My Kielbasa Quest begins

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HushyQ

Smoke Blower
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 30, 2023
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247
Cleveland, Ohio
Okay, you guys were a great help in my first 2 attempts at sausage so I think I’m brave enough to step into the real reason I entered sausage making. Slovenian & Polish sausage.

Grew up eating Slovenian Sausage and Polish sausage from many sausage shops in NE Ohio and it is by far one of my favorite foods. Yes, I now realize these names are very generic terms but that is what they are called here. So many great places for excellent examples of both around these parts as I mentioned in another post. R&D’s, Raddells, State St. Meats, Petes Meats, Rudy’s, Jaworskis, Trumbull County Meat Locker. I’m sure many more, these are just what I’m familiar with and like. All have their own slight differences but all with the same main flavors(garlic, pepper, smoke and IDK but that’s what this journey is all about?). I would recommend them all.

So now after 50 + years of eating it it’s time for me to figure out how to make it. After some deep diving, mostly from here and the Polish Site I have decided to start with the most simple recipe for what I call Slovenian sausage and then make some additions to half the batch to make Polish. Quite frankly, in these parts, they both taste very similar to me but Slovenian are in links and Polish is in ropes.

The base recipe is from Devo on the Polish Site. Hell, I loved Devo way back in the day and the Mothersbaugh bros. are from Akron so I thought this was perfect starting point.

An interesting note in his recipe is to cook the garlic in oil and water before adding it to the sausage.(Which I would not do again, btw)

Once again, thanks to SmokinEdge for emphasizing the conversion to grams. Can’t emphasize how much that has helped. I now have his words in my head every time I begin, in my Dad’s voice of course, “No Cups or Spoons”. It is so great to just add up all the meat I have available rather than weigh out 5, 10 or 15 lbs cause, What do you do with the rest????? Just take up room in the freezer.

From the base recipe I made test patties over 3 days with different spices found in different recipes. What I found was that I needed waay more garlic and a bit less salt. I did stray from the voice in my head and added an entire head of garlic to the mix without weighing it. I know, I know. Hey, this is just the first step in my quest.

Here are the results.
Polish & Sovenian 1st batch.jpg
Polish & Slovenian cut view.jpg


It was much warmer when I smoked these and I didn't have enough room in my treager for the 17lbs I made so I also used my big chief. As you can see, I got some hot spots in the Big Chief. The taste was almost there but I will need many more attempts to get this exactly to my liking. Besides the uneven smoke, I found out that to get the taste I am used to I will need a boatload more garlic. Also, as you can see, I still need practice stuffing. Very inconsistent Some real fatties and some slim ropes.
 
They look pretty good to me. The details make the difference and getting that down comes from doing it so stay after it, they will just get better. Also if you are using the “home pack” of casings for 25 pounds meat, you will get a lot of diameter difference. They are mostly ends and pieces randomly put together. Buying a good quality hank of casings will help that a lot, along with proper prep and storage.
 
Thanks SmokinEdge, I actually got a hank of hog and one of sheep from my local butcher. They were amazing. One long strand. used your soaking method and the stuffing was much easier and less blowouts but I just need more practice.
 
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Looks good and that is the magic answer and question, the flavour profile that is remembered from someone else's or from a younger year.
You will get it the way you like . Polish sausage is one of the names around here that my wife loves. That and Kielbasa.
Nothing wrong with your stuffing. We are our own worst critic.

Good job so far ,

Kielbasa is the reason I joined here . To make for my wife. It is still on my list. I have found a few different recipes. This will happen soon.

David
 
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Looks good from my screen! Kielbasa was the first sausage I ever made with a Polak friend of mine. We started with his 3rd gen family recipe and tweaked it to our liking over the last couple years.
 
When I get it just right for me I will certainly share. I will say that every single recipe I found was way, way light on garlic. I was having an impossible time weighing my Marjoram. My small bottle was 11 grams. I poured half of it on my scale and it didn't even register. Time for a new scale I guess.
 
I will say that every single recipe I found was way, way light on garlic.
We ramped up the garlic in ours a ton. Also added a little more heat than his old-world recipe that we quite enjoy.

Lol agreed on the marjoram. For small batches I have to use my cure scale for it to register.
 
When I get it just right for me I will certainly share. I will say that every single recipe I found was way, way light on garlic. I was having an impossible time weighing my Marjoram. My small bottle was 11 grams. I poured half of it on my scale and it didn't even register. Time for a new scale I guess.
Hey , they look great! We will all be looking foward to the recipe. Btw amazon sells a cheap weight kit for calibration down to a gram. Not a bad idea ever really. Sometimes my life and family gets my scales treated unfairly at times. Lol. So before any project i check quickly. Just so I can them blame myself when I screw it up. Lol nice work
 
Sure looks good. That and corned beef / pastrami in Cleveland are old traditions in those delis.
 
Thanks Jcam! With St. Paddy's day approaching I am getting ready to make some pastrami. I usually wet brine but SmokinAls dry cure is looking pretty tempting. Have 2 flats left over from the sausage I made with the Points and if it's gonna be done in time I better get a move on. May make some Pastrami Dogs too.
 
I will now take SmokinEdge advice to grind the spices finer. That was a great call as my plump and juicy sausage starter from Chudds i used for the jalapeño cheddar was definitely very finely ground. I think that will make a big difference in addition to just adding more of everything, especially GARLIC.
 
They look great to me! Look forward to more threads on your quest!

Ryan
 
Oops, I missed this one.
Outstanding. Congrats on the feature on the carousel.

I will now take SmokinEdge advice to grind the spices finer. That was a great call as my plump and juicy sausage starter from Chudds i used for the jalapeño cheddar was definitely very finely ground. I think that will make a big difference in addition to just adding more of everything, especially GARLIC.
For the heavier garlic taste try using varying sized pieces plus granulated garlic.
In Italian sausage, I use whole, crushed, and ground fennel seed.
 
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