Hats of Meat

Make Your Own Sausage

Joining sauerkraut and beer in the great Oktoberfest triumvirate

Oktoberfest festivities often don’t seem to go beyond the beer. Opening up a Spaten does not constitute a cultural celebration. If you’re going to truly celebrate, do it with homemade sausages, kraut fresh from the crock, and some crisp, balanced German beer. Making fresh sausage is a venture worth trying for any true meat-lover.

Here’s the path to German sausage nirvana:

1. Choose the type of sausage you want to make from the three recipes below.

2. Follow our step-by-step visual guide to grinding the meat and stuffing the links.

3. Cook up the sausages in one of our recipes.


Bratwurst (Difficulty: Easy)
There are nearly as many varieties of brats as there are regions of Germany. This classic version uses two parts pork to one part veal.

Weisswurst (Difficulty: Medium)
A delicate, often overlooked sausage that is typically eaten for breakfast but is good any time of day.

Bockwurst (Difficulty: Hard)
Historically a spring sausage, bockwurst is loaded with herbs and clove and turns creamy white from the addition of dairy and the long emulsification time.

You’ll need a grinder and a stuffer in order to make sausage. We’ve used various types in the past, but all these recipes were tested using the special attachments for a KitchenAid stand mixer.

Ground meat hanging out at room temperature is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure all your equipment and your hands are clean before you start and to keep everything clean while you’re working. Also, be sure to cook the sausages to the recommended temperatures and to eat them within the recommended time period.

Know Your Source
As with all food, the better the quality of the raw ingredients, the better your sausages will turn out, so ask your local butcher for help. Pork shoulder is always easy to find, but you may need to special-order the hog casings, pork fat, and veal shoulder. When it comes to the veal shoulder, be sure to use a reputable source and get milk-fed veal from calves that are 12 weeks or younger; the age and quality of the veal make the difference between your sausage having a clean, pure flavor or a barnyardy, almost offensive flavor.

Become Friendly with Your Butcher
Most butchers we called had hog casings on hand or could easily get some. As for the pork fat, we were able to just let our butcher know we needed it, and he set aside his trimmings for us. If you ask, a good butcher will trim the meat for you, which saves a lot of time.

Have Everything Ready Before Starting
If there’s ever a time to make sure you’ve read the recipe and have everything ready to go before you start, it’s with these longer projects. Our step-by-step photo tutorial details the grinding and stuffing process.

It’s hard to beat a roasted (at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes) or pan-fried (over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes) sausage tucked into a roll and topped with kraut and mustard, but when you’re ready to take it to the next level, here are a few ideas:

Bratwurst and Butternut Squash Stew

Spinach and Weisswurst Quiche

Bockwurst and Mushroom Noodle Bake

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