Question about Johnsonville Brats

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 26, 2012
I've made several versions of brats but can not seem to zero in on the flavor in the Johnsonville's that I like.

Anyone know what the secret flavor ingredient is?
Not sure why anybody would want to duplicate those nasty things but..I can tastes sugar and at little sage. in there. Try these. Will make a person chunk rocks at Johnsonvilles.

Bigwheel's Lonesome Yankee Bratwurst (Rev 3/11/14)

5-7 lb pork butt
1 cup water or beer *(beer gives a little spicier tasting product)
salt (1.5 teaspoons per lb)
1 T. sugar
1 t. coriander
1 t. sage
1 t. paprika
1 t. teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 t. rosemary
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. black pepper (fine grind)
1 big pinch ground nutmeg
1 small pinch ground cloves
hog guts

Mix all spices into the liquid and place in the freezer while you debone the
butt and cut the meat to fit the grinder. Pour spiced liquid over the cut
meat and mix well. Run through med or fine plate and mix well again. Stuff into the guts and twist into links about 5" long.
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Have you used Mace in your recipe.....its expensive but worth it

I found this on the web as a clone but by looking at it I'm not impressed

10 lbs ground pork....
5 Tbs. Canning Salt
3 Eggs
1 Pint cold Milk
1 Tbs. Pepper
1 Tbs. Mace
1 tsp Ginger
1 Tbs. Nutmeg
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Hey Joe:

I have tried Con Yeager, Legg's and my own recipe and have used/added Mace but not the nutmeg.  Something is just missing .... The Johnsonville's have a sweet tang to them.  Maybe ECA or corn syrup ????
Johnsonville most likely uses Dextrose to sweeten their brats.  Most big sausage makers use this.  It is cheap and slightly less sweet that a regular high fructose corn syrup.   You can find Dextrose in some stores, and most all health food stores.  

My recommendation would be to replace it with honey or brown sugar. 

Good luck
Here is a Len Poli Wisconsin Style Brat Johnsonville clone I have not tried it because I have not had all the ingredients.

This is my favorite brat recipe from Diggingdog. It is very similar to an October style brat. Fresh grinding the nutmeg makes all the difference.

Wisconsin-Wannabe Bratwurst  

5 lbs. well-fatted pork shoulder/butt 
3 Tbsp. kosher salt 
1 Tbsp. sugar 
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
1/2 tsp. toasted and freshly ground coriander 
1/4 tsp. ground celery seed 
1/8 tsp. ground marjoram 
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Looks highly plausible. Thanks for sharing. Not near as good as mine of Len is the exspurt on the topic. Never hit any celery flavor in a Brat..must be a Cajun thing. Now my old sausage making guru pal was named Jerry Fowler from the Left Coast. Could someboy kindly Google him up? Thanks.
Thanks for the ideas ... I am going to try the ginger and nutmeg for a start.
Good luck with the nutmeg.. I dont like it in sausage..... good thing about fresh sausage, you can make very little in bulk and  fry it. Let us know how it comes out
rexlan-bigwheels brat recipe is the mainstay at my house-the only thing I have done different is to add diced habeneros to the mix before stuffing. Check out the First Run of Brats in my signature.
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Thanks for the ideas ... I am going to try the ginger and nutmeg for a start.
  I think I know what you're talking about. First couple times I made brats was missing something I couldn't quite put my finger on. I was after that "Bratwurst essence" and finally the ginger and nutmeg got me there. The ginger will give it the "twang" and the nutmeg will give it the  sweet earthiness of the Johnsonvilles. Like many people around the country, my only reference for bratwurst was the store-bought, name brand kind that is so looked down upon by the sausage connoisseurs. But hey, they're really tasty and that's what I was trying to make.

5 lbs.

This is  Diggingdog's recipe with a couple small tweaks that made it work better for me. It's the best I've gotten yet as far as flavor and texture. And it's way better than the store bought, but still has that "bratwurst-ness".

5 lbs.

   * 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and stored in the freezer for 30 minutes
   * 1 pound Pork back fat, chopped and stored in the freezer for 30 minutes
   * 1 cup nonfat dried milk powder
   * 3 tablespoons kosher salt
   * 1 tablespoon sugar
   * 1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
   * 1/2 teaspoon coriander
   * 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
   * 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
   * 1/8 teaspoon ground marjoram
   * 1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
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I'll have to dig around to find the exact recipe, but the one I tried was pretty close.  It did use ginger and nutmeg as well as corn syrup.  I used whole nutmeg and micro planed it, so I figure that is some mace since mace is simply the hard shell of nutmeg.
Use len poli wisconsin style brat recipe
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