Fresh Bratwurst
fresh bratwurst is a simple but delicious farmer's sausage that is very 
popular all through the midwest, especially in shebogyan, wisconsin, the 
country's bratwurst capital. try first poaching the tasty sausages in beer 
and then panfrying or grilling them. use brats in any recipe calling for 
sauerkraut or in any stuffing. 
helpful hints: 
sausage links, making 
2-1/2 lb.  lean pork butt
1/2 lb.  fat trimmed from pork butt and/or back fat
1 Tbsp  salt, or more to taste
1-1/2 tsp  coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp  sugar
1 tsp  dry mustard, preferably colman's
2 tsp  mustard seeds
1/2 tsp  dried sage
1/2 tsp  ground nutmeg or mace
1/4 cup  milk
2 cup  ground raw potatoes soaked in lemon water (optional)
to make the sausage using a food processor: cut the pork butt and fat into 
3/4-to-1-inch pieces. spread the cubed meat and fat on a plate and place 
it in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up the meat and make it easier to 
chop. put the food processor bowl and blade in the freezer as well for the 
same amount of time. set up the food processor and add just enough meat to 
cover the blade (about 1 pound). pulse to form chunks about 3/8 inch in 
size. put the chopped meat into a large bowl and refrigerate. repeat the 
process for each batch of meat, adding the chopped meat to the bowl and 
keeping it cold. finally, process the fat into smaller pieces, about 1/4 
inch, and mix it with the meat. add all the other ingredients, including 
any or all of the optional ones, to the meat and fat. mix everything 
together with your hands, squeezing and kneading to blend the mixture 
well. do not overmix, however, to the point where the fat begins to melt. 
the point of this kneading is just to get all the ingredients well 
distributed. make a small patty of the sausage meat and fry it in a small 
pan over medium heat. taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and sugar as 
necessary; if you added onions and/or rice, you'll probably need to add 
more of all three. 
to make the sausage in a meat grinder: you can use a hand-cranked or 
electric meat grinder to make sausage. (the grinder attachment to the 
kitchenaid mixer works very well.) you need to have the type of grinder 
with interchangeable plates with varying hole sizes. chill the meat in the 
freezer as above before cutting up the meat and fat separately. you can 
cut the meat into strips rather than cubes to save a little time, but 
either will do. chill the strips or cubes on a plate in the freezer for 10 
minutes. using a 3/8-inch plate, grind the lean strips of meat and place 
the ground meat in a large bowl in the refrigerator. change to a 1/4-inch 
grinder plate and grind the fat. combine the meat, fat, and remaining 
ingredients and mix and knead as described above. fry a small patty and 
adjust the salt, pepper, and sugar as necessary. at this point, the 
sausage is ready to use, although its flavors will mellow and improve if 
allowed to rest for a day in the refrigerator in a bowl covered with 
plastic wrap. the sausage will keep 2 to 3 days. or you can wrap it in 
plastic wrap or foil in 1/2-pound packages and freeze it for up to 3 
months. you can also stuff the mixture into sausage casings. 
note: you can lower the fat content by adding the optional raw potato, but 
be sure to fry a patty to taste for salt and other seasoning. 
serving size = 4 oz 
makes about 4 pounds, serves 16 
(ID: 4103) Mirror: Thu, Jan 6, 2005

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