Once you’ve grilled up the perfect brat, it’s time to top off your masterpiece.
Like many things related to bratwurst, you’ll get many different answers when you ask brat fans what the best bratwurst toppings are.
Some insist that you keep it very simple — with just stone ground mustard added to brats and nothing else — while others pile up raw onions, pickles, mustard, and ketchup on their sausages.
Believe it or not, sauerkraut isn’t an automatic addition; for some brat fans it’s actually heresy to add sauerkraut as a bratwurst topping!
The “Do’s” of Bratwurst Toppings
Mustard is a definite “do” for brats and the only debate is whether it has company or not.
Ketchup is one of the most popular bratwurst toppings in Sheboygan but not necessarily in other areas, so consider it perfectly acceptable but not required.
Onions are also widely used but you’ll encounter some debate as to whether they should be grilled first before adding them as a brat topping.
Sheboygan-style brats call for only raw sliced onions, while other brat lovers add onions but prefer to grill them first.
Dill pickle slices are also acceptable on a Sheboygan brat, although relish and sauerkraut — popular toppings outside of Sheboygan — are considered no-gos there.
The “Don’ts” of Bratwurst Toppings
While purists like to debate the finer point of topping etiquette, in the end we’re talking about what tastes good with grilled sausage — which is honestly just about anything!
Thankfully there actually aren’t very many “don’ts” when it comes to bratwurst toppings.
Mayo is pretty universally frowned upon and vegetables in general are eyed warily.
Sauerkraut makes a great side dish but many brat fans insist that it has no place on the bun itself.
If it’s important for you to adhere to proper brat code, then definitely stick to traditional toppings.
If you’re a maverick and could care less, then experiment and feel free to grab anything you have on hand to top off your bratwurst masterpiece.
Traditional Bratwurst Toppings
The traditional toppings you can add to your bratwurst are brown mustard, grilled and chopped onions and the good old sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut is a pickled version of finely shredded cabbage that is left to ferment.
Bratwurst Sandwich/ Hot Dog Toppings
Try out some stone-ground mustard with some relish pickles on the side. Add some Japanese flavour to your brats by dressing some wasabi mayo.
Creative Bratwurst Toppings
If you wish to incorporate some Texas flavour in your German brats then feel free to add black bean sauce, tomatoes and blue cheese.
For some out of the box toppings, you can mix tiny pineapple chunks to your salsa or dip your brat in Teriyaki sauce for that Asian feel.
You could also top your brats with crispy coleslaw and tender pulled pork. Impress your friends and family with these out of the box ideas!
German Bratwurst Toppings
The most authentic way to complete your dish is to include the famous German potato salad. Slice potatoes to ¼ inch thickness.
Add some beef broth, vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt to a saucepan and mix. Heat and boil chopped onions and add them to the broth.
Throw the potato slices into the mixture and marinate for an hour at room temperature. Pour some olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Gourmet Bratwurst Toppings
- Hot Chili Cheese
Simply add canned pickled chili, chopped onions, sliced jalapenos in the saucepan.
On medium flame mix them properly until the onions turn brown. Spread them over your brats. For some crisp, add furitos.
- Apple and Cheese
You will need caramelized sweet onions for this topping. Chop away some onions, in low heat, add salt and olive oil.
Stir until the onions turn brown. Drop in some slices of apple and squeeze half a lemon over it.
Sauté until the apple slices change colour to brown. Dress the mixture over your bratwurst and throw in some crumbled blue cheese.
- Southwestern Style
While grilling your brats, grill some corn salsa.
Add diced meant to the salsa. Over the freshly grilled brats, add small chunks of Queso Fresco. Feel free to top your brats with diced avocados.
- Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
Devein the shrimps and cook them through and through.
Take ½ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoon horseradish, I tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoon hot sauce. Mix it all together.
Pour the sauce over your brats. Cut those shrimps into smaller pieces and them to your dish.
BBQ / Grilled Bratwurst Toppings
Throw in some crumbs of swiss cheese, some ketchup, raw onions, dill pickle chips. Add sauerkraut to your brats. For some Vietnamese fusion, add Banh Mi topping.
Bratwurst Peppers Onions Toppings
Bell peppers can make any dish interesting to taste and colourful to look at. In a glass bowl, add bell peppers, raw onion, stone grained mustard.
Pour some olive oil and red wine vinegar. Let it rest for an hour. Oven the mixture for 20 minutes or roast it for 25 minutes on medium flame.
Jalapeno Cheddar Brat Topping
In a bowl, add caramelized onions and jalapeno.
Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix everything properly and let it rest for half an hour.
Pour the mixture over your brats and sprinkle spring onions for a little crunch.