Bratwurst German Sausage
What does the word bratwurst mean?
Bratwurst is a type of German sausage made from veal, beef, or most commonly pork. The name is derived from the Old High German Bratwurst, from brat-, finely chopped meat, and Wurst, sausage, although in modern German it is often associated with the verb braten, to pan fry or roast.
The exact origins
The exact origins of the bratwurst are still not entirely known, though most believe it to have originated in Germany several hundred years ago. It has been a long-standing argument between the people of Thüringen and the people of Franconia, two German regions, as to which region developed the bratwurst first.
Bratwurst is made from a blend of pork and veal. These meats are used raw to make the sausage and are naturally pale in colour when cooked. The amount of veal to pork depends on the type of bratwurst made. Because of the widespread availability of these ingredients in Germany, different regions have developed their own takes on the standard bratwurst recipe.
In addition to the meats, bratwurst has a distinctive blend of seasonings. White or pale-coloured spices preserve the colour of bratwurst. The basic seasonings include salt, white pepper, onion and nutmeg. However, more complex versions can add coriander, sage, rosemary, marjoram and ginger. For most bratwurst, only small amounts of seasoning are used so that the sausage stays pale in appearance and keeps its delicate flavour.
Types of Bratwurst
Regional variations of bratwurst include long, thin sausages, such as the Frankische bratwurst, which is 4 to 8 inches long, as well as short, small sausages such as the Nurnberge roast bratwurst, which weighs no more than 1oz. There are also larger, heavily spiced variations, such as the Nordhessische bratwurst. Some bratwurst is made only from veal, such as the Kulmbacher bratwurst. Bratwurst sausages are sold either raw or cooked.
How To Cook Bratwurst
Bratwurst can be grilled, pan-fried or boiled until fully cooked. Grilling and pan-frying lead to browning on the outside, transforming the bratwurst's colour. To maintain the sausage's pale colour, boil it until fully cooked. Boiling produces a softer, juicier sausage than grilling does, as less moisture evaporates. Seasoning the boiling liquid, using beer to cook the sausages is one option adds extra flavour to the sausages. Serve cooked sausages on their own with a side of potato salad or combine the sausages with sauerkraut and grilled veggies in a bun.