Skip to main content

The Bend Magazine

Choose Your Toppings

01/30/2020 02:00PM ● By Kayla Butts

By: Kayla & Justin Butts  Photos by: Rachel Benavides

Ryan Keller is a master of his craft. He produces the most extraordinary ingredients – pork, beef, chicken, and more, and it is not easy work. 

Turkey Hollow Farm is located in the black soil and green grass of Cuero, Texas. Keller works the farm with his wife Krystle and sons Aiden and Jett. He pioneered his own farm to create a wholesome lifestyle for his family around the ideal of growing the best possible food.

The Kellers live this ideal every morning – walking to the fields before sunrise through the dew-soaked grass, shaking off sleep, starting the thousand chores of the day. They spend the days, whether blistering hot or frosty cold, herding cattle to new ranges for fresh grass; moving chicken flocks to new pastures, lush with weeds and bugs; and tending their prized boars, sows, and piglets. 

Much time is devoted to raising their porkers in the dark forests of Turkey Hollow Farm. The porkers roam the countryside eating acorns, brush, roots, and all manner of native foodstuffs. This natural diet creates a product that rivals the Iberian pork of Spain, except not so famous. Instead, it is completely local. 

The Kellers’ passion for farming fits perfectly with our passion for ingredients. Ryan’s work is dirty, difficult, exhausting, and often dangerous (try separating a 900-pound boar from a sow in season). But this work of the farmer makes our time in the kitchen simple and easy.

Extraordinary ingredients create extraordinary meals. These brats from Turkey Hollow Farm are so delicious, we only need to cook them simply, bake some quick homemade rolls, and add toppings. It is that easy to have the best brats of your life. We offer three toppings here to suit any brat mood. Which make this the perfect meal for Super Bowl Sunday, might we add! 

Turkey Hollow Farm sells original and spicy brats, breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, amazing link sausage, cured bacon, rasher bacon, smoked ham steaks, and even smoked ham hocks! They have pork chops, ground pork, pork spare ribs, and ham steaks. In addition to this amazing pork selection, Turkey Hollow Farm offers a full selection of grass-fed beef, from T-bones to roasts to ground beef. They also offer chicken, lamb, and goat. Did we mention they are hard-working people? 

You can find Turkey Hollow Farm at the Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers’ Market every Wednesday from 5–8pm.

Call Ryan and Krystle at 361-550-5980 or look up Turkey Hollow Farm on Facebook and check out the beautiful photographs and farm updates. To see their full list of products or to place an order, visit their website at 

Bratwurst Dogs with Homemade Buns
Makes 8

Prep time: 15 minutes
In-active prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 45 minutes

2 packages Turkey Hollow Farm
Original Brats

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp quick rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 tbsp butter, room temperature. 

In a standing mixer or large bowl combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt and mix well. Add milk and butter and knead with the dough hook attachment or with your hands for 5 minutes, until a soft dough is formed. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise for one hour, until doubled in size. Remove dough from the bowl and cut into eight equal pieces. Shape each piece into a batard and place on a baking sheet ½ inch apart. Cover the buns with the tea towel and let rise an additional hour. 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, cook brats on each side for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to skillet and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes, or until brats are cooked through. Once oven is preheated, cook buns for 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet after ten minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack. Cut open the center of each bun and place brat inside. Your brats are ready to dress. 

Brats with Sauerkraut and Bacon Aioli
Variation 1: 

Sauerkraut: In a large clean bowl, combine a head of shredded cabbage with 2 tablespoons salt. Using a potato masher or your hands, knead and squeeze the cabbage for 10 minutes, until its juices are released. Add 1 tablespoon caraway seeds. Place mixture in a clean mason jar and press down to remove air. Cover with one whole cabbage leaf and seal with a cheesecloth fastened with a rubber band. Let ferment at 60-70 degrees for at least three days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. 

Bacon Aioli: Crumble 3 slices of cooked bacon and set aside. In a food processor, pulse 2 cloves garlic with a generous pinch of salt. Add 1 large egg yolk and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard. While the food processor is on, slowly drizzle olive oil (about 1/2-2/3 cup) into the feed tube of the food processor until a thick, creamy consistency results. Stir in bacon crumbles. 

To assemble: Slather a tablespoon of spicy mustard on each brat dog, followed by a tablespoon of aioli, and top with 1/4-1/3 cup sauerkraut. 

Tex-Mex Brats
Variation 2: 

Queso: In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 1/2 diced onion, 1 minced jalapeno, and 2 cloves minced garlic seasoned with a pinch of salt, sauteeing until translucent. Add 1 cup whole milk, plus 1 cup heavy cream. Stirring frequently, add 12 ounces each sharp cheddar and white American cheese. Add 1/4 tsp cumin, if desired. 

Pico de Gallo: In a medium bowl, combine 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, 1 minced jalapeno, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, the juice of one lime, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir until well incorporated.

Guacamole: In a medium bowl, mash 3 ripened avocados with the juice of one lime, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. 

To assemble: Ladle 1/4 cup of queso on each brat, followed by a heaping spoonful of guac, topping with a heaping spoonful of pico. 

Korean Brats
Variation 3: 

Quick Kimchi: In a large bowl, combine 1 cup shredded cabbage, 2 large carrots that have been shredded, 3 diced green onions, 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), and 2 tsp salt with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar. Stir to combine well and refrigerate until ready to use. Store in the refrigerator and use for up to two weeks. 

Sweet Peppers: Combine 1/2 cup sliced thai peppers with 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Cover with enough rice wine vinegar until mixture is submerged and stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to use and store for up to 2 weeks.

Sriracha Mustard: Stir 1/4 cup yellow mustard and 2 tbsp sriracha until well combined. 

To assemble: Spoon 1 tbsp sriracha mustard on each brat dog, followed by 1/4 cup kimchi and 2 tbsp sweet peppers.