I have made a cure bratwurst before but I wanted to try my hand at regular bratwurst.
My only experience with homemade bratwurst was visiting some German friends when I was a kid. The mother made homemade bratwurst. She made hers out of pork and chicken cuttings. I didn't pay enough attention to learn anything else except they tasted very good.
So, I decided to make about a 60% to 40% ratio of pork to chicken.
I added spices that I thought would give flavour profile I would like in a bratwurst. Here is the recipe I came up with.
Passing Wind Estates Bratwurst
900 grams (2 pounds) fatty pork shoulder
650 grams (1 1/2 pounds) chicken thighs (boned before weighing, skin and fat left on)
20 ml (1 1/2 tablespoons) kosher salt
5 ml (1 teaspoon) sugar
7 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) nutmeg
7 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) coarse ground black pepper
3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried marjoram
3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground ginger
7 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) mace
There was a sale on pork shoulder steaks and chicken thighs to the time was right.
I took the bones out of enough thighs to get 650 grams (1 1/2 pounds) of chicken thighs deboned with the skin and fat still on. I don't worry about getting all the meat off as I use the bones for soup stock when I get enough.
I diced up the pork and added it to the chicken. It all went in the fridge overnight to get very cold. It is dropping below freezing at night so I also put the stuffer and grinding attachment outside to get cold.
Here are the chicken bones to go into the freezer to await making stock.
The next morning, I ran the meat through the medium plate of my Kitchen Aid grinder.
Here is the ground meat.
I mixed together the spices and mixed them very well with the meat.
Here, I was at a quandary. I have read preferences of very fine grinding or emulsions against coarser ground. I ran half the meat through the Kitchen Aid with the small plate for a second grind so I could compare.
Here is a test fry with the double grind on the left. The test fry tasted great. I think I preferred the fine grind but just barely and I still wanted to compare them in the casings.
As the test fry tasted so good, I did not adjust any seasonings. I put the meat outside (it was just above freezing) for several hours.
I brought the meat and stuffer inside and stuffed the meat into hog casings.
Here is the stuffed single grind.
Here is the stuffed double grind.
A side by side comparison. The double grind is on the right.
The verdict. This is the bratwurst I was looking for. I love the lighter texture of the chicken/pork mix over the store bought. The seasoning mix gives a good flavour without being overpowering. As for single or double grind, I think I preferred the double grind but only marginally. I will give it a single grind through the small plate next time just because I am lazy.
I will be making this again. The only adjustment I am considering is adding a bit more ginger.