Get in the fall spirit with these festive Pumpkin Spice Beer Bratwurst.
Just when you thought you've seen all the varieties of pumpkin spice out there, we're bringing you the Pumpkin Spice Brat. Filled with warm pie spices and robust pumpkin ale, this brat is a far cry from the overly sweet autumn-inspired drink that comes to mind. With just enough savory pork and warm spice notes to get you in the spirit, this brat will be an unexpected favorite.
What You'll Need
- 10 lbs. Pork Butt, boneless
- 1 package No. 669 Pumpkin Spice Brat Seasoning: Pre-measured for 25 lbs. of meat, you'll need to measure out 8 oz of seasoning
- 6 oz Pumpkin Beer
- Natural Hog Casings (32-35mm)
- Meat Grinder with 3/8" & 3/16" Plates
- Sausage Stuffer with 3/4" Horn
- 2 Onions, large
- 1/2 Stick Butter
- 6 oz - Pumpkin Beer
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Selecting Your Meat Block
We are going to be grinding the meat twice for this sausage: Once through a 3/8” plate and then again through a 3/16” plate. We start with a coarse grind just to begin the process of breaking down the meat. You don't want to force the meat through the 3/16” plate right away or it would likely overload the grinder and prevent the meat from breaking down evenly.
Grinding twice will also allow us to mix in our seasoning between grinds. This is a helpful trick to evenly distribute the seasoning throughout the meat block.
Once the first grind is complete mix in the Pumpkin Spice Brat seasoning gently by hand. We don’t yet want to start pressing the seasoning into the meat, we will wait until we add liquid for that.
Once the seasoning is mixed in, pass the meat block through the grinder with the 3/16” plate for the final grind.
Now that the grind is done, it's time to add in our water, or in this recipe, beer. We recommend a 2-3% water content of your total meat block. To keep with our pumpkin & fall flavor profiles, we chose a Pumpkin Ale from a local brewery. Always remember to keep your water or liquid as cold as possible to keep the temperature of the meat down.
This would also be the time to add any other ingredients you’d like to have in your sausage. Pumpkin puree, mini marshmallows, jalapenos for some heat, or any other whole pieces additives. Mix the meat with your hand until the meat block just starts to get tacky.
Pro Tip: Always taste before you case! You want to make sure your seasoning and flavor levels are exactly where you want them to be before you stuff them into casings. Fry up a patty quickly and adjust as needed.
Stuffing & Linking
Natural hog casings are the standard for brat making. We did these with a 32-35 mm sized casing. We set the sausage stuffer up with 7/8” horn (3/4” works well too) and then filled it with our meat block. Pack the meat down into the stuffer as best you can with your hands to avoid any air pockets. We don’t want air pockets in our sausage, which means we need to avoid them in the stuffer too.
Pro Tip: To load your casing, find the end of the casing strand and put two fingers in the end to open it up. Run water through a few times to open it up and prevent any tangles from happening as you load it onto the horn.
Keeping a finger on the top of your horn, begin stuffing just enough so that you can still pinch the meat down, but not too full that they won’t be able to twist. Use your other hand to gently guide the stuffed sausage away from your stuffer. Once your strand is stuffed, go through with a sausage pricker or knife and remove any large air pockets.
To twist, grab one end and pinch a divot to make a sausage that’s about 6-6.5” in length. Grab the first pinch with your left hand and pinch another 6” down with your right hand so you have two links. Twist forward and repeat the process until you’ve linked all your strands.
Cook them on the grill over indirect heat, turning often to evenly cook. I like to finish mine over direct heat just for a few seconds once they’re done to add a slight char. Throw them on a bun with some Pumpkin Ale caramelized onions and enjoy!