Sausage Recipes

Variety of meats and sausages

Variety of meats and sausages.

Sausage recipes will make quality sausages only if sausage making rules are obeyed. The same recipe can produce a different type of sausage just by changing the manufacturing process. And whether you want to apply smoke or not is entirely up to you. Today, in most cases sausages are either of a fresh variety, or hot smoked and cooked to a safe internal meat temperature, making them ready to eat. The sausage recipe will however remain basically the same.
There isn't one standardized recipe for any of the sausages. The best meat science books, written by the foremost experts, list different ingredients for the same sausage, but don't tell you how to make a great product. Once, you know the how, you will transform any recipe into a wonderful product.
Keep in mind that different types of sausages originate from the same region or a city and may carry the same name, for example Moscow Sausage, but are made using a different manufacturing process. You may see Moscow Smoked Sausage, Semi-Dry Sausage, Dry Sausage etc. It is impossible to define a sausage by saying it is Polish, German or Russian sausage unless the name is followed by the sausage type or the place of its origin.

Not ready to eat (Uncooked)

Fresh

fresh sausages

Fresh sausages.

These sausages contain fresh ground meat that was mixed with spices and stuffed into casings. They must be kept refrigerated and fully cooked before serving. This is not a rigid rule and some sausages, for example bratwurst, may be either stuffed into casings and refrigerated or stuffed and subsequently cooked. They still must be refrigerated, however, but they are ready to eat at any time and their shelf life is longer than that of a fresh uncooked sausage.

Ready to Eat (Cooked or Fermented)

cooked sausages

Cooked sausages.

These are sausages that are ready-to-eat at any time without additional cooking. This huge group of sausages can be further subdivided by the method of cooking employed: smoked sausages baked in a smokehouse or cooked in water, unsmoked sausages cooked in water, emulsified sausages like hot dogs or bologna and even special sausages such as head cheeses, liver and blood sausages where meats are pre-cooked, mixed with spices, stuffed into casing and then cooked again.

Cooked

Regular

Liver Sausage Recipes

liver sausages

Liver sausages.

The quality and color of the sausage is largely determined by choosing the liver. The way the liver, fat and meats are processed will have the biggest impact on the quality of the sausage. A careful selection of spices will give the sausage its final character. Best liver sausages are made from livers of young animals. Liver must not be cooked as it will loose its emulsifying properties. In many recipes liver is cooked briefly (blanched) in hot water for up to 5 min to remove any leftover blood but there is no real need for that as soaking liver in water will accomplish the same.

Blood Sausage Recipes

blood sausage

Blood sausage.

Blood sausages were originally made from inexpensive raw materials such as pork head meat, jowls, tongues, groins, skins, pork or veal lungs, pork liver, beef and lamb liver, pork snouts, beef and liver lips, udders, beef and lamb tripe, veal casings, pork stomachs, pork heart, boiled bone meat and of course blood. This way every part of the animal was utilized and a highly nutritional product was made. In times of war and other hard times when meat was scarce, fillers were added to increase the volume of the sausage.
The majority of blood sausage recipes contain chopped onion and filler material such as oatmeal, barley, bread crumbs, rice, cornmeal, buckwheat groats, semolina, flour etc. The addition of filler material makes a sausage very economical. Filler material such as rice, barley or buckwheat groats must be pre-cooked. Many sausage recipes call for oatmeal, but don’t confuse this with instant oats which are served for breakfast. For sausages we use steel cut oats which are tough groats that must be soaked overnight. They can be pre-cooked as well, but don’t make them mushy.
Blood sausages like highly aromatic spices such as pepper, thyme, marjoram, caraway, pimento, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and coriander. Often apples, pine nuts, chestnuts, raisins and cream are added.

Head Cheeses

Head cheese

Head cheese.

In English, the name head cheese doesn’t sound appealing which prevents many people from trying the product. In other languages it is called in a friendlier manner, without the word “head” being part of the name. When vinegar is added, it is called “souse” and this already sounds much better. Head cheese, brawn, or souse are not cheeses, but rather jellied loaves or sausages that may or may not be stuffed into the large diameter casing. They can be easily found in places that cater to Central Europeans, Eastern Europeans and Italians.

Fermented and Dry

Fermented sausages - salami

Fermented sausages - salami.

These sausages are more difficult to make and require better understanding of the sausage making process. Many sausage recipes call for starter cultures, in addition parameters such as temperature, humidity and time must be carefully controlled. Traditionally made salami is the best example of a slightly fermented dry sausage. Summer sausage is a deeply fermented semi-dry sausage. Fermented sausages can be smoked or not, for example Italian salami will not be smoked, but Hungarian, Polish or Russian salami will usually be smoked.

Dry

Dry and cold smoked sausages are closely related to traditionally made salami.

Semi-Dry

Spreadable

Low Fat

Low-fat sausage recipes make it possible to produce sausages with a much lower fat content. This is accomplished by replacing animal fats with oil emulsion, filler materials, adding more water or using fat replacers.

Extended Value

Extended value sausage recipes make it possible to produce nutritious, yet inexpensive sausages. These recipes incorporate filler material such as rusk, bread crumbs, dry rolls, rice, flours, barley or buckwheat groats or textured vegetable protein. They are healthier sausages because they contain less fat and less calories. Natural gums such as potato starch, gelatin, carrageenan, xanthan gum and konjac flour are usually added to create a unified texture.

Vegetarian

vegetarian sausage

Vegetarian sausage.

Vegetarian sausage recipes conform to similar processing rules that govern making of extended value sausages. Animal protein is replaced with beans, soy protein concentrate or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Because they do not contain meat obtaining a good texture may sometimes be difficult to achieve. For this reason the recipes usually include natural gums and other binding agents.

Hams and Other Meats

Available from Amazon in paperback and eBook format

The Greatest Sausage RecipesThe Art of Making Vegetarian SausagesMeat Smoking and Smokehouse DesignPolish SausagesThe Art of Making Fermented SausagesHome Production of Quality Meats and SausagesSauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles, and RelishesHome Canning of Meat, Poultry, Fish and VegetablesCuring and Smoking FishHome Production of Vodkas, Infusions, and Liqueurs