Currywurst

Currywurst is a popular German dish, and a staple of fast-food eating in the country. Its influence is so far-reaching that the dish is even served at McDonald’s, and is almost always accompanied by its own iconic fork (I used a spork in my photo, a fair alternative).

Currywurst was first served in the 1950s, in Berlin, as an object of Western influence; ketchup was introduced from the UK following World War II, and later paired with sausages, fries, and curry powder – the basic elements of Currywurst.

For today’s recipe, we’ll make a quick tomato sauce, subtly spiced, and serve it with your choice of sausage — anything from bratwurst to hot dogs will work. Before we build the sauce, be sure to get some potatoes in the oven, as they’re the most time-consuming element of this dead-simple recipe.

Currywurst (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet, Paleo, Primal)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy

3 potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
1/4 cup lard, duck fat, or coconut oil
salt to taste

for the sauce:
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp mild curry powder, more to serve
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
2 drops liquid smoke
salt to taste

1 pkg fully-cooked kielbasa or hot dogs of your choice

1. Prepare the fries. I suggest the “Perfect Oven Fries” recipe in Paleo Takeout (page 290) if you own the book, or this recipe for Roasted Duck Fat Potatoes. Both processes take about an hour to make, so prep them, get them in the oven, and we’ll put the rest together as they cook.

2. In a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often; once it starts to simmer, reduce heat to low and allow the flavors to marry, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. As the fries continue to cook, and the sauce simmers, prepare the sausages or hot dogs. Add them to a pan and heat over medium-low, rolling and jostling every few minutes, until plump and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.

4. Once the fries are ready, salt them to taste then transfer to a plate. Slice the sausage into bite-sized chunks and spoon the tomato sauce over the sausage pieces, then sprinkle on some curry powder and serve.

18 thoughts on “Currywurst

  1. Germans are actually still discussing where the Currywurst was really invented. While many will say Berlin, especially people from Western Germany would probably go with the Ruhrpott area :-) And over there you’ll eat your fries with ketchup/curry sauce plus mayonnaise (which makes it an even more unhealthy dish, but hey – who cares for healthiness if it comes to Currywurst anyway?).
    Unfortunately I don’t have a very good Currywurst place anywhere near here so I will definitely try your sauce recipe! Tring

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    1. It’s definetely from the Ruhrpott area. Currywurst places in the Rurhpott area and Germany in general, is as common as mcdonalds or kfc in the us. The typical Currywurst is Bratwurst (grey sausage) with the curry sauce, fries with ketchup and mayonaise :) my mother grew up in the Ruhrpott area :)

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  2. I love Currywurst, but I think I am actually too long in the US to know that it is served at McDonald`s. Really?? I also have my own recipe for the sauce and the ingredients are a little bit different. But I will tell you that I put a little bit of orange juice into my one! I guess I have to try yours!

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  3. Planning to try this tonight but don’t want to do French fries – too much starch in potatoes for us. Can you suggest a different side?

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    1. Hi Michele, I would suggesting roasting another vegetable instead of potatoes – maybe turnips, or parsnips? The process is similar to my roasted potatoes recipe linked above; boil them for a couple minutes, drain and cool, then roast in your choice of cooking fat. Other vegetables, which don’t require pre-boiling, can also be roasted, like carrots, brussels sprouts, or broccoli. Good luck!

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  4. One correction: They haven’t served Currywurst in Mcdonalds since 2013, and only had it for a few months to begin with.

    So, they did this co-op with a big boss in the German soccer game, Uli HoeneƟ, who delivered the wurst for this. (they had previously had him deliver the wurst for a different limited-time offer, too.)
    But then HoeneƟ got implicated badly for tax evasion and became somewhat disresputable.
    Shortly after, the McCurrywurst was phased out again, with McDonalds claiming that it had always only been meant as a limited-time-offer that was supposed to stop at that time anyway, no one is entirely sure whether it’s true or not since it wasn’t announced as a limited-time-offer which they often do.

    (Reviews of the McCurrywurst were very mixed and big parts of the internet made fun of it. It did sell well, though. And German McDonalds really got into hot water with this for a while because HoeneƟ was a very good advertising partner, but they haven’t cooperated since)

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    1. You could use any other sweetener you’re comfortable with, like maple syrup or coconut sugar, in equal portions. Similarly, if you are avoiding any sugars, 2 tbsp of applesauce would work pretty well. Hope that helps!

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      1. Thanks! I am doing a strict whole30 right now, and this sauce sounds like it might be a fun alternative to ketchup in general. Planning to try it later this week!

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    1. Hi Jennifer, I don’t make my own sausage or hot dogs, and shop around for high-quality versions for us to eat. Generally, I have a mantra to “let the experts do what they do”; for example, I could theoretically make olive oil, but there’s no way that I’d make it as well as the folks who make it every day over the course of years. Likewise, making mayo is relatively easy, but there are several companies that make high-quality, shelf-stable mayo and I like to support them so that they will be more likely to be in grocery stores. So as much as I enjoy new projects, I also value what others can bring to my kitchen for me! That being said, sausage-making is a project that I hope to tackle soon, just as soon as I find room for another gadget in the house :)

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