Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.
Lately, I find myself using my Instant Pot more and more. Along with performing like a traditional pressure cooker, it has a number of additional functions like steam and sauté. I haven't tried the yogurt function yet, but it's on my to-do list.
I have been trying out lots of new recipes, and since I love German food I thought I'd come up with a variation of traditional bratwurst. Normally I just grill them and serve them on a bun, but I felt like mixing it up a little bit so I developed this recipe. And since, in my opinion, no pan gravy is complete without mushrooms, I added some, as well as a little bit of onion, for additional flavoring.
This dish turned out wonderfully, and the Instant Pot made it that much easier to make. Even my husband, who is not a huge fan of the sausage, liked it so much that he went back for a second helping. High praise indeed from him.
So if you like German food and want to try a new twist on an old dish, give this meatball recipe a try. It's definitely one of the better things I've made lately, and I'll be making it again soon since I always seem to have a package of bratwurst on hand in my freezer.
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Serves four people five meatballs each
Cook time includes sauté time and steam release, and may be different depending on the pressure cooker used. This recipe was made using an 8 quart Instant Pot.
- 1 package bratwurst sausage links, taken out of casings and shaped into meatballs
- 1 can (14oz) low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Dash salt, if desired
- Dash pepper, if desired
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Remove the sausage meat from the casings and form meatballs. Normally a package of bratwurst comes with five links and out of each link you can get 4 to 5 meatballs, depending on how large you want them.
- In your Instant Pot, using the sauté option, cook the onions and meatballs in oil for about 8 minutes, or until brown on all sides. Hit cancel.
- Add the can of chicken broth, seal the pot and make sure all of the settings are correct for the pressure cooking. Select the pressure cook option and set the time at ten minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, clean and slice the mushrooms and set aside.
- Let the Instant Pot release naturally for 15 minutes, then do the quick release. Once the pin has dropped, unplug the pot and carefully remove the lid. Using a slotted spoon, take out the cooked meatballs and set aside. In a small cup, mix the two tablespoons of flour with about a 1/4 cup of the liquid. Then add that mixture back into the pot and whisk in until completely smooth.
- Add the mushrooms, and, if desired, salt and pepper. Using the sauté function, bring the ingredients to a boil for about 6–8 minutes, depending on how firm you like the mushrooms. Hit cancel.
- Once done, unplug the pot and add back the meatballs. The gravy is hot so use caution. Stir everything together and serve as desired.
Forming the Meatballs
To shape the meatballs, remove the sausage meat from the casing, either by pulling it out in sections, or cutting open the casing. Set aside on a plate. Mince the onions.
Getting Ready to Cook
Place the oil in the pot insert and add the meatballs and onions. Cook on the sauté setting until brown. Add the chicken broth and seal the pot according to directions. Cook, using the pressure cooker option, for 10 minutes.
Cooking With the Pressure Cooker Feature
Once the meatballs have finished cooking, let the steam release naturally for 15 minutes, then do a quick release and carefully take the lid off of the pot.
Getting Ready to Make the Gravy
Mix the flour with some of the liquid and whisk into the liquid until smooth. Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper if desired. Cook on the sauté function for about 6 - 8 minutes. Add back the sausage, mix and serve.
This dish is versatile and can be served with so many different things. I served the meatballs over mashed potatoes and with a side of sauerkraut. Here are some traditional German side dish suggestions.
Spaetzle (German Egg Noodles)
Flat Egg Noodles
German Potato Salad
The History of Bratwurst and a Few Fun Facts
- Did you know that bratwurst can be traced back to before the fourteenth century? There are a few areas that claim to have invented bratwurst, Franconia, Thüringen, and Nüremburg. However, there is other evidence that it was the Celtics that invented it.
- Did you know that there are over 50 different variations of bratwurst around Germany? The spices and sizes vary from area to area.
- In the United States, Madison, Wisconsin holds, what they call, the "Largest Brats Festival in the World" every year and Bucyrus, Ohio calls itself the "Bratwurst Capital of America".
- In Germany, bratwurst is pretty much a generic name for sausage, hence the reason that there are so many versions of it.
- The record for most brats consumed over a four day period is 209,376 in 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin.
- The world's longest bratwurst was made in the parking lot of Lambeau field in, you guessed it, Wisconsin. It measured 120 yards. To put that in perspective, a football field is the same size!
The most well-known varieties of the sausage are:
- Rote Wurst
What do you think about this recipe?
© 2018 Claudia Mitchell
Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 23, 2018:
I usually eat it in the casing, but really enjoyed this twist. German food is really good, some of it's a bit heavy, but good. Thanks for stopping by!
Adrienne Farricelli on June 21, 2018:
I lived in Germany a couple of years when hubby was in the Army and enjoyed the food there. I never thought of getting the meat out of the bratwurst casings to make meatballs! This dish sounds deliscious and I am sure it will bring back some good memories of Deutschland!
Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 16, 2018:
Thank you Peggy. I'm really loving my Instant Pot. Check out what all they can do, it's pretty impressive. I made a simple pot roast a couple of weeks ago and it was fork tender in no time. Everything stays really juicy too. The nice thing about this recipe is that the bratwurst taste completely different than the standard grilled link. I hope you give it a try.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2018:
This sounds interesting and good. We love eating bratwurst and usually treat ourselves to it several times a year. I never thought of making them into meatballs. I am not familiar with an instant pot. We finally got rid of our old pressure cooker and have not replaced it. It sounds like an instant pot does the work of a pressure cooker and possibly has even more functions from what you wrote. I'll have to look that up.