I have a lot of admiration for European cuisine because some of my favorite foods can be found in their recipes. One of them is kielbasa, the Polish sausage.
Every time we visited my cousin and her husband, who is of Polish descent, they gave us Polish sausages and cool European beer. I soon realized that my husband’s underlying motivation for seeing them more frequently is sausages when I watched him coming up with excuses.
How To Cook Polish Sausage?
I knew I had to learn how to cook the polish sausage, or my husband would eventually move to my cousin’s house, and therefore I called her up and found out all I needed to know about these polish delicates.
Read on, and you too will learn how to cook polish sausages and satisfy both your hunger and your man.
Fun Facts about Polish Sausages
- The Polish people started making sausages as early as 500 B.C. The knowledge was passed on to them by the Romans, but they soon made it their tradition.
- Every region in Poland has its own recipe for kielbasa. Many varieties of this dish bear the name of the region they were first created in. In fact, there are more than 100 types of kielbasa known today.
- The word kielbasa first occurred in the writings of the 18th century. Kielbasa was described as a long, dark, heavily smoked sausage that is served to the knights of higher stature.
- Knights and noblemen were often carrying these sausages on their belts, especially during long travels. It was a great source of protein that stayed safe to eat for a long time.
- Traditionally, the kielbasa recipe calls for pork, pepper, salt, marjoram, and garlic. However, in 1964, the government of Poland decided to interfere with sausage making and thus introduced a new variety of kielbasa that is made with 80% pork and 20% beef. The spices remained the same, though.
- The kielbasa is traditionally smoked with cold smoke for one to one and a half days. In this manner, the flavor stays locked in for longer.
You Can Do It Too: How to Make a Polish Sausage Kielbasa
Nowadays, polish sausages are very popular worldwide, and as a result, you can buy them in most local stores or order them in numerous restaurants. However, you need to be careful and choose wisely if you want to enjoy authentic taste.
For this reason, my cousin often makes her own sausages. She uses the recipe given to her by her mother-in-law who told her that it was passed on from generation to generation during their family history.
In fact, every Polish family has a recipe of their own. The differences are not great so all the kielbasas stay alike while being unique at the same time. Some have more salt or pepper than others; some have less meat or a different spice – it is never something out of line but rather a small touch that allows you to call that sausage your own and adjust it to your personal taste.
The recipe that follows should, therefore, be taken as a guideline as you too can experiment a bit and create the Polish sausage that will please your palate the most!
Once you discover the perfect combination of ingredients, you can claim the recipe and make it a part of your family tradition that will be passed on from generation to generation.
In order to find a perfect combo, start by using the spices sparingly and fry small portions of the sausage filling to try it out. In this way, you can discover the ideal flavor without ruining the entire batch.
It is high time for us to move on to the actual recipe (Thanks, cousin Mary!).
So, you will need the following ingredients:
- Four pounds of well-marbled, boneless pork shoulder sliced into 1-inch-wide strips
- Fourteen feet of well-rinsed hog casings
- Half a cup of cold water (the colder, the better!)
- Two crushed garlic cloves
- Salt (my cousin uses four teaspoons, but you can use more or less according to your preference)
- One teaspoon of Black pepper
- One teaspoon of leaf marjoram (pulverized)
You will also need to use a:
- Garlic press
- Electric grinder (here are some reviewed)
- Sausage stuffer(here are some reviewed)
- Large mixing bowl
- Small bowl to mix the spices in
You are now five steps away from successfully making your first batch of polish sausages that will have no harmful additives like the ones we buy.
These steps are as follows:
- Grinding the meat – Put the sliced meat into the electric grinder and let it do its job. Transfer the ground meat into a large mixing bowl and set it aside. Extra Tip: Make sure that meat is cold (you can even half-freeze it) before you start grinding it!
- Combining the spices – Pour the water into a small bowl and add the salt, pepper, pulverized marjoram, and pressed garlic. Make sure you mix it all well. Add the mixture to the ground meat and use your hands to combine it well too. Extra Tip: It is now time to follow up on my advice and try to discover the ideal balance of spices for your personal taste!
- Refrigerating the mixture – Leave the ground meat mixture in your refrigerator for one night. If you are in a hurry and cannot allow that much time to pass, you can leave it for a minimum of two hours before you move on to the next step.
- Stuffing the polish sausages – Tie a knot at one side of the hog casing, making sure it is really strong so that it can hold the pressure and not burst. Spray the stuffing funnel with some cooking and then pull over the free end of the casing onto it. The opening of the casing must be well centered around the funnel before you push the rest of the casing onto it. It is now time to gently force the meat into the stuffer while carefully squeezing the extruded sausage to achieve the thickness you want. Once the casing is full, tie the end into another knot and twist the sausage every five inches to create links. Extra Tip: Every sausage shrinks a bit when it is cooked, so make your kielbasas thicker! Do be careful not to overdo it, or otherwise, the casing might burst!
- Refrigerating the polish sausages – The sausage should not be cooked the same day they are made, although you can fry some if you cannot wait to try them out. For best results, kielbasas should stay in the refrigerator for at least two days so that all the spices have enough time to work their magic – create the flavor we crave for! Extra Tips: The polish sausages can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. The market for polish sausages should not be too lean – the perfect ratio of meat and fat is 70% to 30% (In this way, they will be succulent and tastier). Keep both the casings and the meat very cold as that will make the stuffing process much easier.
The Topic of the Day: How to Cook Polish Sausage
We have reached the most important question – how to cook Polish sausages the right way!
To be honest, there are more than a few ways you can cook polish sausages and thoroughly enjoy them. I bet you are becoming impatient, especially if you have made your sausages and got to feel how tasty they are, so I will get down to the business right away!
Before we start, I have one final piece of advice you MUST NOT FORGET: Always prick the sausages with a fork along their entire length before cooking them or otherwise the air inside them will cause them to explode!
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Cooking the polished sausage
- Fill a large pot with water, put the sausages in it, and put it on the stovetop.
- Set the stovetop to medium heat and wait for the water to boil. Take a larger pot and fill it with water.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the polished sausages simmer in an uncovered pot for half an hour.
- Preheat the grill (if you do not have one, you can use the oven to brown the sausages, too) and place the sausages on it.
- Let them cook for five minutes and then turn them around. After another five minutes, your polish sausages are good to go!
- You can fry the sausages in a non-stick frying pan as well. Seven minutes on each side should do the trick!
- Do not throw the water the polish sausages were cooked in – you can use it for cooking a delicious traditional Polish soup called Ејurek.
- If you cook a few potatoes together with polished sausages and then brown them as well, you will have a side dish ready with no additional effort at all!
- Polish sausages go exquisitely with cooked sour cabbage too.
There you go, my friends; you can now enjoy the polish sausages as much as my hubby does. To be completely honest, I also find the hot and sizzling kielbasas and cold beer combo very hard to resist!
If you want to be able to properly pour your beer for this occasion, don’t forget to read my reviews of the five favorite kegerators on the market today! 🙂