I remember my busia, mother and aunts making Polish biała kiełbasa (BEEYAH-wah keeyehw-BAH-sah) or white sausage every year for Easter and Christmas. It was an all-day job. The hog casings were rinsed and soaked to rid them of their salt, and the pork was cut by hand and stuffed into the casings using a metal funnel. The house was perfumed with the aroma of garlic for days.
Today, we have the luxury of electric meat grinders and extruders, making this a very simple process.
Every family has its own recipe. This is the way my family likes it. You can adjust it as you see fit -- more garlic, less salt, more pepper, whatever. Just fry up a small patty before you stuff to make sure you have the flavor balance that pleases you most.
Here are my special tips. Sausage should be made with a 70% to 30% ratio of meat to fat. Most pork shoulders you buy in supermarkets today are pre-trimmed, so don't cut off any excess fat. You will need it to achieve that perfect ratio that makes for succulent sausage.
Everything must be COLD. In fact, I like to have my meat so cold, it's slightly frozen when I grind it. I have used both KitchenAid and Cuisinart grinder/stuffers and they both call for meat sliced into long 1-inch-wide strips and this works very well. Also, make sure your rinsed casings are cold and wet. And, most of all, make sure the ground meat that you are stuffing into the casings is COLD. If necessary, work with small batches of meat at a time, while keeping the remainder in the refrigerator. When the meat is at room temperature, it won't stuff the casings easily and you will have split casings if it will stuff at all.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 31 minutes
Yield: 4 pounds Polish White Sausage
- 14 feet hog casings, rinsed three times
- 4 pounds boneless, well-marbled pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed in press
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon leaf marjoram
- After rinsing hog casings, store in refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, mix water, garlic, salt, pepper and marjoram and set aside.
- Cold meat grinds more easily, so keep the meat refrigerated until ready to grind. Grind the meat in a hand-cranked or electric grinder, using the medium plate. Place meat in large bowl.
- Combine water-spice mixture with meat until thoroughly incorporated. To make sure the seasonings are just right, fry a small patty and taste. Store the ground meat mixture in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight before stuffing.
- Remove casings from refrigerator and knot one end. Lightly coat the stuffing funnel with cooking spray. Slip the other end of the casing over the mouth of the funnel, making sure it is not twisted and the opening is centered around the funnel. Continue to push remainder of casing up onto funnel until you have reached the knot.
- Begin to force the meat into the stuffer with one hand while using the other hand to control the thickness of the sausage as it is extruded.
- Remember, the sausage will shrink when it cooks, so you want a nice plump sausage. But be careful you don't overstuff or the casing will burst.
- Keep extruding until the casing is used up. Tie a knot in that end. You can either leave the sausage in a large coil or twist it at 5- to 6-inch intervals to make links.
- Store refrigerated and covered up to two days until ready to cook. Before cooking, prick sausage along the length of the link to allow air bubbles to escape. Otherwise they will explode in the cooking water.
- Place sausage in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 168 to 174 degrees. You can then brown it in a 350-degree oven or in a pan for 15-20 minutes or grill it for 4 to 6 minutes per side, if desired.
- Remove to a serving platter and enjoy with homemade horseradish known as chrzan. When the horseradish is flavored with beets, it's called cwikła.
- Don't throw away the cooking liquid. Save it to make a soup known as white barszcz.
- Freeze uncooked or cooked sausage for up to 6 months.