Brats”¦the ultimate “it’s summer, we’re ready to grill and eat on the deck” type of meat. I love brats because they are quick and easy, and I can have packages of brats in the freezer ready to pull out for those nights I know I’m going to have no time to cook. They are almost perfeexcept for two things”¦
- Are you ever unsure of what’s in something like a brat, or need I mention “hot dogs”? While not all brats and dogs on the market are like this, many will contain ingredients I can’t pronounce or that are “mystery ingredients”, meaning I don’t know what they are. One national brand of brats contains the following ingredients: PORK, WATER, CORN SYRUP, NATURAL PORK BROTH WITH NATURAL FLAVORINGS, SALT, (not SO bad so far, but keep reading), DEXTROSE (another name for sugar, so you get hit with sugar twice in these brats), MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG), FLAVORINGS, BHA (what?), PROPYL GALLATE (huh?), and CITRIC ACID. I don’t love eating foods that contain mystery ingredients.
- The casing, or peel, makes it such that I can’t actually enjoy a meal of brats. It’s not so much a problem for adults or older children, but my small kids have a hard time biting through the casing, which makes brats a choking hazard for them. So, I go perhaps a little overboard and peel off the casing and then cut the meat up before letting the kids eat their brat. This takes a while to do, and at the rate at which they can shovel in the meat as I cut it up, I don’t get a break to eat my own meal until they are done eating! Again, this may be going overboard, but it’s what I found myself doing every time we ate brats.
So, this year, I have found another way, which solves both issues I have with traditional brat links. My life is much easier now that I make Homemade Brat Burgers, and bratwurst meals are much more enjoyable (and still super tasty and fast!).
I make a simple spice mixture, which resembles the flavor of a traditional bratwurst, but without the sugar or any other ingredient you can’t pronounce. I make a large batch of the spice mixture and keep it in the cabinet for those nights I need a quick meal. Then, I just mix a couple teaspoons of the spice mixture with ground pork (which I always have in the freezer), shape into patties and throw them on the grill.
As for the nutrition differences, my homemade brat burgers have less fat, less saturated fat and quite a bit less sodium compared with the brats I listed the ingredients for above. Another major bonus!
Give these Homemade Brat Burgers a try and let me know what you think by leaving a comment!
Here are the spices you’ll need to make the simple Homemade Brat Burger spice mix.
Use a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder to coarsely grind the fennel and caraway seeds.
You can also use a mortar and pestle if you don’t have an electric grinder, but it will take a bit more elbow grease to get the seeds coarsely ground.
Mix the coarsely ground seeds with the rest of the spices. You can use a bowl or mix it all right in the spice grinder.
Store the spice mixture in an airtight container up to 6 months so it’s easy to whip up a batch of the Homemade Brat Burgers.
Mix some of the spice mixture with ground pork.
Shape into patties and grill.
That’s all there is to it! These are quick and easy Homemade Brat Burgers the whole family will love!
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 to 2 ½ teaspoons Brat Burger Spice Mix
- In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, combine caraway seeds and fennel seeds. Cover and grind until spices are coarsely ground. Add salt, pepper, marjoram, sage, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Cover and grind just until spices are well combined. Store spice mixture in an airtight container in a cool dry cabinet for up to 6 months.
- In a medium bowl combine ground pork and 2 to 2 ½ teaspoons Brat Burger Spice Mix. Mix well. Shape meat into four ¾-inch-thick patties.
- For a charcoal or gas grill, place patties directly on the grill rack over medium coals or heat. Cover if using a gas grill. Grill for 12 to 16 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Serve brat burgers in hamburger buns with your favorite toppings.
- 4 servings (1 burger per serving – patty only)
- 249 cals, 20 g pro, 1 g carb, 18 g fat, 77 mg cholesterol, 6 g sat fat, 0 g fiber, 428 mg sodium