Johnsonville clone Wisconson style Brats

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Let me start by saying that this is a recipe originally posted by diggingdogfarm many years ago, so he gets proper attribution right up front.

    I wanted to make the American Classic Wisconsin style bratwurst, epitomized by the Johnsonville brat we all have tried and see in every supermarket. A search here at Walton’s for brat recipes gave some fantastic info on how to make them, including a new video by Jonathon 4 days ago that is an excellent all in one tutorial.

    However, 99% of all posts and threads discussed using premade spice mixes available from Walton’s. I am sure these are fantastic, but as a cook I always want to know exactly what spices are in a flavor profile, so I can tweak them to give the exact perfect result I want. This isn’t possible with a premixed spice, though those absolutely do save time and give an outstanding result on attempt #1 for thise not interested in developing their own recipes.

    I started with Stanley Marianski as a source, he has a “German Bratwurst” and a Milk and Egg Brat. I can attest both these are authentic, having lived in Germany and eaten a lot of brats in Duesseldorf, Koln, Franfurt, Kaiserslautern, and Ulm/Munich (cities I was stationed in flying for USAF). However, these are not WISCONSIN style–the German one has caraway, and the milk egg one is the whitish fine grind mace/cardamom/ginger/lemon-zest one. I love both, but needed more current and local recipes.

    I spent about 10 hrs reading every thread and post I could find on various for ums and YouTube. 2guysandaCooler, SmokingMeatForum, DuncanHenry, lpoli, meatsandsausages dot com (Marianski’s recipe site), wedlinydomowe dot pl the giant Polish sausage community, etc.

    I copied down every recipe I found. I compiled all brat recipes into a spreadsheet, with all ingredients normalized and converted to 1kg meat block. That is, I converted all ingredient T and tsp into grams, then expressed them as a % of meat block whether 5lb, 25lb, 1kg, etc. I’ve weighed all the spices per tsp 4 times and averaged, using 3 different teaspoon measures, but of course difference spice grinds could give 20 to 40% off.

    All this allows me to look at 20 recipes at once and see EXACTLY where spices vary and by how much. It really lets you see the critical flavor components and their acceptable ranges, when you have 20 recipes that all got rave reviews when tested.

    In the end, 30 or so experienced sausage makers who made these recipes all seemed to agree on one profile. The exact same recipe, when converted, was seen in 10 threads or so, from multiple sources.

    This isn’t my recipe. I can say that this recipe matches the one given by diggingdogfarm on various forums, as well as numerous other posters over the years after he first posted it.
    All ingredients, as accurate as anyone can measure.

    Just in case other folks are looking for good Wisconsin or Johnsonville clone brat recipes, like I am, every person of about 30 makers has said it is spot on perfect for Johnsonville or Wisconsin
    Style. There is a touch of sweetness, nutmeg and ginger do the heavy lifting in this style. Having seen this recipe show up numerous times now as folk’s Best Recommended, I would say it is a good one to use.

    20221003_222949.jpg 20221003_222352.jpg

    I stuffed them into 21 mm fresh collagen casings, the super delicate ones you use for breakfast links.  Mostly because I had a partial stick that was just the right length for 5 or 6 lbs.  I made 2kg meat, then added about 13% water to stuff thru 13mm tube, giving 2.25kg or about 5 lbs.

    Would have used hog casings, but this was sausage #3 of the night (3 lb Taylor Pork Roll, 9lb Jimmy Dean clone breakfast sausage, and 5 lbs of this brat).  So I needed to just grab an easy casing and finish, so I didn’t keep my kids awake while cleaning 😉

    I steamed these with a few T of water then let them brown. The beer is Paulaner Hefe Weizen.
    20221003_225935.jpg

    Recipe from diggingdogfarm “old family recipe”:
    1000g fatty pork butt
    1.7% salt, 17g
    0.5% sugar, 5.3g
    0.25% black pepper fresh ground, 2.5g
    0.22% nutmeg, fresh, 2.2g
    0.05% coriander toasted ground, 0.5g
    0.035% celery seed, 0.35g
    0.005% marjoram, 0.05g
    0.14% ginger ground, 1.4g
    No binder
    10% water, 100 ml or 100g

    The marjoram amount seemed pointless, about 1/16t, so I bumped it up to 0.5 g. Marjoram is the primary flavor of Polish sausage, with garlic.

    I like giving recipes in grams per kg meat block, or expressed as % of meat block, so anyone can just multiply for their meat amount. Teaspoons and Tablespoons are woefully inaccurate, especially considering the small spice amounts we are using, but the weight in grams is always exact. However… for those who are wedded to lbs and teaspoons, here is a picture of the 5lb recipe and my conversions:
    20221004_001443.jpg

  • Referenced by  Dave in AZ Dave in AZ 
  • Team Blue

    Thanks for all the work you did you must have Ben a chemist in a passed life

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Nice work Dave. Very systematic and thorough.
    It had to be a big task compiling all that data, but you were correct in your methodology for doing a comparison study.

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran Wisconsin

    Dave in AZ
    All I can say is “WOW”. Well done!

    Being from Wisconsin I’ve tried many different seasonings and grinds trying to duplicate a Johnsonville. These were all pre-mixed seasonings. Surprisingly, I found one very close, but still not it. It was an LEM simply called “Bratwurst”. Recently bought a seasoning from a local supplier called “Wisconsin Brat”. Will be trying this one soon.

    Thanks for all the research. One question… Do you ever sleep? 😉 👋

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    gus4416 thx! Made me think Sausage Alchemist lol, great screen name!

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    processhead thx Paul. My brain just wouldn’t compare 3.5 lb recipe with 1.5 T, to a 5lb recipe with 4 t… had to convert it all up 😉

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    PapaSop the Papa! I hope you try these and post your opinion.
    I might have slept late this morning… 😉

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma

    Dave in AZ WOW. Great job 👏.

  • Yearling

    Dave in AZ congratulations for using the metric system. It’s the best way to go as you can easily measure exactly what you need based on your kilograms of meat. We went metric 75 years ago in the Great White North. I’m hoping y’all will see the light and join the world.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Brianzipperdog123 metric was useful, but the hard part was gathering all the recipes and doing the converting 😉

    I read this week that Thimas Jefferson had a guybfrom France coming over to convert the US to metric, so the states could do commerce together instead of some Dutch/English hybrid. But dude got captured by pirates along with his kg weight set, and that was the end of that! Lol

  • Team Blue

    Nice work Dave and thanks for the recipe.

  • Yearling

    Looks great and is very scary similar to the recipe that I use, which gets great reviews as a Johnsonville clone…but better.

    Here is mine. I go a little heavier on the ginger.

    Wisconsin Style Bratwurst
    2.25 Lbs Pork Shoulder 1020.582 grams
    1.35 TB Kosher Salt 15.3 grams 1.50%
    0.45 TB Sugar 6.75 grams 0.66%
    0.9 tsp grated nutmeg 3.15 grams 0.31%
    0.225 tsp corriander 0.675 grams 0.07%
    0.1125 tsp celery seed 0.45 grams 0.04%
    0.9 tsp black pepper 3.6 grams 0.35%
    0.45 tsp ground marjoram 0.45 grams 0.04%
    0.675 tsp dried ginger 3.375 grams 0.33%

    My grams look wonky because I built the recipe for a 5lb batch. I’m such a nerd, I put it into Excel and made it scalable based on how much I’m making. haha

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    John Belvedere thx John! I’m just glad so many folks have tried it, liked it, and posted versions of it here and there on internet, to allow me to zone in on it as The One 😉

    So much of the work to make good sausage is finding good tasting recipes that succeed. I love researching this stuff almost as much as making it! 😉

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Clasko2 Scalable recipes via spreadsheet are just so handy.
    I also have one I use for premixed seasoning to calculate the amount of seasoning for batches under 25 lbs.

  • Yearling

    processhead

    Agreed and too funny you mentioned that. I do the samething…recipes.jpg

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Clasko2 yep, looking at them I’d say they are almost the same, just a scaled up higher amount of sugar, nutmeg, pepper, and ginger–the WI flavor profile. Still very close to the normal variations folks get when using a teaspoon to measure, really. But everything is about same ratio. I’d guess it tastes about the same but with more pronounced spice flavors! Your recipe is great, as it gives another datapoint for folks to get an idea of what amount range you can use for the spices and still get the WI profile!

    Thx so much for posting, and doing it in about 1kg with ratios too!

    Clasko2 said in Johnsonville clone Wisconson style Brats:

    2.25 Lbs Pork Shoulder 1020.582 grams
    1.35 TB Kosher Salt 15.3 grams 1.50%
    0.45 TB Sugar 6.75 grams 0.66%
    0.9 tsp grated nutmeg 3.15 grams 0.31%
    0.225 tsp corriander 0.675 grams 0.07%
    0.1125 tsp celery seed 0.45 grams 0.04%
    0.9 tsp black pepper 3.6 grams 0.35%
    0.45 tsp ground marjoram 0.45 grams 0.04%
    0.675 tsp dried ginger 3.375 grams 0.33%

    For comparison:
    1000g fatty pork butt
    1.7% salt, 17g
    0.5% sugar, 5.3g
    0.25% black pepper fresh ground, 2.5g
    0.22% nutmeg, fresh, 2.2g
    0.05% coriander toasted ground, 0.5g
    0.035% celery seed, 0.35g
    0.005% marjoram, 0.05g
    0.14% ginger ground, 1.4g

  • Yearling

    Dave in AZ

    My pleasure! Why this place is great.

  • Wisconsin Team Orange Regular Contributors

    thanks for the efforts putting this together. Bookmarked for sure

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ Thanks Dave.

  • Yearling

    Dave, thank you for the brat recipe.
    I see you have a Jimmy Dean clone recipe too. was wondering if you would be willing to share that recipe?
    Let me know.
    Thanks, Dan

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