Kielbasa is the generic name for Polish sausages. Such sausages are typically made of pork and seasoned with spices, while other variations of Kielbasa may use beef or lamb meat. Saying kielbasa is rather vague if you have a certain Polish sausage in mind, so it pays to be specific when buying them.
Kielbasas play a central role in the Polish cuisine. Pork has always been the meat of choice for making these sausages, until 1964 when the Polish government introduced the mixture of 80% pork and 20% beef. The meat is cured first then spiced before stuffed into hog casing which can go as long as 38mm. Traditionally, Polish sausages are cold smoked, but some manufacturers opt for hot smoking.
Kielbasas are an all-time favorite which can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Certain types can be consumed as snacks while others are traditionally served for very special occasions.
Types of Polish Sausages
There are many different types of kielbasa and simply saying you want a "kielbasa" at the store will prompt the question, "which one?" So before you go off to buy and cook Polish sausages, you must first determine what type you have in mind. Here are some of the types of Kielbasa you may want to know.
* Biala Kielbasa - this is the specific name for white sausage which typically made of pork shoulder and spices. Biala Kielbasa is uncooked and often prepared by boiling, grilling and sauteing.
* Kabanosy - or the Hunter's sausage, is a type of dried sausage made with pork or chicken meat. The Kabanosy is the sausage of choice that's often taken when camping since they don't need to be refrigerated.
* Paròwki - otherwise known as Polish Frankfurters are made of pureed meat that are often served during breakfast.
* Kielbasa Wiselna - or the wedding sausage is often made of pork and garlic and is double-smoked. This type is prepared for weddings and other important occasions and are served to guests as snacks or appetizers.
If you're wondering how Polish sausages are made, you can watch this video:
How to Cook Kielbasa or Polish Sausages
Kielbasa Soup with Cabbages and Potatoes (Zurek Soup)
# Prepare the ryemeal sour. Combine lukewarm water and ryemeal into a jar and set aside for 5 days. Wait to expand and thicken.
# Place chopped carrots, leeks and parsnips into a pot. Cover vegetables with water and bring to a boil.
# Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
# Add in Polish sausages and bring the pot to a boil. Cook sausages in the pot for 30 minutes.
# Remove cooked sausages and let cool. Slice into bite size pieces and set aside.
# Remove the vegetables from the pot then add in chopped potatoes and prepared ryemeal sour. Season with salt to taste. Cook the soup until potatoes are slightly tender.
# Add in sliced sausages and stir.
# Combine flour with water to make a slurry. Slowly pour slurry into the soup and stir until the soup thickens.
# Bring the soup to a boil until potatoes are tender.
# Transfer soup into individual bowls and top each with sliced hard-boiled egg.
# Serve with ryebread and enjoy.
Beer-Braised Kielbasa with Sauerkraut
Creamy Kielbasa Pasta
There are many ways to enjoy Polish sausages and their flexibility make them useful ingredients into several dishes. You can eat them simply grilled or fried, or use them in your favorite pasta and braised dishes. Kielbasas are popular traditional Polish food, but you don't have to be in a Polish household to get your fill of these delicious sausages. Just be a little creative and adventurous in the kitchen and you'll find the potential of incorporating these sausages into many of your recipes.