Bratwurst Burgers


People ask me pretty frequently where we get the ideas for our postings and I just respond that they come from a ‘variety’ of sources. For instance, the inspiration for this post came from a somewhat unlikely place…a Wendy’s commercial. You may have seen the commercials advertising Wendy’s new pretzel bacon cheeseburger. Nathan and I don’t eat fast food but the pictures of the fake tasty looking burger made us think about making our own pretzel buns…which then made us want to make a German-themed burger…which then snowballed into our final creation of a bratwurst burger patty topped with creamy German Champignon cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, roasted beets, and thinly sliced green cabbage…all on the infamous pretzel bun that started it all. It’s not a real burger if it doesn’t have at least five toppings, right?

We were able to grill this burger because we were dog/house sitting for my aunt and uncle. Since grilling here at our condo is a major fire hazard it’s a huge treat for us when we have access to a grill and this burger did not disappoint. The patty was juicy and flavorful and all the toppings provided an awesome blend of textures and tastes that made the burger complex and different from any burger I’ve ever tried.

BEX RIESLING - SMALL Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Bex Riesling
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

This was a great tangy balance to the super savory burger! As you know, we don’t like sweet wines but this Riesling was on the drier side and had the acidity that I was looking for. It had hints of bright lemon, orange, and apricot while retaining a creaminess that was an awesome contrast to the rich spiciness of the burger. If you’re not a fan of super sweet Rieslings then I highly recommend this wine!


HACKER PSCHORR MUNICH GOLD Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.0

This German Lager was a great pairing for the rich flavors in our burgers! This Munich Helles Lager was a clean and light beer with sweet aromas, light grain flavor, and a sharp, crisp finish… Proof that those silly Germans and their Reinheitsgebot purity laws can make some tasty beer!


Bratwurst Burger on a Pretzel Bun:


4 pretzel burger buns (recipe follows)
4 bratwurst burger patties (recipe follows)
Thinly sliced German Champignon cheese (we found this at Whole Foods)
8 slices cooked bacon
Caramelized onions (recipe follows)
Thinly sliced roasted beets (recipe follows)
Thinly sliced green cabbage


1. Slice burger bun in half and top with a bratwurst patty. Layer cheese, bacon, onions, roasted beets, and green cabbage.

2. Top with other half of the bun and enjoy!

Pretzel Buns:

Adapted from this recipe.


1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
Vegetable oil
2 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda


1. Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside to rest until the mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.) Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with a thin layer of vegetable oil and set aside.
2. Place the flour, sugar, and measured salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps and combine. Once the yeast is ready, fit the bowl on the mixer, attach a dough hook, and dump in the flour mixture. Mix on the lowest setting until the dough comes together, then increase to medium speed and mix until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.
3. Form the dough into a ball, place in the oiled mixing bowl, and turn the dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel and let rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 30 to 35 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat the paper with vegetable oil, and set aside.
4. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into circular rolls. Place the rolls on the baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
6. Once the rolls have risen cut 2 slashes across the top of each. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 30 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle well with salt and repeat with the remaining rolls.
7. Once all the rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

Bratwurst Burger Patties:

Serves 4


1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (we used Colemans)
1/4 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon salt


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meats with egg, garlic, and spices.

2. Score the meat into 4 equal portions then form patties. Grill burgers until cooked to your preference.

Caramelized Onions:


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced paper thin
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until foaming.

2. Add the onions, and let them cook, stirring rarely, until they are deep golden brown and caramelized, about 45 minutes.

3. Season well with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and let cool.

Roasted Beets:


2-3 red beets
olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Rub beets with oil and wrap in foil. Roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

3. Unwrap beets and cool.

4. Slice into thin rounds.

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