Last night I made kielbasa Polska nestled in a sauerkraut melange. It turned out fine, but one aspect kind of disappointed me: the grind used for the sausage was very fine. I have no idea what is “authentic”, but I have a general preference for coarser-ground fillings. Wahine likes finer-ground, especially in breakfast links (which she associates with Canada).
What’s your preference, or does it vary, and why?
Interesting question. I like sausages of all kinds and grinds, but I would say that I generally prefer a finer grind on sausages that are smoked and a coarser grind on those cooked fresh. The caveat is that with a coarser grind, the maker has to be more careful to achieve primary bind, or the sausage will end up dry and greasy. IME primary bind is easier to achieve with finer-ground ingredients.
My grandpa was a kielbasa fan (his side of the family was of Polish and Ukranian descent). He would buy his from a Polish deli–a grind that was less like a hot dog and more like a coarse Italian sausage in terms of texture. Tossed on the grill and then slathered with mustard. I don’t know how “authentic” it was, but he and my uncles loved it. So did I.
Generally speaking, I prefer coarser grinds in sausage unless it’s a hot dog. I’m waiting for the weather up here in NY to cool down so I can break out the meat grinder and try a few new Italian sausage recipes. Did you make this sausage yourself?
I’ve been experimenting with this. I’ve made kielbasa, standard bratwurst and bangers so far.
My problem is translating the recipes. I’m reading recipes that call for one coarse grind, followed by a smaller grind, followed by stuffing using a stuffing device.
But I don’t have a stuffing device, per se. So far I’m limping along using the KA attachments for both grinding and stuffing, with the stuffing step acting as the second grind.
I think it’s that all 3 of these types call for a fairly fine grind. Next week when I butcher a whole round I plan to make some beef sausages that call for a much more coarse grind, and I’ll see how that goes.
But I’ve been pretty happy with what I’ve made so far, which (to Kaleo’s original question) have been fairly fine grind once the two steps were undertaken. No mealy texture, no issues with grease separating from the whole.
I am really careful to keep the original meat and the secondary/fill grind both very close to frozen, if that matters.
My preference varies.
It depends on the type of sausage.
Breakfast sausage: fine
And anything in between. And often 2 grinds, fatty pieces finer (or double ground), meaty pieces coarser.
Coarser in general, but I am not too picky.
I had to look a bit to find this video I had seen some weeks ago that goes to your comment about preferring it not be too finely ground.
This community (North Dayton, Ohio) had a local couple who made Polish sausage that everyone loved, but this stopped with the wife’s passing as the husband didn’t want to make it without her.
The YT channel guy had grown up eating this sausage and eventually got the husband to teach him the recipe and technique, and this lead him to become a sausage maker/seller himself. They say the secret (or at least one secret) is a very coarse grind.
Kiełbasa is merely the Polish word for sausage, and there are many different types. Here is a pretty good guide:
I think I focus more on the snap (or the natural casing) than the actual granularity of the grind.
That’s a good point. Especially for hot dogs–the casing snap really makes or breaks it.