Alright, here's a great recipe for a tasty bratwurst!
First, let's go over some of the items you're going to need:
A large bowl/pan to mix the sausage by hand (you can also use a stand mixer)
29-32 mm Pork Casings (hydrated for 24 hours)
And for the ingredients, you'll need:
Pork shoulder (or ground pork)
Ground black pepper
Dehydrated whole milk powder
Dried white onion flake
There are two important steps you'll need to take before you're ready to make your bratwurst. You'll want to (1) grind the pork shoulder if it isn't already ground, and (2) you'll want to hydrate your pork casings for 24 hours.
NOTE: I use kilos and grams for all my recipes, and calculate the amount of each ingredient with percentages. This makes it really easy to scale your recipe up or down depending on the size batch you want to make. I suggest buying a gram scale like this or this to use in the kitchen.
For this recipe, you'll want about 2.2 kilos (or 5 pounds) of ground pork. Then you're going to add 41g of kosher salt and 4.5g baking soda to it.
To really mix it well by hand you'll want to fold the grind, switching from vertically to horizontally, and then punching it down. Continue mixing until you achieve a sticky bind. You can check this by squishing a small amount in the palm of your hand and flipping your hand over. If it sticks, you know it's got a great bind.
Then you'll want to mix together 7g ground black pepper, 2.5g ginger powder, 2.5g nutmeg powder, 22.5g dehydrated milk powder, and 9g dried white onion flake in a large bowl. After it is well mixed, add HALF of the mixture to the meat. Mix until the spices are well incorporated.
Then, you'll measure out 225g of water, and add half to the mixture. Mix until the mixture becomes sticky again. After that, you'll repeat - add the second half of the spices, mix, and then add the rest of the water, and mix. You should have a sticky, well-bound sausage mixture when you're done.
Now we're ready to fill the sausage stuffer! To reduce the amount of air bubbles in the stuffer, get a good handful of meat, make it into a ball in your hands, and then gently (but firmly) slam it down into the bottom of the stuffer. You can use your hand to punch it down a little bit too. Continue this process until the stuffer is full.
The next step is to put the casing onto the stuffing tube. I like to run the length of the casing with my fingers to make sure there aren't any knots, and to rid of any excess water before placing on the tube. Once that's done, you can thread it onto the tube.
Okay, let's stuff this sausage! I like to close my hand around the stuffing tube about 90% of the way, and allow a little bit of give so that the air can come out and around the casing. Remember, we don't want a lot of air bubbles in the sausage itself.
NOTE: Some people like to tie the casing around the end of the tube before starting to stuff. I don't prefer this method because it makes it harder to fix a link if it's over or under the desired amount of ounces.
As you're stuffing it's helpful to coil the sausage around itself on the table to keep the sausage on the table, and to keep it from bunching. Before spinning the links, take a good look at the sausage and use the sausage pricker to rid the coil of any air bubbles you can see.
I like to take my time linking the sausage to ensure that none of the casing bursts during the process, and to make sure I get even-sized links. I gently use my fingers to create a dent in the sausage, and then twist the sausage to create a link. Alternate which way you spin the links each time you move onto a new one.
IMPORTANT: Let your sausage rest 12-24 hours in the refrigerator before you cook it.
When you're ready to cook it, heat up a non-stick or cast iron pan on low to medium heat with a splash of olive oil in it. Cook the sausage on one side for two minutes, then flip and cover. Flip the sausage every two minutes until it's fully cooked, which should take about 10-12 minutes. Let the sausage rest for about 5 minutes when it's done cooking before you cut into it.
And that's my bratwurst recipe. Happy Butchering, Matt the Butcher.