4th of December 2020

Hi Joe. We'd say our brat is more of a traditional German meets Usingers. If you're looking for that true Wisconsin flavor, I would make sure you are course grinding your meat. You could also taste test your meat mixture as you add the seasonings. (Have a small skillet ready, and just fry up a pinch before you stuff the meat mixture into the casings.) If you give our recipe a try, let us know what you think!

Even Steven

Saturday 18th of May 2019

I am interested in how you tweaked the brat recipe to your liking. Thanks for the info!

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 20th of May 2019

Hi Even. Like we mention in the article, there are lots of ways to season a bratwurst. So, when making sausages like this we like to heat up a small skillet that we can fry up a bit of the seasoned meat mixture to taste it as we go along. That way we know how the finished product with taste. It would be a real bummer to make up a whole batch of bratwursts, cook them up, and then realize the seasoning was a bit off from what you prefer. In this case, Reinhard’s recipe was a little too salty for our taste and a little mild, so we added some extra seasonings to bring it to the flavor that we prefer.

Robert D. Owens

Sunday 28th of April 2019

What is the purpose of the powdered milk? Can't find this in small quantities and don't want to drop $15 on a one-time ingredient.

Dan Eichelberger

Saturday 25th of May 2019

Most Walmarts carry it, bottom shelf in baking section.

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 29th of April 2019

Hi Robert. The powdered milk helps as a binder and helps the sausage to retain moisture. Other things you could use would be soy protein or rice four. You could also just try using extra beef or pork fat in your grind. We haven’t tested this recipe with those substitutes, but they are often recommended sausage making substitutes and should work. If you use one, let us know how it turns out for yoU!

Bill.

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

Great food

Sarah Ozimek

Sunday 23rd of July 2017

Thanks Bill! Enjoy!

Julie

Sunday 2nd of October 2016

We usually hang out with Friends and go to Oktoberfest at EPCOT..

Sarah Ozimek

Monday 3rd of October 2016

I bet the EPCOT celebrate is a lot of fun!

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