bratwurst photo by carmen troesser

Special equipment: a sausage stuffer stand mixer attachment, a meat grinder attachment with ¼-inch die and a sausage pricker (optional)


3 lbs. skinless, boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 lb. skinless, boneless lean veal shoulder, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 lb. pork back fat*
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground white pepper
1½ tsp. ground ginger
1½ tsp. nutmeg
10-ft. hog casings*
2 large eggs, lightly beaten and chilled
1 cup very cold heavy cream


• Freeze all grinder parts, including the die, until very cold, about 1 hour. Refrigerate a large stainless-steel bowl until cold.

• Line 2 baking sheets with plastic wrap. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the pork, veal, pork back fat, salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Place the meat in single layers on the baking sheets, cover with more plastic wrap and freeze until the meat is very firm but not frozen, about 1 hour.

• Meanwhile, soak the casings in lukewarm water at least 30 minutes. Rinse and set aside.

• With the mixer on high speed, grind the meat 3 to 4 pieces at a time, collecting the ground meat in a chilled bowl. Freeze until very cold, 15 to 30 minutes.

• Using a wooden spoon, mix the ground meat 1 minute. Add the cream and eggs and continue to mix until the liquid is incorporated and the mixture is sticky, about 2 minutes.

• Remove the meat grinder attachment and replace with the sausage stuffer attachment. Slide the casing onto the nozzle, leaving 6 inches hanging loose from the end.

• Working with a partner, pack a handful of meat into the top of the stuffer. With the mixer on high speed, use the plunger to push the meat through, firmly filling the casing and sliding the filled sausage onto a baking sheet. As the casing fills, lightly prick any air bubbles with a sausage pricker or pin. Stop filling when 6 inches of empty casing remains.

• Tie off the starting end of the casing, knotting it flush with the meat. Measure 6 inches from the knot and pinch. Twist the link toward you 2 rotations. Repeat and twist 2 times in the opposite direction. Continue measuring and alternating the direction of the twists until you can no longer make another sausage. Squeeze out the extra meat and tie off the casing. Use scissors to cut the sausages at the twists into links.

• Prick each sausage link in 3 places with the sausage pricker or pin to prevent bursting during cooking. Arrange the links on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, to dry casings, at least 12 hours.

• Sausages will keep refrigerated in an airtight container 3 to 4 days or frozen up to 6 months.

* Hog casings and pork back fat are available at The Block Restaurant and Butcher and Wenneman Meat Co. Call ahead to confirm availability.

Tags : Sausage , Pork , Veal