Have you tried the mouth-watering Polish sausage? If you haven’t, you should buy some really quick, or make your own and discover some new tricks in sausage making. Polish sausage is in a league of its own. It is the base sausage that you’re going to learn if you want to be a sausage maker because it’s actually so simple to make. But don’t let its simplicity fool you, this sausage delivers some of the most unique sausage flavors the world over.
There’s really no excuse for not making your own Polish sausage. In this article, I will show you how to make one along with the recipe that has been given a stamp of approval by some of my Polish immigrant friends. I’ve been using this recipe to make my own version of this sausage to impress my kids and to share with some of my friends. So far, their feedback has been positive.
- 4.4 lbs pork leg ham
- 1 lb beef (chuck)
- 1 lb pork belly or back fat
- 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 heaping tsp marjoram
- 36 g kosher salt
- 6.4 g Prague powder
- 1 cup ice water
Step by Step Instructions on How to Make Polish Sausage
- Grind the leg ham, belly fat and beef together and place it on a medium size plate.
- Mix all of the spices and grounded meat together with a little amount of ice water.
- Using a 28-32 mm hog casing, stuff your meat and spice mixture and hang to dry for a couple of hours.
- Preheat your smoker to 160-165 degrees.
- Hang your sausage in the smoker for 3-4 hours.
- When the internal temperature of the smoker has reached 152 degrees, remove the sausage. You can increase the temperature 170-175 degrees if the temperature does not rise well enough after 3-4 hours of smoking.
- Allow the sausage to cool down at room temperature and then refrigerate. The result will be a bit wrinkly and less plump sausage which is the signature appearance of the Polish sausage. You can also use ice water to cool down and wash some of the smoke residues from the sausage. The result will be a sausage that is not wrinkly with a less smokey flavor.
Grinding the Meat
The best Polish sausage starts with the best meat. Buy only the best quality and the freshest meat that you can find. If you can find a local butcher that you know by heart, tell him to deliver you the best meat that he has because you’re making a Polish sausage.
Grind the meat and fat using a 4-5mm grinder plate in a good meat grinder like the LEM Products W779A Stainless Steel Big Bite Electric #8-Meat Grinder. Using a cheap consumer grade grinder will not give you the same texture. And if you plan on making this sausage for years to come, investing in a good meat grinder is definitely a good idea. It will save you from a lot of bad emotions every time your cheap grinder fails.
Stuffing the Meat
Try not to make your stuffing too tight because this will result in the casing bursting on you. What you want is a stuffing that is firm enough but not too tight. The type of casing I used is the one that’s usually available on every grocery store meat section. These are not usually on display but if you try and ask, they are going to sell them to you.
Tie one end of the casing and start stuffing it with meat. Polish sausages are usually 2 feet long tied on both ends forming a loop. You’d want to check it for air pockets by pinching it with a needle sterilized using the stove burner.
Hang the sausage at room temperature for an hour if you want to smoke it immediately. If you’re not in a hurry, you can actually leave it to hang overnight.
Smoking the Meat
If you want to try your Polish sausage, you can actually just cook it in the oven without smoking it. It will be as good tasting, but without the smokey flavor, it won’t be an authentic Polish sausage.
To accomplish an authentic Polish sausage, you are going to need a smoker. A smokey flavor is a form of seasoning in itself and there is no substitute for it. Don’t use liquid smoke, use real smoke!
Use only good quality pellets. Read carefully what kind of wood the pellet is made of so that you are fully aware of the flavor that will result. Make sure that there are no binders or fillers in the pellets, otherwise, you better use wood chips for smoking. You can just imagine your frustrations expecting to have a cherry flavored sausage only to find out that the pellet you have is actually made of maple and oak.
Get your smoker going and smoke as many as 8 links for four hours. Personally, I prefer the mild smokey flavor that does not overpower the meat, so I can still taste the meat and spices. You are looking for the internal temperature to reach 152 degrees before you remove the sausage. After smoking, shock the meat with ice water cool really fast. Hang the meat to dry for an hour before serving.
The key to making authentic Polish sausage is low temperature. If you raise the temperature too high, the fats will melt resulting in some holes in the sausage. The optimum temperature for smoking is 160-165 degrees.
This will give you an internal temperature of 152 degrees which is the perfect internal smoking temperature. For a brief period at the end of the smoking process, you can raise the temperature to 170-175 degrees but with this, you will begin to notice the fats are slowly melting.
Chilling Your Polish Sausage
To prevent the sausage from developing holes, immediately remove it from the smoker and quickly cool it down with ice water. This will prevent the wrinkles from developing and it will give you a nice plump sausage. The trade-off is that the water will wash away the smokey flavor from the sausage and it will make look a bit pale.
Since I want my sausage to be wrinkly and brown, I don’t raise the temperature to 170 degrees to prevent the fats from melting and I just allow it to cool down at room temperature by hanging. When the sausage is cool enough, I just refrigerate it until the time that I want to eat it.
Do you have some Polish or Ukrainian sausage recipe that you’d like to share? You see, I’m crazy for Eastern European sausage recipes so don’t hesitate to share yours if you have one. Drop a comment or two below and share us your thoughts.