When people around the world think of German cuisine, sausages often come to mind. One of the most famous German sausages is the Bratwurst – these little pork sausages in a thin, crispy casing are juicy and flavorful inside.
However, Bratwurst is incomplete without its best companion – tangy German mustard! This creamy and pungent mustard adds a special kick that elevates Bratwurst to another level. Let’s dive into why this combo is so popular and how to make both at home!
Why Mustard and Bratwurst are Best Buddies
Germans have been pairing mustard with sausages, meats, and pretzels since medieval times. In those times, it added burst of flavor to otherwise mundane dishes. Germans started experimenting and created many kinds of mustard, from mildly sweet to flaming hot. This means you can find the perfect match for any type of Bratwurst!
The rich creaminess and zing of German mustard balance the robust spices and fatty juices in Bratwurst. Sweet mustard also provides an interesting contrast to the coarse crunch of the Bratwurst casing.This combination of flavors, textures, and aromas is what makes mustard and Bratwurst the perfect companions.
In Germany, friends and family love to gather for fun times together at outdoor beer gardens, enjoying steins of foamy beer along with plates piled high with plump Bratwurst and shared pots of grainy mustard. Mustard brings people together, offering an authentic German food experience.
Taking a Closer Look at Bratwurst
There are many varieties of Bratwurst across Germany, but what makes a great one? The key lies in the quality of meat, spices, and cooking techniques.
To start, choose flavorful pork, beef or veal. Then add aromatic spices like nutmeg, caraway, marjoram and others. Coarsely grind the meat and spice mix and stuff it snugly into sausage casings, linking them into your desired sizes.
Now comes the fun part – cooking the Bratwurst to plump, juicy perfection! You can gently poach them in simmering water or beer until cooked through. Grilling or pan-frying over high heat also imparts a delightful sear on the exterior. No matter how you cook it, high-quality meat and spices will yield tender, flavor-packed Bratwurst.
Serve your homemade Bratwurst piping hot with cool, tangy mustard, crispy bread rolls, and braised sauerkraut or cabbage for the quintessential German experience.Yum! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
Mustard – Way More Than a Condiment
Did you know that mustard has been an essential part of German cuisine since the middle ages? They first used it to add flavor dimension to otherwise bland foods limited by spices.
Over time, Germans started innovating unique regional mustard varieties that became famous around the world. They established the first mustard factories, like in Dusseldorf way back in 1726. Creative new blends like sweet Bavarian mustard also emerged.
In the 1800s, Bavarian sweet mustard was born from a blend of mellow yellow and spicy brown mustards, along with vinegar, sugar, and spices. This balanced the pungent bitterness with tangy sweetness, creating an iconic style.
Thanks to these innovations, mustard became a trademark of German food culture. Large factories mass produce it today, but some small local producers also exist. Regardless of its origins, mustard remains an essential ingredient in German cuisine. It stars in recipes from sausages to salads and everything in between!
Let’s Make Homemade Mustard!
Want to try making authentic sweet Bavarian mustard at home? Here’s a easy recipe to try:
Soak 1 cup yellow and 1/2 cup brown mustard seeds separately overnight to soften. Blend each soaked seed with vinegar, salt and spices until smooth. Mix the two pastes together, adding a spoonful of honey or sugar for sweetness.
Splash in more vinegar if you want to mellow the spicy bite. The final mustard should coat a spoon thickly. Refrigerate for one week before trying it to allow the flavors to develop. Then serve it with your homemade Bratwurst! Creating your own mustard is an incredibly rewarding endeavor.
Mustard & Beyond – Mix & Match combos
While German mustard may be the tried and true partner for Bratwurst, You can also experiment with other delicious German foods:
- Sauerkraut or braised cabbage adds a tangy crunch.
- Soft pretzels and rye breads provide a hearty base
- Beers like Pilsner and Weizenbier refresh your palate
Feeling creative? Experiment with sweet additions such as roasted beet salad or spicy ginger lemon fizz.The possibilities are limitless, so craft your unique German culinary experience.
Why do mustard and Bratwurst pair so well together?
The creaminess and tang of German mustard balances and enhances the strong spices and richness of Bratwurst. These flavors, textures, and aromas complement each other perfectly.
What makes German mustard special?
Germans crafted many unique mustard varieties over time using regional recipes. This gives German mustards like sweet Bavarian or spicy Düsseldorf their distinctive flavor profiles.
What’s the best way to cook Bratwurst at home?
Gently poaching or pan frying over high heat works well. Make sure to use quality meats and spices. Getting that crisp exterior with a juicy interior is key for great flavor.
Can I make German mustard without mustard seeds?
You can try using prepared mustard and experimenting with extra spices, vinegar and sweeteners. But mustard seeds give the most authentic flavor and texture.
What drinks pair well with Bratwurst and mustard?
Crisp German beers like Pilsner, Weizenbier and Kölsch are perfect pairings. The carbonation and slight bitterness help cut through the richness.Apple cider, lemonade, or ginger ale also complement the flavors.
What side dishes go well with Bratwurst and mustard?
Sauerkraut, roasted potatoes, cucumber salad and soft pretzels are classic choices. For variation try braised red cabbage, potato pancakes or carrot slaw.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Now that you understand why mustard and Bratwurst are quintessential German delicacies, it’s time to cook up some at home! Follow tradition by blending aromatic spices into premium meats for your homemade sausage. Slather on some creamy mustard you whipped up from scratch. Include crunchy sauerkraut, pretzels, and fizzy drinks to complete your spread. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can make phenomenal Bratwurst and mustard worthy of any German beer garden. Just have fun with it!