Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My German Heritage Recipes - Homemade Bratwurst

Here is a recipe that you won't see everywhere!  This is one of my family recipes that was handed down for generations.  Nobody could ever remember a time when they didn't make this at home.  (Except by the time it came to my mother, in the mid-20th Century! So all that I have to go by is this recipe - anyone who actually made it is gone now.)  I found an old copy of the recipe, dated 1877; but I don't know who wrote it down.  (Whoever it was didn't know much of the English language! So, I have translated and corrected any of the "Broken English" and rewrote the recipe for you.)

Note *  In order to make this you have to have a meat grinder and a sausage stuffer.  I have both of those attachments for my Kitchen Aid Mixer and that makes things go real quickly!  This recipe makes about 3 lbs. of brats.
Farmer Boy Homemade Bratwurst
  • 3 feet of small hog casings (1 1/2 inch in diameter) (You might be able to get those from a butcher or a supplier online)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. of lean Pork Butt (cubed)
  • 1 lb. of Veal (also cubed)
  • 1/2 lb. of pork fat (also cubed - you can cut it off any cut of pork or get it from the butcher)
  • 1/4 teaspoon - ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon - Caraway Seeds (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon - marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon - White pepper (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon - salt
Directions: Prepare the casings.  (They need to be cleaned thoroughly before loading onto the stuffer. Follow the manufacture's directions to use the stuffer.)  Next, grind the pork, veal and pork fat separately through a fine blade on the grinder.  Mix the meats together and grind again.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Stuff the mixture into the casing and twist off into 4 to 5 inch lengths.  Refrigerate for up to 2 days.  They are ready to go!
Here's a tip - the colder the meat at the time you grind it, the easier it will be to do.

You can boil them in water or beer, and then pan fry them or grill them!  They are great on a bun, or smothered in kraut and horseradish mustard!  If you make them and bring some over to me; I'll pretend you are one of my family!  No, you would be!  None of my family would do that for me! :(  Enjoy!

If you make these, be sure to let us all know by leaving a comment here. Thanks.

Here is a bonus recipe!  This will go with your brats:

Farmer Boy German-style Potato Salad
Again, this is one of those traditional German Recipes, handed down from one generation to the next in my family.  I don't know if it began with all the same ingredients or not.  And the best I can tell; it goes back about 3 generations.
  • 1 dozen (arbitary number) - small baking potatoes (Yukon Gold work good - or in combination with Idaho) (you may peel them if you wish)
  • 1 dozen slices of bacon (crumbled) (use any kind - I like thick-sliced bacon)
  • 1 large onion (roughly chopped) (I prefer a yellow or white onion)
  • 1 Cup - Vinegar (white or cider)
  • 1 Cup - sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons - all-purpose flour
  • 3 hard boiled eggs (diced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon - dry mustard
  • 1/4 Cup - parsley (chopped)
Directions: Fry up the bacon - crisp.  Remove it from the skillet and retain the drippings.  Next, scrub the potatoes and boil them till a fork has little resistance when pricked.  (You don't want to cook them too soft; like you would for mashed potatoes.)  Remove the potatoes and slice them into about 1/4 inch lateral slices. 
  Mix together the sugar, mustard, parsley and vinegar.  Saute' the onions a little bit in the bacon drippings.  Transfer this to a sauce pan.  Add the flour to this to make a light Roux.   Mix in the other ingredients and add the potatoes and the diced eggs.  Cover the pan and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, being careful not to burn it.  Remove from heat and serve warm.

This is a great side dish for just about any meal!  If you wish to make it for an outdoor picnic, you can leave the eggs out, and it should keep all day long without any problem.

Now you are set for a traditional German meal during Oktoberfest or any other time! 
Please be sure to let us all know how it turns out!  Thanks!  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

No comments: