I think the grind is critical Foamheart.
The kielbasa I grew up with came from a Polish market from the Browtown section of Wilminton DE. Johnny's Market was an institution until the neighborhood deteriorated as many inner city neighborhoods can attest to. The Polish owner sold the business many years ago and the new owner although not of Polish descent kept the butcher onboard and continued to serve the Polish patrons that migrated to the meat counter for the kielbasa, keiszka, kobanosa, and Polish specialties. The meat counter line would wind out the door and down the street the week before Christmas and Easter.
Then tragedy. The new owner was murdered, shot in front of his market in a robbery.
The kielbasa was superior to any I have had since. The grind almost had several sizes to it. It was not minced yet not chunky. Maybe a couple of grinder plates were used and the combo mixxed together? The black pepper was chunky. It was as if you cracked the pepper with the bottom of a stock pot. The garlic was strong but not overpowering. Salt was noticeable but again not overpowering. Honestly I dont know if they used marjoram in the recipe or not. Smoke also was not overdone. Excellent moisture and fat content. Never felt dry or tough.
So this is my challenge. Lots of variables and techniques to piece together and recreate the memory I have of my and my families favorite traditions.
Ok...That all seems a bit dramatic. (Little too much Pope coverage on tv.
) Im new at this. So I will keep you all posted here on my outcomes.
Thanks for your replies so far!