Brat Burger

Brat Burger
Staff Writer

Ken Goodman Photography

The inspiration for this recipe came from the homemade pretzel bun and cheese sauce, because hey, what goes better with those things a juicy, fat brat? The authors of Wicked Good Burgers create their own brat recipe by using ground pork and veal and seasoning it with ginger, nutmeg, and beer for an authentic version. 

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For Mindy's Pretzel Buns

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast in buttermilk, ¼ cup of beer, and water. Add the 3 ¾ cups flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, ¼ cup of the light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of regular sugar and mix on low speed until a loose dough forms. With the machine still running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil. When the dough is completely combined, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. 

Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and work the dough for 7-10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too wet/sticky, you may need to add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. 

Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking oil or wipe with oil and place dough inside. Cover with a clean dish towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 4 hours until doubled in volume. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter. Fold the dough in 1/2 twice and let rise in the refrigerator for about 2 more hours or until doubled in volume again. 

Shortly before the dough has finished its second rise, prepare the baking soda bath. In a 6-quart saucepan, bring the water, the rest of the ale, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and baking soda to a rolling boil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking oil. 

Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and divide into eight 5-ounce pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Working 1 at a time, poach each ball in the baking soda bath for 15 seconds and then flip it and poach for 15 more seconds. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the buns with vegetable oil and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Bake for about 14 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are golden brown. 

For Mindy's Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce

In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a light simmer. Whisk in the cheeses until they are fully melted and smooth. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Reserve until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups. 

For the brat burgers

In a large bowl, combine the veal, pork, nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons of white pepper, ginger powder, beer, butter, and 2 teaspoons salt.

Divide the mixture into four 6-ounce portions and shape into burgers into patties. Refrigerate, covered, while you prepare the skillet. Heat a skillet over high heat until very hot. If you have an infrared thermometer, the skillet should register at least 500 degrees. Or, test by brushing on a bit of oil. When the skillet starts to smoke, it is ready.

Brush oil onto the skillet and remove the burgers from the refrigerator. Season the burgers with salt and white pepper and sear them for 2 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest, tented, for 5 minutes. While the burgers are resting, heat the cheese sauce.

Place the burgers on the bottoms of the buns and spoon the cheese on top. Place the tops of the buns over the cheese.


Calories per serving:

1038 kcal

Daily value:



  • Carbohydrate, by difference 97 g
  • Protein 50 g
  • Total lipid (fat) 51 g
  • Vitamin A, IU 788 IU
  • Vitamin A, RAE 200 µg
  • Vitamin B-12 3 µg
  • Vitamin B-6 1 mg
  • Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 4 mg
  • Vitamin D 34 IU
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 4 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 16 µg
  • Alanine 2 g
  • Arginine 2 g
  • Ash 12 g
  • Aspartic acid 2 g
  • Betaine 17 mg
  • Calcium, Ca 368 mg
  • Carotene, alpha 1 µg
  • Carotene, beta 78 µg
  • Cholesterol 156 mg
  • Choline, total 103 mg
  • Cryptoxanthin, beta 15 µg
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 22 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 7 g
  • Fatty acids, total saturated 17 g
  • Fatty acids, total trans 3 g
  • Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic 2 g
  • Fiber, total dietary 9 g
  • Fluoride, F 3 µg
  • Folate, DFE 57 µg
  • Folate, food 31 µg
  • Folate, total 53 µg
  • Folic acid 16 µg
  • Fructose 1 g
  • Glucose (dextrose) 2 g
  • Glutamic acid 5 g
  • Glycine 1 g
  • Histidine 1 g
  • Iron, Fe 9 mg
  • Isoleucine 1 g
  • Lactose 2 g
  • Leucine 3 g
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin 339 µg
  • Lysine 2 g
  • Magnesium, Mg 150 mg
  • Maltose 1 g
  • Manganese, Mn 1 mg
  • Methionine 1 g
  • Niacin 15 mg
  • Pantothenic acid 2 mg
  • Phenylalanine 1 g
  • Phosphorus, P 935 mg
  • Phytosterols 1 mg
  • Potassium, K 882 mg
  • Proline 2 g
  • Retinol 192 µg
  • Riboflavin 1 mg
  • Selenium, Se 59 µg
  • Serine 1 g
  • Sodium, Na 5490 mg
  • Starch 71 g
  • Sucrose 5 g
  • Sugars, total 14 g
  • Thiamin 1 mg
  • Threonine 1 g
  • Tocopherol, gamma 2 mg
  • Tyrosine 1 g
  • Valine 1 g
  • Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 1 µg
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 1 µg
  • Water 377 g
  • Zinc, Zn 8 mg
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