Stubborn Brats Taste Good
Sacramento has some new brats, courtesy of Testa Duro Salumi. Made by chef Jason Azevedo, these sausages really stand out for their authentic flavor and texture. My husband grew up eating German bratwurst and he loved the fine texture and flavoring. Testa Duro brats are flavored with ginger and nutmeg, instead of allspice, which many sausage makers use. They were great with sauteed apples and sweet potato fries–plus a Deschutes seasonal Jubelale.
I talked to Jason recently and he said that he started Testa Duro while he was between jobs (It’s named after the nickname his grandfather used for him. Testa Duro means “stubborn.”). He used to work for Old Soul and could often be seen smoking his famous bacon in the alley. Now he’s at Stonehouse Bistro in Rancho Murieta, where they feature a Testa Duro sausage of the day at lunch. I found him on Facebook, where you can “like” the Testa Duro page and get notices when Jason has a new batch of sausages and bacon coming. Recently I ordered the bratwurst, some Irish breakfast links (with whiskey and potatoes), a pound of bacon, and some saucissons–a French-style sausage.
So far we’ve tried the brats and bacon. The bacon is thick-cut and smoky and was fantastic on a bacon, avocado, and tomato sandwich! I’d love to do a taste comparison with some of John Bledsoe’s bacon, which we also love. Maybe it could be a bac-off?
Keep in mind that if you buy the bratwurst or bockwurst, you need to poach them first. German sausages do better if you prick the skins, put them in water to cover, and boil for 5 minutes. That warms up the sausages throughout so that when you brown them, they don’t burst. I drained off the water, added a pat of butter and some sliced apples, and cooked them all together until the brats were browned all over. A bite of sausage, a bite of apple, and a swig of beer were the perfect combo.