I’ve always been a big Bratwurst fan. Maybe it’s my German heritage or just simply the fact that they’re absolutely delicious. Either way, I had now idea what’s in a Bratwurst until I really started cooking a lot! I sure am glad I do now though because this recipe for homemade Bratwurst is WAY better than store bought.
What’s in a Bratwurst?
There are a few different variations to this fantastic sausage, especially in Germany, the birthplace of the Bratwurst. Some will use all Pork, some add in a little veal to the pork, some mostly veal with a little pork and some use a little beef.
Much like the meats used, when it comes to Spices for homemade Bratwurst there are multiple variations. There are a a few staples however, like Pork, Marjoram, and Caraway Seed.
The variations differ in ingredients, texture, and how they’re served simply by the regions of Germany. To understand the differences better, let’s look at its origins.
Origin of the Bratwurst
Bratwurst in Germany
I began having flashbacks of The Cuban Sandwich Recipe that I posted while doing my research on the true origins of the Bratwurst. When it comes to origin, Tampa and Miami are to The Cuban what Thüringen and Franconia are to Bratwurst, Rivals!
Just like there was in the previously mentioned article there’s one important point.
The first evidence of the Bratwurst documented was in the city of Nuremberg which is part of Franconia. That was in 1313, so a really really long time ago!
No matter what region they come from though, the name is same. The name Bratwurst comes from the German words Brät (finely chopped meat) and Wurst (sausage). It’s also associated with Bráten which is to pan fry or roast in modern day German.
Bratwurst in The United States
Brat’s in America are a staple of many summer cookouts, especially in the upper midwestern regions.
I personally grew up eating them in Nebraska all the time, which more than my German ancestry, is probably the reason I love them so much. In the midwestern regions, Bratwurst can be found at butcher shops, grocery stores, and food trucks.
But none truly compare to a Sheboygan style Bratwurst. Plus, how fun is that to say! When I decide to post this homemade Wisconsin Bratwurst Recipe, I have been saying “Sheboygan” for absolutely no reason at all. Just pure enjoyment at the expense of my families nerves!
Bratwurst’s were first introduced to the US by the German immigrants in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Today they are Wisconsin’s favorite and most well known “sandwich” and for good reason.
Which is exactly why I’m sharing this homemade Sheboygan Bratwurst recipe. You see, if you tell me that it’s Meat cooked in Beer, Butter, and Onions, there’s a pretty good chance I’m gonna make it.
Now I want to show you how as well!
Let’s get to cookin’!
Essential Kitchen Tools
Disclaimer: This post includes link to the exact products that I personally use and if you make a purchase from one of those links I receive a small commission at no cost to you.
In order to make this recipe for homemade Bratwurst you’re going to need a sharp knife and a meat grinder/sausage stuffer attachment for a Kitchen Aid. I’ll quickly run through the exact tools that I use to make these.
If you already have a really really sharp knife, then you’re good to go! If not, keep reading.
Everyone has their favorites knives and I did too, until I got these! They’re incredibly sharp, the handle is super comfortable, and they look really nice.
If you don’t already have a favorite or are looking to replace yours, I highly recommend them. They are the ‘Forged in Fire‘ Knives from the History Channels Original Series by the same name. They come in a set of two but I also have the Butcher knife which is sold separately.
Meat Grinder and Sausage Stuffer
I personally use a KitchenAid Mixer for everything, including grinding meat and stuffing sausage.
I know, a lot of people are going to tell you not rely on the KitchenAid for sausage making. They are going to tell you to get a stand alone meat grinder and a stand alone sausage stuffer.
In my house, we have a decent amount of cabinet and counter space, but not a ton.
So adding two whole machines to our cabinets seems like a terrible decision. Not to mention, a Kitchen counter without a KitchenAid is like a Computer desk without a Computer, EMPTY!
So, I DO use the KitchenAid with a meat grinding attachment. I can grind an entire 10 lb Pork butt shoulder in about 5 minutes flat. No problem!
I also use a Sausage Stuffer Attachment for the KitchenAid. The first time I did this there was a bit of a learning curve, but not because of the equipment.
The trick here is to not stuff too much ground meat down the shoot at once to where its pouring out of the top when you push it down.
Using one hand to handle the meat and the other to use the meat pusher downer thing, press a bit of meat about 3/4 of the way down the tube, press with the thing, and then refill the tube. It’s truly that simple!
For the Sausage Casings, I use the LEM Natural Hog Casings. They are ready to use out of the package after rinsing and soaking for about 30 minutes.
If you don’t use them all, you can store them in the fridge too. Just put them in a container with some salt and water and they are good to go for the next round of sausage when you are.
I also have to add that these are the same casings that I use for Italian Sausage and Smoked Sausage so they can go along way!
Preparing the Homemade Bratwurst
Grinding Homemade Bratwurst Meat
The entire process of making this sausage is really simple. The first thing you’ll need to do is grind the meat. I used a 10 lb bone-in pork butt shoulder.
Using a sharp knife cut all the meat away from the bone in strips. Be sure to leave the fat cap on the pork. I don’t add any additional fat into my recipe so its important to keep that on otherwise your sausage could end up dry.
I also used 2 lbs of ground veal. I couldn’t find any other veal other than pre-ground so thats what I went with.
Once you have the pork ground up, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and stick it and your packaged veal in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
Not only will this help the meat stick together nicely but it is going to keep any of the fat from getting to warm and melting during the stuffing process.
Mixing Homemade Bratwurst Meat and Seasonings
Next, mix the pork and veal with the seasonings in a large bowl. Start by mixing this by hand. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be fully mixed because we are going to be using the stand mixer to fully combine the ingredients.
Mixing in the stand mixer has to be done in two batches though otherwise there is gonna be meat flinging all over the place and thats gross.
Now that you have the meats in a bowl, add Kosher Salt, Dried Milk, White Pepper, Black Pepper, Mace, Ground Ginger, Dried Marjoram, Mustard Powder, Cardamom, Coriander, Caraway Seed, and Red Pepper Flakes.
Mix with your hands and then take about half of the mixture and transfer to the KitchenAid mixing bowl. Using the Coated Flat Beater attachment begin to mix the meat until it becomes well mixed, tacky, and sticky looking.
Repeat that step with the other half of the meat.
Preparing Casings and Stuff
Be sure to rinse out the inside of the casings that you plan to use under the faucet. Simply find the opening and run some cold water through them.
Allow the casings to soak for 30-60 minutes in a bowl of cold water.
Place one end of casing onto the sausage stuffer tube on your KitchenAid. Turn the mixer on pressing the ground meat through the feeder until it reaches the tip of the stuffing tube. Once you have fed the casing onto the tube and the meat to the end, tie the end off in a knot.
Now you’re ready to start stuffing. Simply turn the mixer on and begin pressing the meat through. Once you have filled a whole casing simply take it off, tie the off the end, and twist each sausage to the size you want.
Repeat the process until you’re out of meat. You can refrigerate for a day or two until you’re ready to cook. I also used my Food Saver vacuum sealer and vacuum sealed about half of my sausage to freeze and use later.
Cooking The Bratwurst
As I said before, this recipe for Homemade Bratwurst is being cooked Sheboygan Style. I am cooking this on my Big Green Egg but you can cook on any charcoal or gas grill that you have. You could also cook these on the stove with a frying pan and heavy pot.
Preheat the grill to about 400° F and place a cast Iron pot on the grill. In the pot add pilsner beer, butter, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Once this starts to come to a slow boil, add the Bratwurst to grill off to the side of the pot. At this point you are just looking to brown the Brats.
Once the Bratwurst have browned, add them to the pot and allow to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove the pot, slice open some rolls and serve the Brats with the onions, Sauerkraut, and Stone Ground Mustard.
Perfect sides would include chips, fries, Air Fryer Potatoes, or German Potato Salad.
SERVE AND ENJOY!
Making your own Bratwurst is a very gratifying experience. It’s one of things that seems intimidating at first and most people haven’t the slightest clue how to do it.
Not only will you be surprised at how easy it is but you will impress yourself, family, and guests. When you tell them that you made this recipe for homemade bratwurst to serve at your next gathering, the compliments and utter surprise will be amazing!
Enjoy the recipe and comment below to let me know of changes you made when you tried it out!