How To Cook Polish Sausage
Long sausages like the Polish sausage are known as a kielbasas. The Polish people typically serve the meat with fried onions, and they use a variety of methods to cook and present kielbasa. If you are wondering how to cook polish sausage, there are several methods such as boiled, hot, grilled, baked or even cold.
It is also common to see it served in soups. Some of the soups it goes best with include pea soup, sour rye soup and cabbage soup. Cabbage soup is a reminder of my favorite way to cook and serve polish sausage, which is boiling it and serving it with sauerkraut. I love sauerkraut, and Polish sausage accompanies it well because the flavors offset one another perfectly.
I am going to teach you how to cook Polish sausage using a couple of the most popular methods. I will also add some pro tips throughout the way to ensure maximum flavor, juiciness and tenderness. The pro tips will be in italics by certain steps.
It would be a good idea for me to also throw in some recipe tips and accompaniment ideas. It is important to mention a couple things first. I am going to concentrate on American terminology and Americanized dishes even if some of the practices originated in Poland.
Also, each method for cooking Polish sausage is easy and quick. You could easily find them through a search, and you are going to find I do not agree with everything the recipe sites have to say about it. I will be offering my own opinions and tips.
I am a big fan of a Polish sausage meal. My grandmother made it a couple of times a month when she was raising me, and I still enjoy making it. I have plenty of practice, and I think I can be thorough enough to answer all of your questions below.
How to Cook Polish Sausage in the Oven
Epicurious has an exquisite recipe for Polish sausage in the oven. I like to modify it a bit because it is not quite perfect. I linked to the site, so you just need to compare what I am suggesting, but this is the way I would handle cooking Polish sausage in the oven:
- Instead of cutting the bacon into strips, I recommend doing a large dice on the bacon.
- The recipe calls for chopped carrots, and I suggested a large dice on the bacon, but the original recipe asks for sliced onions. Here is a pro tip: If everything is being diced or chopped, you do not want to slice or julienne cut anything else. It is a culinary rule of thumb, and it is every chefs pet peeve. Chopping and dicing releases more flavor.
- A large jar of sauerkraut is supposed to be drained, and it is suggested to press all the juice out of the sauerkraut. Just drain the jar. Squeezing is unnecessary. Extra juice will add to the flavor of the broth.
- The recipe asks for two cups of white wine. Pro tip: This is a simple and hearty meal, so I suggest using two cups of beer.
- A cup of chicken stock
- A tablespoon caraway seeds
- Four juniper berries, crushed, or a tablespoon gin. Pro tip: Opt for gin1.5 pounds kielbasa sausage, cut into three inch lengths. Pro tip: Only cut the polish sausage if you have to for space reasons. Cut it at serving time.
The preparation is pretty simple. Just follow these instructions, and you will have a perfect, baked polish sausage:
- Preheat your oven to 300°F.
- Locate a fairly large Dutch oven for sauteing the vegetables, and you need to make sure it is oven proof.
- Place the Dutch oven over high heat and lightly oil the pan to prevent your vegetables from sticking.
- Sauté the large diced onion is tender and translucent to bring out the natural sweetness.
- Squeeze excess juice from the sauerkraut, but do not squeeze it bone dry.
- Add the the sauerkraut to the Dutch oven.
- You can now add the chicken stock, caraway seeds and the gin.
- Bring the contents of the Dutch oven to a strong simmer.
- Add the polish sausage to the mix. Nestle it into the ingredients so it can be infused with flavor.
- Cover the polish sausage dish and bake it for an hour.
If you were wondering how to cook Polish sausage, this is one way to do it. There was some preparation on the stove, but this is the best way to bake Polish sausage in my opinion.
I do prefer to boil it on the stove, but there are times I prefer a change, and this method and recipe is exactly how I do it. Now, if you are wanting to know how to cook a polish sausage to get the best results, let us proceed on to the most popular method, which is the stove top.
How to Cook a Polish Sausage on the Stove
There have always been complaints by cooks that preparing Polish sausage in water makes the meat bland because all of the seasoning in the sausage boil out, and the water causes the meat to lose its flavor. I never understood why people thought that.
I understand the fear though because people spread this erroneous assumption advising people in forums not to do it, but it is bad advice. Once, I was working under a head chef in an Italian restaurant who told me to heat up our made-from-scratch meatballs in water with a splash over tomato sauce in it before placing them in the warming well for service.
One day he was livid at me because a customer sent back a bowl complaining the meatballs had no flavor. My head chef really was a brilliant cook, so he figured it was my fault. Once I pointed out the water was comprising the meatballs, a better solution was developed.
There is a difference between Polish sausage and those meatballs though. Like all sausages, even hotdogs, Polish sausages are surrounded by a casing. Very little flavor will escape, and the recipe and method I outline below will put any fears to rest.
- Two pounds of Polish sausage
- One white onion cut into quarters
- One teaspoon marjoram can be added, but it is optional
- Half of a bay leaf
- About half of a handful of whole, black peppercorns
- One or two smashed garlic cloves depending on how much you like garlic
- A few mustard seeds
The preparation is just as easy as the baked Polish sausage:
- If you bought your Polish sausage frozen, you can thaw it a little under cool water. It will be boiled in water anyways.
- Place the Polish sausage in the pot. Here is a pro tip: The pot should be wide and somewhat shallow because you will not be adding a lot of water like you would if you were boiling noodles. This kind of pot is perfect for this dish.
- Add your onion, peppercorns, garlic cloves, marjoram if you choose to and half a bay leaf. The spices will add extra flavor to the Polish sausage in the event some flavor happens to escape through the casing.
- Cover the pot, bring it to a simmer and keep it on the low-heat simmer for 50 to 60 minutes. Pro tip: Remove from heat early if parts of the casing begin to split from cooking.
- Any attempt to speed up the cooking process by letting the water simmer too high or boil will cause the meat to burst open, which I consider a failure.
- Do not prick the sausage with a fork thinking the flavored water will infuse the meat. It will only cause it to dry out. After the hour of cooking is finished, you can turn the water off and let the meat rest. It is best to let it cool in the cooking liquid.
- The final product should come out plump with no brown color. It will be plump, juicy and delicious.
My Final Thoughts How to Cooking Polish Sausage
Polish sausage and a variety of side dishes, usually sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and corn, was a dish I was raised on and still enjoy very much, so writing this piece brought back fond memories. There are other cooking methods like pan frying and grilling, which are used often, but in my expert opinion they will dry your meat out, and they are the wrong methods for polish sausage.
Even if it can go on a grill and taste decent, it does not mean it will be nearly as good as a baked or poached Polish sausage. These methods maximize flavor and succulence.
Thank you so much for reading. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please leave them in the comment in section. Always return often because the site is constantly adding new and fresh content for culinary lovers.