This has to be, hands down, the best wurst I’ve ever made!! Come on…when talking about wurst, you’ve got to expect the “best wurst” joke to pop up at some point, right?
I can’t remember the first time I had cheddarwurst. I vaguely recall eating Hillshire Farm’s Cheddarwurst sometime in my childhood, but that surely shouldn’t count. I also remember some pre-cooked “hot dog” like bratwurst made by Johnsonville that is now called Beddar With Cheddar. From there, I graduated to their Cheddar Bratwurst, a far superior product but was it really authentic? Actually, as far as I can tell with a little bit of research, cheddarwust isn’t really authentic and was probably made up by an American sausage company, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I was sure that I could make a better version, and I did!! Just like the breakfast links, the credit for these ones go to Kevin P on the Smoke Ring Forum.
- 5 lb pork butt, ground
- 5 tsp Kosher Salt
- 5 tsp sugar
- 1 Tb Ground Coriander
- 1 Tb Ground Sage
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp fresh Rosemary, finely chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 1 Tb Dry Mustard
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 8 oz Cheddar cheese, cubed in ¼” pieces (high temp cheese if you can find it)
- 1 cup cold water
- 32mm Pork casings; tied off into 6” lengths.
- Prepare 5 lbs of pork butt by deboning and cutting into 1 inch cubes. Place the meat into the freezer for 30 minutes to chill but not freeze. At this time, it would be a good idea to place the metal parts of the meat grinder into the freezer as well. Heat is your enemy when making sausage.
- While meat is chilling, combine your spices.
- Grind your meat with a fine cutting plate (I believe mine is 3/16″).
- Blend the meat and seasonings well by kneading for about 3 minutes.
- Gradually mix in the cheese cubes to the paste and knead until they are distributed evenly.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate over night to allow the spices to marry.
- The following morning, take a small amount of the mixture and pan fry in a skillet. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Prepare your 32mm hog casings per package directions.
- Stuff the hog casings with the cheddarwurst mixture.
- Cook the sausage within 24 hours or freeze for later use. Make sure that the internal temperature reaches at least 150 if using fresh, home ground pork, 160 if store bought (for safety reasons)
The simplest way to cook the wurst would be to grill them directly at 350F turning frequently until the internal temperature reaches 150F. Make sure not to pierce the casings as the fat will leak out and leave you with a dry sausage. You can also cook them in a 350F oven, but I’m not sure on the time as I’ve never done them that way.
Another favorite way of mine is to partially cook them in a sauerkraut bath. This method takes far less vigilance and will allow you to sit back and sip on a cold beverage or two. Take a 32 oz jar of sauerkraut, a bit of yellow onion, a coupla pats of butter, a few glugs of whatever beer you have on hand and dump it in a cast iron skillet. Add a pinch of dry mustard, a dash of paprika, a bit of red pepper flakes, some garlic powder and a few turns of the pepper grinder. Don’t you just love my exact measurements? Place directly on a 400F grill and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes.
Once the sauerkraut has had a chance to warm and the butter has melted, give it a stir and place your wurst on the bed of sauerkraut. Cook for 15 minutes, flip and cook for another 15 minutes (so far that’s 45 minutes of kicking back and relaxing time).
After the wurst has been in the sauerkraut for 30 minutes, remove them, brush off any ‘kraut, and place directly on the grill. Now you are going to have to be vigilant so that your casings don’t burst. Grill, turning often, until the IT (internal temp) has reached 150. Not sure exactly how long that took as I had now enjoyed 45 minutes of cold beverage time and I wasn’t really concerned about the time. 10 minutes of so? Don’t quote me on that. Return the wurst to the skillet, take inside and its time to eat.
Is your mouth watering yet? If not, there must be something wrong with your mouth-watering gland. You might need to get that checked out.
Whowee!! Ain’t that some mighty fine looking sausage? Moist and juicy and if you look closely you can even see a slight smoke ring from some of the peach wood that was left over in my pit. Hillshire Farms and Johnsonville don’t hold a candle compared to this cheddarwurst. Savory with just the right amount of spice. The only thing missing is some fried potatoes or a warm German potato salad. I’d even take some spaetzle to go along with these beauties.
Things I Would Do Differently
Not a whole heck of a lot. I do like a bit of heat in my sausage, though. I might up the black pepper or maybe add some red pepper to them. I might increase the dry mustard as well, but I am perfectly happy with the way they came out.
I might switch the casings I used. I’m not really sure what happened there, but these sausages were Gi-Normous!! The casings I used, Homepack Brand, were supposed to be 32-35mm, but mine were easily 40mm. No way would you be able to find a bun that these would fit in. I’m not sure if it was because they were thawed out when I made my Venison Jalapeno Cheese Sausage (which were no were near this thick), re-frozen and then thawed out again for these brats or what. I think I’ll go back to the LEM brand. Nothing wrong with big sausage, I was just looking for smaller ones. BTW, I estimate that these probably came out to about 1/2 lb each. Just a bit large for individual portions, don’t you think?