Bratwurst is a type of sausage made from veal, pork or beef. This sausage is characteristic of Germany, where there exist many varieties of it. They differ by production method, as well as by the ingredients found in them.
The various types of course differ in size and color. In Germany, bratwurst is known by the names rostbratwurst and roster. A similar sausage is made in the US as well, where it's simply called brat.
History of Bratwurst
The name of the sausage originates from old German, where the word brat was used to label finely chopped meat. Wurst means sausage. And even though brat refers to the way the sausage is made, modern Germans associate the name of the sausage with the German verb braten which hints that the product needs to be fried or roasted.
The first written proof of the existence of bratwurst dates back to the year 1313 in the city of Nuremberg, located in the Bavarian province. Aside from its remarkable buildings, the locale is known as a grill sausage production center.
Composition of Bratwurst
The presence of veal, beef and pork determine the complexity of this type of sausage. In it there are saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. The sausage is a source of protein and cholesterol. It contains other elements, including sodium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, magnesium and is a source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B4, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D and vitamin K.
Production of Bratwurst
Bratwurst differs significantly in different parts of the country. But there is nothing bad about this since the unique regions reveal the sausage's charm in their own way. Usually the veal, beef and pork are ground finely or coarsely.
Each type of meat is ground separately and some bacon can be added as well. Then, the separate meats are combined and ground once more. Black pepper, white pepper, salt, oregano, cumin and any other spices in accordance with the local cuisine are added. The resulting homogenous mince is stuffed in cleaned animal intestines and left in a cool area.
Some sausages of this type are offered raw, others boiled. The latter is more widespread since in this way the bratwurst is preserved for consumption for a longer period. In addition, it allows for the sausage to be grilled faster and easier.
Characteristics of Bratwurst
Raw sausages of this type have a pinkish color. They can be mottled by the spices in their composition. Cooking them requires more effort and care since they need to be roasted evenly not only on the outside but on the inside. Chefs recommend putting them in hot water for 8-10 min. before grilling them. When cooking, keep them on the grill until they get a brownish crust.
Boiled bratwurst are identified by a grayish color and solid consistency. With this pre-cooking they can be grilled very easily and quickly. These is no danger of the inside of the sausage remaining raw in this case. Shortly after you throw them on the grill you will notice an appetizing crisp. Both raw and boiled bratwurst are incredibly juicy and aromatic.
Types of Bratwurst
Nuremberg sausage is another known type, distinguished by its small size - no longer than 4″ (10 cm) and weighing no more than 1 oz (30 g).
A specific type of bratwurst is cooked in the city of Würzburg. The unique thing in this case is that the recipe contains wine.
The bratwurst from the state of Hesse is another loved type. It consists of coarsely ground pork that is generously seasoned. Each sausage can reach up to 8″ (20 cm). Traditionally, it is roasted on a wood-fired grill.
Bratwurst is often cooked and served on its own. But it can be paired up with other foods, these differing in every region of Germany. In some areas they serve it with sauerkraut. In others they prefer it with french fries or potato salad.
As is custom, bratwurst is served with mustard, ketchup or a spicy sauce. It is added to hot dogs, pizzas, spaghetti. Since it goes well with all kinds of vegetables it can be used in recipes for risotto, stews and bakes.