The polish sausage which is also known as kielbasa comes in long lines and is usually a thick kind of sausage that is traditionally made with pork though it can also be made using beef, veal, chicken, turkey and lamb.
It’s often spiced up with garlic, onion and pepper to enrich the flavour which makes it a versatile dish.
However, kielbasa allows you to enjoy the complex flavours without having to use a complex recipe yourself because the sausage is normally already sweetly spiced.
You will find that some sausages have mustard taste wild others are mild and tasty all this depend on the chef preparing it.
From its name it originated from Poland but has since penetrated the global market which has further diversified the method of preparation by different chefs and the names used to call it in different countries example the polish call it kielbasa, Cajun call it andouille, the Germans call it bratwurst and the Italians call it Italian sausage.
We will delve in the three common methods of cooking it;
- How to oven Bake the polish sausage
- How to panfry the polish sausage
- How to grill the sausage
Things to understand before cooking the meal
- If you are going for pork polish sausage go for one that is fully filled with pork and note that it’s hard to find one that is fully pork meat filled.
- Avoid the smoked sausage as this will alter the flavour in the end.
- The polish people serve the sausage with onions for the flavour you may want to try that.
- It can also be served in the company of some soups and is best recommended with sour rye soup and cabbage soup or buns among other accompaniments.
What will you need?
Like any meal preparation you need to assemble the tools that you will require for use.
For a serving of around 4-6 people you will need between 2-4 pounds of meat. Remember, the name in the supermarket or butcheries may be different but one common name is kielbasa.
A large pot
Since you will be boiling a lot of meat you may want to have a large and clean pot that has its lid.
Note that, any large pot can serve you here although you may need a ceramic non-stick pot for your sausage browning. In addition, check your pot material and if it is very light and thin make sure you use a lot of water to avoid the sticking of the sausage before it boils enough.
Your frying pan
When you want to enhance the flavour, you can brown the sausage using a frying pan first before you boil.
Any non-stick pan can work for you although to avoid using a pot you may use a deeper frying pan that can allow the sausage to boil in.
The beer and water
You will need to use about ¼ inch of water above the meat in the pot while also adding some more if need be to maintain the balance.
The beer is optional but if you choose to use it you will need to reduce the amount of water you put in the pot to allow the beer the ability to flavour your meal. You are advised to use only one bottle of beer.
Polish meat is said to have its own flavour which means that we are not going to work so much at increasing the flavour rather we will be enhancing the polish sausage flavour that could have gotten lost when boiling.
The most recommended herbs and spices include
- Bay leaves
- A teaspoon of marjoram
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 4 peppercorns
- 4 mustard seeds, celery seeds and caraway seeds
How to cook polish sausage
How to pan frying the sausages
Step 1: Boiling
Some sausages are bought having been pre-boiled but, this is not always the case with polish sausage and you will need to boil it partially in order to give it a good texture. Like earlier stated, some people prefer the use of a frying pan for the entire process and this will mean your pan has to be deep so as to be able to contain a lot of water.
You can put your sausage in the pan and add the water to the ¼ inch above the sausage mark or use the beer too to that mark if need be, add the bay leaves and garlic, cover and let it boil then reduce the heat to let it simmer for about 7 minutes.
Step 2: Excess water
While it’s boiling, a good amount of water should vaporize but if you still have some of the liquid you can just remove the sausage from the boiling water and put on a plate.
Step 3: Pan fry
Add the onions you had to the pan and liquid oil to the sausage then fry evenly under medium heat giving it a crisp outer shell. Manage the frying process to avoid over frying which may lead to the loss of flavour. Serve it when ready.
How to oven-bake the polish sausage
Step 1: Preheating
Your oven should be preheated to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure you reach the required temperature use the oven thermometer.
Step 2: Cutting the kielbasa
It’s important to cut the kielbasa into 1-3 pieces that can fit properly into your baking dish although if it fits perfectly without cutting leave it unsliced.
If you had already removed your baking pan from the oven, its time to spray it with a little coat of vegetable oil then place the sausage inside and place it at the centre rack of the oven.
Bake the sausage for about 15-20 minutes while checking the skin of the polish sausage for swelling and splitting and the kielbasa is at 160 F when measured using a meat thermometer. Then remove from the oven and let it cool for 3 minutes
Slice it and eat or add to your favourite recipe.
The essential tip
For enhanced flavour add the onion slices, potato or any kind of vegetable in the baking dish when baking and adjust the cooking time to ensure its evenly cooked.
How to grill the kielbasa
Step 1: Heat the grill
Put your grill on medium heat and then oil the grill bars lightly
Step 2: Grill the kielbasa
Allow your kielbasa to brown under medium heat and slowly. Be patient here don’t ever subject them to higher heat because then they will break out open and let the flavours out. Off Course, they may break anyway but when using the required heat, they will still manage to cook slowly and evenly.
Step 3: Grill the onion
While the sausages are browning place an aluminium grilling pan on the cooler part of the grill and add the onion slices with a few drops of oil to brown slowly.
Step 4: Heat the beer
Add the beer, stir the celery and caraway seeds as well as salt into the pan that has onions and let it simmer.
Step 5: Adding the sausages
Once you confirm that your sausage is cooked properly, add it together with the juices to the aluminium pan.
Step 6: Simmer
You can cover the grill to let it simmer for between 30 minute-2 hours before serving and once cooked you can serve it on a plate or sandwich roll.
The essential tips for consideration
Be careful when buying the polish sausage
It’s important to only use plain polish sausage. There are many companies out there that sell you polish sausages filled with leftovers of beef, turkey and chicken therefore, it’s important to confirm that you are using only pork.
Avoid slicing before serving
Most people may be tempted to slice the sausage so as to ensure its cooked inside but, this is not always a good idea since the flavour will be drained in the liquid leaving it dry and flavourless.
Be careful when choosing your beer
Most professionals know that choosing a darker beer is way better for the distinctive and stronger flavour. Always go for either Guinness or Strout.
Polish sausage is an authentic polish cuisine that is being prepared in almost every part of the world today. It is also a versatile kind that allows you to be creative and enjoy the different styles of preparation. Although it is a case type of meat that doesn’t allow you to use too much extra flavour you can play around with it using the above steps.
Preparing it can be as easy as boiling it then frying and still give you the satisfaction but, most people prefer the grilling method which retains its nature and adds the smoky flavour especially if you are using a charcoal grill.
Note that, it’s inappropriate to eat the sausage raw even when it has been indicated that it is ready to eat. Always be on the safe side by subjecting it to some heating source.