Yield approx. 18-20 Brats
10 feet Hog Casings, Medium Size (29/32 mm) 3 ½ lbs Pork Shoulder, cubed 1” (or fine ground) ½ lb Pork Back Fat 1 lb Chicken thighs, cubed 1” (or fine ground) 5 tsp Kosher Salt* 2 tsp White Pepper* 2 tsp Ground Mustard* 1 ½ tsp Nutmeg, Fresh Grated* 1 ½ tsp Dried Sage* 1 cup Nonfat Milk Powder ½ cup Cold Water 2 Tbs Agave Nectar 4 ea
- Below is the method for making bratwurst sausage links.
- The classic method for cooking them is to poach them gently in a light bodied lager like Budweiser. Darker, heavier beers tend to overpower the delicate flavors of the nutmeg and sage. Poach them to an internal temperature of about 155 degrees but not higher.
- After poaching them, some chefs will let them cool in the beer and, when ready to serve, simply remove them from the beer and place them directly on a hot grill to char and heat through.
- Just be careful of overcooking!! You don’t want to ever go above 165 degrees or the casings could split and the juices will flow right out of the sausage!
- Serve on a warmed roll with mustard and any other topping you like on your Brat!
- Gently rinse casings in cool water and then soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes to soften.
- Place cubed pork shoulder, pork fat and chicken thighs on a sheet pan* in a single layer and place in freezer for 30 minutes. You want to have a light frozen crunch on the surface but not frozen through.
- Place grinder parts* in freezer to chill with the meat.
- Grind all meat and fat through large plate (1/4”)*. Put meat back in freezer for 20 minutes.
- While meat is chilling, combine remaining ingredients with a whisk* to break down egg yolks and dry ingredients. Place in refrigerator to chill. It may remain a little chunky but that’s ok!
- Grind all meat a second time through the small plate (5/32”)*
- Pour cold mixture over meat and, using gloved hands, mix until just combined.
- Place meat mixture in the bowl of a mixer* fitted with a paddle attachment*. Depending on the size of your mixer you may need to do this in a few batches.
- Mix on medium speed for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. You are looking for a tacky mixture with all liquid blended into the meat.
- Place meat in refrigerator as you prepare your sausage stuffer.
- Spray the horn of your sausage stuffer* with non-stick spray* until very well coated.
- Gently slide the casing on to the horn and remove plastic holder.
- Move casing back and forth to ensure it slides easily.
- Fill hopper with sausage mix being sure to press mixture down and avoid air pockets.
- Install hopper onto gear box and place at one end of your work table.
- Pour a few cups of water onto your workspace to ensure sausage can move freely. If surface is not wet the casings might “grab” the counter and tare.
- Press just enough sausage through the horn so that it is visible through the end of the horn.
- Pull enough casing off the end of the horn to tie a knot. Pull casing back onto horn to tighten it up.
- Slowly begin cranking stuffer with one hand while guiding the flow of sausage with the other.
- If you see air pockets forming, use a sausage pricker or needle to pop them. Don’t worry, sausage won’t come out of the holes!
- When you have used all of the mixture, pull 4” of casing from horn and cut.
- Look all over the sausage for air bubbles and pop if you see any!
- Hold the beginning of your sausage in your left hand facing your left. Reach over 4” and pinch the casing between your left fore-finger and thumb. Reach over 4” more and pinch with your right fore-finger and thumb. You should now be holding what will become the 2nd sausage on the link. Twist the sausage towards your body 7 times. Reach over 4” and pinch the casing between your left fore-finger and thumb. Reach over 4” more and pinch with your right fore-finger and thumb. You should now be holding what will become the 4th sausage on the link. Twist the sausage towards your body 7 times.
- Continue this process, twisting every OTHER sausage towards your body 7 times. The sausage that you are skipping between them is automatically twisted by what you are doing.
- When you have twisted all sausages, cut between the links with sharp scissors*.
- These will last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
*available at Surfas Culinary District
Recipes courtesy of Chef Thomas Curran