Today we will pay our respect to a far-away land from the heart of the European continent- Poland.
Neighbouring Germany on one side, and the Czech Republic on the other, it is no wonder that Polish people grew to love sausages and beer.
For this reason, we have decided to choose the Polish sausage, also known as kielbasa, as our topic for today.
Read the following text, and you will find out how cook fresh Polish sausage in the comfort of your home.
When your Polish sausages are ready, you’ll only have to find a bottle of good European beer and enjoy the full taste of Central European cuisine!
A Few Facts About Polish Sausages
The art of making sausages have been passed on to the Polish people by the Romans who have inhabited and traded on their territory as early as 500 B.C. Romans were famous for enjoying pork and had an assortment of sausages. The new way to prepare meat which allowed it to stay good for longer awoken a great interest in most of the Polish people and had become popular rather quickly. Due to the high price of meat and the complicated process, at this time sausages were reserved only for the privileged class.
With the development of food markets in the Middle Ages, the culinary ideas could be easily exchanged among the ordinary people and making sausages became a common thing. In fact, every region had a recipe for kielbasa, and many types of sausages still bear the names of regions that they were first created in.
The first written occurrence of the word kielbasa is found in the writings of the 18th century, which thoroughly describe a long, dark sausage that was served to the knights. People tried to create sausages at their homes and made up their own recipes as well, adding different spices and combining various ingredients. The popularity of sausages persisted to this day, and Polish people nowadays enjoy sausages as much as ever before, if not more. So, why wouldn’t you too?
How To Make A Fresh Polish Sausage
It is hard to choose one specific recipe for the fresh polish sausage and name it THE ONE and ONLY- that would not be true. How so? Well, every Polish family has a recipe of their own, and although they are always alike, most of these recipes have something different that makes them unique as well.
It could be a bit more salt and pepper, a different spice, less meat or different combination of ingredients- it is seldom something completely out of line, but rather some small touches that make these sausages authentic. Even the smallest change results in different taste- just enough to please the one person that makes it!
For this reason, the recipe should be taken as a guideline, and you too should feel free to experiment a bit and discover the best Polish sausage for your personal taste! When you reach perfection, you can claim the recipe, pass it on to your children and make it a family tradition.
Extra Tip: In order to decide whether your sausage is seasoned to your taste, add the spices sparingly and fry little bits of the sausage filling mixture to try if their flavor suits you! In this way, you can experiment with different spices and their combination without ruining the taste of the whole mixture.
In order to successfully make the fresh Polish sausages you will need the following:
1. A garlic press
2. A hand-cranked or An electric grinder
3. A stuffer
4. 4 pounds of well-marbled, boneless pork shoulder (you will have to slice this meat into 1-inch-wide strips)
5. 14 feet hog casings (make sure to thoroughly rinse them at least three times and refrigerate them immediately)
6. 1/2 cup of cold water
7. 2 cloves of garlic ( you will need to crush them in the press)
8. 1 teaspoon of black pepper
9. 4 teaspoons of salt
10. 1 teaspoon of pulverized leaf marjoram
The preparation process:
● Grind the meat – it is best to grind your meat cold as it will be much easier, we even recommend half-freezing the meat to ease the process even more. If you followed up and already sliced the meat, now you simply need to grind those strips of meat by using the grinder of your choice (hand-cranked or electric) and place the ground meat into a large bowl.
● Combine the spices – Use a separate small bowl to mix water with salt, pepper, pressed garlic and marjoram. Pour this mixture into the large bowl and combine it with the ground meat. Remember our advice about finding the perfect balance of spices? Now is the great time to follow up on it!
● Refrigerate the ground meat mixture – Ideally, the ground meat mixture should spend a night in your refrigerator, but if you are too impatient, or do not have that much time to spare, you can wait for the minimum of two hours.
● Stuff the sausages – take the casings out of the refrigerator and tie a knot at one side (make sure it is strong enough to hold some pressure). Use the cooking spray to coat the stuffing funnel a bit and then position the free end of the casing onto it. Straighten it well and make sure that you center the opening of the casing around the funnel. You can then push the rest of the casing onto it all the way down to the knot you have tied.
Forcing the meat into the stuffer, make sure that you squeeze the extruded sausage to the desired thickness. Take into account that every sausage shrinks when you cook it! On the other hand, you must also be careful not to overdo it as the casing can easily burst too.
When you fill the whole casing, you must tie another knot at the end and then make links by twisting the extruded sausage at every five inches or so.
● Refrigerate your fresh Polish sausages – it is best to cover them and leave them to sit in the refrigerator for two days so that all the spices can infuse the meat and create the full flavor you crave for. If you are not going to use them right away, you can freeze them for up to six months.
When choosing the meat for your sausages look for 70% to 30% ratio of meat to fat, especially if you like your sausages succulent.
Everything must be kept cold! This is especially important when you stuff the sausages- if the casings are cold and wet and your meat is cold too, the stuffing process will go a lot smoother. For this reason, we recommend that you keep your meat refrigerated during stuffing and take out only as much as you need at the certain moment.
How To Cook Fresh Polish Sausage
Now that you have made your perfect little fresh Polish sausages, it is time to cook them and eat them! We can imagine how eager you all feel, so we will get down to business and tell you how to cook fresh Polish sausage so that it turns out perfectly done and tasty!
The first thing you need to do, and you must never forget this step, is to use a fork or a thin knife and prick the sausage along its entire length. In this way, you will let the air out, and your sausage will not explode while you cook it in the water.
Take a larger pot and fill it with water. Place the sausages in the water and place the pot on your stove. Set the stove to medium heat and bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about half an hour. Do not cover the pot.
Once it is cooked, you can brown it. We recommend using the grill, although you can use the oven too, or simply fry the sausage for about fifteen minutes. If you choose the grill, five minutes on each side will do the job.
The cooking liquid can be used to cook a traditional Polish soup called żurek,especially if you want to feel like you are really there in beautiful Poland.
You can also cook some potatoes together with sausages and then brown them a bit too- that will make a great side dish. Sour cabbage is also a good combo dish.
However, we do not go through all that trouble, fresh Polish sausages cooked to perfection, hot and sizzling in our plates and cold beer in our glass- that is all we need for our total enjoyment!