How to Cook Polish Sausage Wherever You Are in the World
Eastern Europeans have long known the secret to their fountain of youth lies in one thing: polish sausages.
Sausage equals fountain of youth? Ironic, isn’t it?
Locally known as kielbasa, it combines the generations-old traditions in cooking that are safe, efficient, and nutrient-savvy. Kielbasa, therefore, was way ahead of its time. Many forums point out to questions on “How to cook polish sausage,” but would have varying responses along the way.
Is there a single and traditional way to cook polish sausages?
Let’s find out!
Why Is Polish Sausage One of the Secrets to Long Life When It’s Made of—Meat?
But before we go further, let’s first take a look as to what’s in every polish sausage, and what makes it unique compared to other kinds of meat.
Content: What’s in Every Polish Sausage
Polish sausage is lower in calories compared to other red meats in its category. It has a glycemic load of only one (1), which means it is safe to eat for people with sugar problems. It is low in carbohydrates (only 2 grams), and high in protein (9 grams).
You get more nutrients when polish sausage is homemade and/or bought in a traditional store. Non-commercial polish sausages have more fiber and nutrients, packed with iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, and K. As you will see later on, you will be surprised that meat can also deliver vitamins and minerals that the body needs—and this is far from the bad reputation meat gets these days.
What makes polish sausages stand out from other meats, though, is with its probiotic content: that healthy bacteria that is found in yogurts and fermented foods. This is a unique feature of polish sausages as probiotics are commonly not found in meats.
Health Benefits of Polish Sausages
Apart from the probiotic content which is a big plus, health-wise, for polish sausages, there are other health benefits these sausages can offer:
1. High in potassium:
At 225 mg per serving, it is surprising to know that it even has a higher potassium content compared to orange, cantaloupe, melon, pear, apple, peach, pineapple, strawberry, watermelon, cranberry and papaya. Potassium is a useful mineral in keeping the heart, kidneys, liver, and brain function optimally.
2. High in selenium
At 14.6 mcg per serving, polish sausages prove to be good for your metabolism as well, as regulating metabolism is the key function of this mineral. It even has a higher selenium content compared to asparagus, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, cow’s milk, flaxseeds, cabbage, spinach, garlic, broccoli, and Swiss chard.
When nutrition looks like this… It’s heaven.
3. High in phosphorus:
At 128 mg per serving, this mineral is important in keeping the body’s efficiency in its intake and exhale of oxygen. This mineral also works side-by-side with calcium in keeping bones healthy. Polish sausages also have higher phosphorus content compared to oysters, shrimp, crabs, bread, and tortillas.
4. High in choline:
At 44 mg per serving, it’s also very high in choline, an important mineral that helps the body in the growth of brain cells, and in the synthetization of muscle protein. It does not go far when compared with seafood and grains in terms of choline content.
Kinds of Polish Sausages All Over the World
Polish sausages are very versatile and to put in here all the varieties found all over the world will lead us into pouring hundreds and hundreds of pages of writing. So we’ll list some of the most popular ones, and we’ll also go into detail on how we can enjoy these recipes at home. So stay tuned!
1. Biala kielbasa:
Pronounced as beeyah-wah keeyehw-bah-sah, this is a polish sausage variety that is made from pork, beef or veal shoulder. Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and marjoram, it is boiled, browned or baked. It is then served with sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and noodles or bread.
2. Krupniok/ Kiszka/ Kaszanka:
Pronounced as kroop-nyee-ohk, keesh-kah, and kah-shahn-kah, this type is also known as “blood sausage.” From the name itself you can guess what it’s mainly made of: blood. It is usually made of pig ears, snouts, and/or organ meats cut in small pieces, then simmered with barley and spices. The whole mixture is then stuffed in a pig intestine, then grilled or boiled. The sausages are usually served with onions.
Pronounced as kab-bah-noh-sih, this is also called “hunter’s sausage.” A thin variety of polish sausage, it’s usually made of pork or chicken, then seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, spices, and crushed chili peppers. They are formed into long meat tenders, then smoked or dried.
From these varieties, we will be doing recipes with biala kielbasa because of this being the most popular and known type of polish sausage all over the world. Also, ingredients for biala kielbasa is more available throughout the world, and its techniques can be done comfortably at home.
If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to try making Kupniok (blood sausage), you can check out the recipe here. If you’re also a fan of smoked and dried meats, you may want to try making the Kabanosy (hunter’s sausage) with the recipe found here.
Are you ready to try? Read below for the step-by-step instructions on how to make your homemade polish sausages!
How Do I Make Biala Kielbasa (Polish Sausage)?
It can be daunting to make your own sausage when you’ve been used to buying your own from a butcher or grocery. But you will soon realize that it’s rewarding to be enjoying your homemade sausage because you know exactly what you are putting in the food you eat.
Our kudos to Barbara Kolek, Eastern European Food Expert of About Food, for providing this recipe.
Ingredients (good for 6-8 people)
- 14 feet hog casings, rinsed three times with running water
- 4 pounds boneless, well-marbled pork shoulder, cut according to your grinder needs
- ½ cup cold water
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed in press
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- Meat grinder for home use
- Sausage stuffer for home use
Step-by-Step Preparing and Cooking Procedure (Stay tuned for the bonus at the end!)
1. Cut meat according to your grinder’s specifications:
Make sure you read what it says on your grinder, because every grinder is different. A rule of thumb, is to slice to meat into narrow strips, then to cut these strips into thirds.
2. Grind the meat coarsely:
Push the sliced meat down the grinder chute using a wooden pestle to make the polish sausage. Word of caution: never put your fingers in a grinder at any time it’s running or not running.
3. Add seasonings to ground meat:
Combine water, garlic, salt, pepper, and marjoram until salt has dissolved. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
4. Check the seasonings:
Make sure you’re happy with your mix of seasonings. It’s important to remember that sausages should be over-spiced because these tend to lose some of their flavors in the process.
5. Slip a casing on the sausage stuffer:
Knot one end of the casing. Lightly coat the stuffer tube with nonstick spray, then slip the other end of casing on the tube and push up until you are nearly at the end of the knot.
6. Place ground meat in the hopper:
Fill the hopper with ground meat and push it through with the wooden pestle.
7. Begin to stuff the meat into the casing:
Check out your sausage stuffer’s instructions for recommended speeds. Then, you can begin to force the meat into the casing with one hand, then the other to control the thickness of the sausage link. Be sure to make it’s stuffed generously (but not overstuffed), because once you boil, the sausage will shrink. You can then choose to leave the casing long, or to twist it at 6-inch intervals.
8. Boil the sausage:
Boil the sausage first, on high heat. When it’s boiling profusely bring it down to a medium-low heat, then simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
9. Serve with your favorite sides:
When we talk of this on an Eastern European perspective, any polish sausage is best enjoyed with sauerkraut and bread. It is then important for us to also know how to make sauerkraut so we get the best experience with our homemade polish sausage.
For the more visual readers, here is a video on how to make polish sausage the traditional way. This is an heirloom recipe shared by the Rybacks family:
A Step-by-step instructional guide on how to make polish sausage
Bonus recipe! How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut by far is the best side you can have with your polish sausage, so it can also be worth your time to try making one at home.
Here is the recipe for you to try:
Ingredients (makes 1 to 1.5 quarts)
- 1 medium head green cabbage
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Mixing bowl
- 2-quart wide-mouth canning or mason jars
- Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
- Clean stones, marbles or other weights for weighting the jelly jar
- Cloth for covering the jar
- Rubber band for securing the cloth
Step-by-Step Preparing and Cooking Procedure
- 1. Clean thoroughly: clean your cabbage thoroughly, and this means going through every leaf and cleaning it on both sides under running water. This is an important part because we are going to ferment the cabbage, and so it’s important to start with a fresh and clean slate of ingredients.
- 2. Slice the cabbage: cut the cabbage into quarters and trim the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Then slice again each wedge crosswise into thin ribbons.Combine the cabbage and salt: transfer the cabbage into a big mixing bowl then sprinkle the salt on top. Using your hands, cover the whole cabbage batch with salt. This can take around 5-10 minutes. For extra flavor, you can also add in the caraway seeds.
- 3. Pack the cabbage into the jar: very loosely strain the cabbage-salt mixture, then place the cabbage and excess salt mixture into the jars.Weigh the cabbage down: once you’ve placed all cabbage leaves in the jars, weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. Doing this will help keep the cabbage submerged in its own liquid.
- 4. Cover the jar: cover the mouth of the jar with cloth, then secure with rubber band. This will help secure the mixture from having dusts or insects.
- 5. Press the cabbage every few hours: after 24 hours, regularly press down the cabbage with the weights. This is important to keep the cabbage intact and compact.
- 6. Ferment for 3-10 days: leave the cabbage-salt mixture in the jar for 3-10 days, depending on the level of fermentation that you want (more days mean higher fermentation). Keep this in a cool room temperature, and keep away from direct sunlight.
- 7. Enjoy with polish sausage: sauerkraut is the perfect complement to your polish sausage. Serve and enjoy!
Here is a video on how to make your own sauerkraut at home:
We hope you’ve enjoyed our step-by-step guide on how to cook polish sausage. It can be surprising that something as authentic and traditional as this dish can now be enjoyed in the comforts of your home, wherever you are in the world.
We hope you enjoyed the guide as much as we enjoyed creating it. Please feel free to share the article if you’ve enjoyed it; and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to put your comments below. We would love to hear from you!