Experiments in Sausage Making II: Bratwurst after Sabina Welser

The second in a series of sausages tried out on Sunday. This recipe, too, was successful, but that did not come as a surprise.

The source for this recipe is the recipe collection of Sabina Welser (sometimes referred to in Renaissance style by the feminised form of Welserin and already translated here). This manuscript dates to 1553 and was produced either for or by an otherwise unknown member of the patrician Welser family of Augsburg. Theirs was a household of enormous wealth – the family business at one point owned the rights to colonise what is today Venezuela in payment of debt by the Spanish crown. Many recipes are accordingly lavish. This sausage is a relatively simple one, but of refined taste:

If you want to make good bratwurst

Take four pounds of pork and four pounds of beef, have it chopped small, then take two pounds of bacon into it and chop it together. Add about three seidel of water, and also add salt and pepper, as you like to eat it, or if you like to have herbs in it, you can take a little a little sage and a little marjoram, and you will have good bratwurst.

(Sabina Welserin#25)

We scaled down the recipe to use 500g each of beef and pork with 250g bacon, all ground together. There is no indication of the amount of salt, but since it does not act as a preservative, I chose to be conservative and added 20g to the whole, together with 8g of ground pepper and 1 tbsp each of dried sage and marjoram. The pepper was almost too much, but the mix could have stood more marjoram. It took only 1 1/2 cups of water to make it soft enough to stuff into casings. Unfortunately, the fine sheep gut casings we had ordered turned out to be too narrow for our stuffing funnel, so we had to use the coarser beef gut intended for boiled sausages. It did not impact the flavour, but was impractical to eat.

Some of the stuffing was left and we added it to the cooking dish as a dumpling. Slowly broiled in the stove at 160°C (320°F), later going to 180°C (355°F), they turned out delicious. Smoky flavour from actual fire would have further added to their appeal, but November in Germany is a rainy month.

We served the sausages with a gourd puree from the Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch:

Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch 26 If you would make a gourd puree (kurbes musz), take gourds and cut off the outer skin if the gourds are not too old and parboil (bruwe) them in boiling water and then chop them small and boil (sude) them with good meat of castrated ram and when they are boiled properly, take out the meat and pour in milk and let it boil well and serve the meat with that.

These are straighforward instructions, and the result was pleasant. We opted for the more easily available New World curcubita squash, a French muscatel variety. Peeled, cored, and boiled in meat broth, I mashed it by hand and added a little milk and salt. It was very satisfying.

The sausage als went well with sweet dewericz apple sauce, but this one will have to wait till another day.

This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *