Recipe: Bratwurst From the Kitchen Window column
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I arrived in Munich about 11 a.m., starving. I was 18, hitchhiking through Europe, and my ride had just dropped me off. My nose immediately detected something wonderful and I followed it to a kiosk selling sausages. I bought a bratwurst that came on a square of waxed paper with a small hard rye roll and a scoop of mustard. Awesome. I had no idea a sausage could taste so good.

Kevin D. Weeks for NPR
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

Makes 3 pounds

1 1/2 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 pound veal shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 pound pork fat, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt

2 teaspoons ground caraway seed

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground mace

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup milk

Toss meat and fat with seasonings (but not milk) and freeze until slightly frozen, about 1 hour.

Grind meats using a 1/8-inch plate. (Or pulse in a food processor until about the size of rice.) Add milk and mix thoroughly by hand, kneading and squeezing mixture to distribute ingredients evenly, or use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer on low.

Chill for 1 hour, then fry a small patty, taste and adjust seasonings if needed. At this point you can stuff casings or divide into bulk portions for later use.

If you don't want to do casings, you'll be surprised at how good a grilled (or fried) brat-burger is with some red onion and brown mustard on a Kaiser roll.