Yes, you can buy bratwurst and all kinds of specialty sausages at the store now. But if you've ever been curious what it would be like to make your own sausage from scratch, here's an opportunity. Chef Robert Wiedmaier, chef-owner of several successful restaurants in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, shares his recipe for bratwurst.
Combine all the ingredients except for the casings and the beer in a large, airtight container, mix well, and place in the refrigerator. Marinate overnight.
The next day, submerge all of the meat grinder parts in an ice bath. It is important that all of the components are ice cold, so that the meat will grind properly.
Soak the casings in warm water for 30 minutes, and clean them. Soak the casings in warm water for 30 minutes, and clean them. To clean them, unfurl all of the casings and stack them on a work surface. Take a large bowl and fill it halfway with water. Working over the sink, take each casing and flush it gently with water. Remove all air and water from each casing, and drape each casing over the edge of the bowl, so that half of each casing is in the water and the other half is hanging over the edge. This will keep them from getting tangled up.
Just before grinding the meat, assemble the meat grinder according to the manufacturer's instructions. Prepare 2 ice baths. You will need 2 bowls, each set over another bowl filled with ice water (4 bowls total). Place 1 ice bath in front of the meat grinder to catch the ground meat. Transfer the meat from the refrigerator into the other ice bath. Activate the meat grinder and grind the meat a few small chunks at a time, making sure to use the provided plunger (never your hands!).
Next, assemble the sausage maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fit the casings over the attachment and stuff the meat into the casings. Pinch each casing where you want the link to end, and twist. Repeat.
To serve, poach the bratwurst in enough beer to cover over medium heat until cooked through (the internal temperature should read 160 degrees).