Bratwurst From Scratch
"If I was told I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, I could put up with sausage and mash forever." Colin Baker
Classic bratwurst is an emulsified sausage mixture, which means it has a fine even smooth texture and gets all of its snap from the casing. To achieve this finely ground texture the meat is passed through a fine grinding disc then usually pureed in a food processor. Brats have distinct flavor that comes from the mace and ginger in the seasoning blend so make sure to use mace and not substitute nutmeg.
Makes. About 3 pounds or 9 (5 ounce) links or patties
Takes. 2 hours
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or butt
1/2 pound beef or pork fat or a blend
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of black pepper
4 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
4 teaspoons of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of savory
1/2 teaspoon of mace
1/2 cup of ice cold milk
Optional. About 4 1/2' of pork casings.
The secret ingredients. Mace and savory, and don't skip them. Note that we speak often of savory flavors, but that is different from the herb named savory.
1) Before making sausage, please familiarize yourself with best practices as described in our article on The Science Of Sausage Making.
2) Slice the meat and fat into cubes removing gristle and sinew. Place it on a plate or pan in the freezer, along with the grinder parts that will contact the meat. Leave it there for about 20 minutes until it is firm but do not let it freeze. This makes grinding easier.
3) Grind it with a 1/4" die. Mix in the other ingredients. To get the right classic brat texture, transfer the mix to a food processor and pulse till smoothly emulsified.
4) Pinch off a small piece of the sausage and cook it in a frying pan let it cool and taste to see if the seasoning is to your taste. Brats are almost always served as links, but if you wish, nobody will arrest you if you form it into patties, meatballs, or skinless tubes. At least not outside of Wisconsin. You can then grill or smoke it, or store it in the fridge for about 5 days or in the freezer for about a month.