How to Transform Classic Sausage With German-Style Mustard

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Germany’s cuisine is renowned for its rich traditions, especially when it comes to sausages. From bratwurst to knockwurst, German sausages have a distinct flavor profile enhanced by a dip in German-style mustard. This tangy, spicy condiment brings out the best in any sausage, taking it from classic to extraordinary.

In this article, let us explore how to transform classic sausage with German-style mustard.

The Allure of German Sausages and Mustard

Germans have been making sausages for centuries. In fact, evidence of sausage production in Germany dates back to 500 BC. These early German sausages featured lean pork, animal intestines for the casing, and spices like curry powder and mustard seed for flavor. The sausages were often smoked or dried for preservation.

By the 1800s, towns across Germany were renowned for their local sausage specialties that still influence German sausage recipes today. Frankfurt became known for its smoked pork sausages, called Frankfurters. Bavaria developed the popular white veal sausage, Weisswurst. And Cologne was famed for its small, pork sausages flavored with parsley, garlic, and lemon known as Knackwurst.

While the types and recipes vary, German sausages share some key traits – they are heavily seasoned, often smoked, and sized for a single bite. Their distinct flavor profile makes them a beloved German tradition. 

An equally important part of German cuisine is mustard. Germans use mustard to add a spicy, tangy kick to all kinds of dishes, especially sausages. The classic German mustard features a blend of spices like garlic, horseradish, and chili pepper. This sets it apart from American yellow mustard with its milder flavor. When paired with German sausages, the mustard’s robust flavor balances beautifully with the meat.

Selecting the Right German Sausage

With over 40 major varieties of German sausage, choosing the right one can be tricky. Here are some of the most popular types perfect for pairing with German mustard:


These plump, juicy pork sausages originate from the Franconia region of Germany. They are seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, and white pepper before being stuffed into hog intestines or synthetic casings. Bratwurst is typically pan-fried or grilled, resulting in a crispy exterior and tender, flavorful interior when bitten into. The balance of spices pairs perfectly with a dollop of spicy mustard.


Meaning “white sausage,” these veal sausages hail from Bavaria. A blend of minced veal, cream, lemon, onions, parsley, ginger, and cardamom makes these sausages exceptionally tender and mild in flavor. They are traditionally served before noon with sweet Bavarian mustard and a crisp pretzel. The creamy sausage texture provides a counterpoint to the mustard’s bite.


Originating in Berlin in the 1600s, these short and plump sausages get their name from the German word “Knack” meaning “crack” – referring to the sound when bitten into. They are made from a mix of pork and beef, and seasoned with garlic, coriander, and black pepper for a robust depth of flavor. The acidity of mustard helps cut through the richness.


Smoky in flavor, these pork and beef sausages were created in northern Germany in the 1800s. Garlic, coriander, and cardamom provide a distinctive aroma while smoking over beechwood imparts a deep, smoky note that contrasts beautifully with tangy mustard. They are classically served boiled with sauerkraut.

No matter the type, always look for traditionally crafted sausages with simple, natural ingredients for authentic flavor. Avoid precooked sausages, which won’t absorb the flavors as well.

Cooking With Beer Enhances the Flavor

Beer is a cornerstone of German cooking. Many classic recipes like beer-braised bratwurst use beer to impart extra flavor. The malty, yeasty notes in beers like Dunkel, Märzen, or Bock perfectly complement the spices in German sausages. 

For mustard sausages, choose a moderately hopped lager or amber ale. The carbonation helps the beer reduce down into an intense cooking liquid that penetrates the sausages. Simmer the sausages in beer for 5-10 minutes until plumped and infused with flavor. The mustard mixture can also be thinned with a splash of beer, adding even more flavor.

Craft the Perfect Mustard Mix 

While you can use classic German mustard straight from the jar, making your own mix allows you to balance the flavors exactly to your tastes. 

Start with 1/4 cup of a spicy, German-style mustard like Gulden’s or French’s. For sweetness, add 2 tablespoons of finely diced sweet onion and 2 tablespoons of your chosen beer. The carbonation helps bind the ingredients. Finally, season with a pinch each of salt, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. 

The mustard should have a bold, tangy flavor with a balanced sweetness. If it’s too spicy, add more onion or beer. For more heat, incorporate more cayenne or ground mustard powder. This homemade mixture maximizes the flavor impact on the sausages.

Cook Sausage and Onions to Perfection

With the flavorful beer mustard prepared, it’s time to start cooking! 

First, thinly slice onions into half moons. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside. 

Next, add a bit more oil to the pan and arrange the raw sausages in a single layer. Cook the sausages, turning occasionally, for 10-12 minutes until browned on both sides and nearly cooked through. 

Return the onions to the pan and pour in the beer mustard mixture. Toss everything to coat. Allow the sausages to finish cooking in the mustard sauce for 2-3 minutes. The mustard perfectly adheres to each piece for maximum flavor.

Pile on Rolls With Sides for Serving

Now for the fun part – piling everything into rolls for serving! 

Slice each sausage diagonally into bite-sized pieces. Fill rolls with 2-3 pieces per sandwich, topped liberally with extra mustard sauce. Serve immediately with classic German sides like:

Chunky (potato salad) 

Red cabbage 

A cold, crisp German lager

The flavors all combine in perfect harmony – the tender, beer-infused sausage, crunchy roll, and tangy, spicy mustard. It’s a truly traditional German sausage experience.

Bring the Flavors of Germany Home

From the medieval butcher shops of Frankfurt to Oktoberfest in Munich, German sausages are a celebrated tradition. With the right sausages, homemade mustard, and a dash of beer, you can transform a classic into an authentic German delight. The appetizing aromas will transport you straight to Bavaria.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I control the beer flavor when simmering the sausages?

Use a milder beer to minimize bitterness. Only simmer for 5-10 minutes to prevent overpowering beer taste.

2. What are some vegetarian or vegan substitutes for bratwurst?

Try meatless chicken or veggie brats, seitan sausages, or roasted eggplant or mushrooms.

3. Can I make the dish ahead and reheat it?

Yes! Sausages and mustard sauce store well for 4-5 days refrigerated. Reheat gently before serving.

The post How to Transform Classic Sausage With German-Style Mustard appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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