Minnesota Bratwurst Recipe


I'm not sure that this bratwurst recipe came to Minnesota unchanged from the Fatherland, but I do know that German immigrants to the mid-west brought many traditional recipes with them when they homesteaded the prairies.

This sausage is commonly made and served throughout the German-American communities from Wisconsin to the Dakotas, and I got it originally from my Mother's side of our family.

Two things about this recipe make it especially well suited for the home sausage maker:

  1. Many bratwurst recipes call for the meat to be "emulsified" before it is stuffed. Emulsifying meat is possible in the home kitchen, but it isn't easy. This bratwurst recipe calls for the meat to be finely ground, but not emulsified.
  2. Instead of a mixture of pork and veal, this bratwurst is made from pork and beef. Veal produces a very nice sausage but it can be both expensive and hard to find.


  • 3 lbs 75% lean pork shoulder

  • 2 lbs lean beef

  • 2 tablespoons kosher style salt

  • 1 tablespoon fine ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon marjoram

  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion

  • 2 teaspoons ground celery seed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon mace

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup ice water

  1. Trim the pork and beef, cut the meat into 1 inch cubes, and grind it through the fine (3/16") plate of your meat grinder.
  2. Combine the spices in a small container and mix with the 1 cup of ice water.
  3. Pour the spice and water combination into the ground meat and mix thoroughly for at least 2 minutes. Use your hands for mixing to assure even distribution.
  4. Put the mixed sausage into a covered bowl and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  5. Grind the chilled and rested mixture once more through your fine grinding plate.
  6. Stuff the sausage immediately into 1 1/4 inch natural hog or collagen casings.
  7. Allow the sausage links to air dry for up to an hour, then refrigerate for immediate use or package and freeze for up to 3 months.

To cook our bratwurst, our favorite method is to simmer it in beer for 10 minutes. Then we brown it on the grill and serve it on buns with sauerkraut and spicy mustard.

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