10.18.2010

Oktoberfest Brats (and salad too)

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My brother-in-law likes to throw parties. But, he's kind of helpless when it comes to the details. A month or so ago he announced he was having an Oktoberfest party, and he wanted us to make bratwurst. It took me some time to convince him we could not make 25 lbs of sausage the day before the party. So, we made the brats the weekend before. Pictures and recipe below.

However, there was still enough last minute panic the day of the party, when he showed up at his parents house looking disheveled to pick up the grill, 20 minutes after his party started. But, despite his lack of foresight, his parties always come together, mostly because he recruits a lot of helpers, like everyone in attendance. Which I must admit is rather smart.
The sausage-making took a long time, and many beers. The boys did the hard work of shopping and grinding. I was there to spice and advise.
The day of the party, I also made a red cabbage slaw. I threw together a vinaigrette with the ingredients in the pantry -- shallots, garlic, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, dill, oil, salt and pepper. The slaw came together surprisingly well, with a hint of Oktoberfestness. It marinaded in the fridge for a couple of hours and was ready to go. Rather simple, but tasty.
Bratwurst
(from Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas)
for 25 lbs

1 quart of whole milk, ice cold (we used less)
9 whole eggs (you might not need all of them)
12 oz of soy protein concentrate (we did not use this)
1 oz ground white pepper (I pretty much doubled this)
1/4 oz mace
1/4 oz ginger(add more to taste)

1/4 oz nutmeg (add more to taste)
7 oz salt (you will need more)
5 lbs boneless veal
12 1/2 lbs fresh pork shoulder
7 1/2 lean pork trimmings

1) Grind all the meat through a grinder, through a large grinder plate.
2) In a large bowl, add the spices, eggs and milk, and mix until fully incorporated.
3) Using a smaller grinder plate, grind again.
4) Make a little sample and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
5) Stuff into hog casings.
6) Refridgerate for 24-48 hours. Then freeze until ready for use.

To cook these brats, we simmered them in beer baths first, then grilled them.

Enjoy with fancy mustard.

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