Let’s have some sausage fun. Today we decided to make a sausage (kielbasa) that comes from Krakow, Poland (also known as Kielbasa Krakowska).
This sausage is generally sliced thin and served as cold cuts but can be sliced thick and pan fried. It has a light smoky flavor and a beautiful texture. The texture comes from the unique method of preparation as this sausage utilizes several sausage making techniques.
If I had to sum up the Krakowska I’d say it was large chucks of cured ham mixed with coarsely ground pork shoulder all held together by a delicately seasoned emulsified farce. It’s takes a little planning to prepare this sausage and does require some patience but the end result is scrumptious.
The first thing you’ll notice about this sausage is that the meat is cured before processing. The curing process preserves the color and gives our Krakowska a “hammy” flavor. We will be using 3 different types of meat for this recipe so it’s important to keep each group separated as they are curing.
Once your meat has finished curing you’ll be processing each group separately. Group one you’ll leave whole, group 2 you’ll course grind, and group 3 you’ll emulsify. The trickiest part of this process is the third group. To create a good emulsion you need to start with very cold meat and very sharp blades on your food processor. If your meat is too warm you won’t extract enough protein to bind the fat with the water. This is why we add ice through the chopping process. If your food processor blades are dull you’ll be “whipping” your meat in essence creating a meat mousse. This will give you a very “pillowy” and “soft” texture that just doesn’t work for this sausage. In addition to all that it’s important for oyu to know that chopping cold meat in a food processor can be very taxing on the motor. If you are using a commercial food processor like the Robot Coupe R2 then you have nothing to worry about but if you plan on using a residential model for emulsifying meat then you’ll want to be sure that the motor is strong enough to handle it (that’s my disclaimer for the day).
This sausage is stuffed into a 3″ – 4″ casing and because this sausage contains large chunks of pork I generally just spoon it into the casing. Once it’s stuffed into the casing I’ll twist the casing as tight as I can to compact the meat. Finally I’ll prick out all of the air pockets with a sausage pricker.
This next step is optional but really adds a nice flavor. We will be cold smoking our Krakow sausage for 2 hours with a mix of pecan and apple wood. We use a cold smoker from Smokin-It called “Bella’s Cold Smoke Generator” and this little unit can generate cold smoke for up to 9 hours once filled.
Once our sausage has been cold smoked it’s time to cook. I like cooking these types of sausages in a water bath with an immersion circulator. The precise temperature control allows you to cook your sausage at a much lower temperature which keeps your sausage from over cooking and drying out. I like to cook this sausage at 145F for 2 hours.
We are in the age of sous vide cooking and that means that your options for inexpensive immersion circulators have greatly increased. I like this little powerful unit by InkBird “WiFi Sous Vide Cooker”. It gets the job done with a bonus app for your smart phone..
As soon as our Krakowska has finished cooking take it out of the cooking water and cool it down in some ice water. Refrigerate overnight and allow the flavors to really come together. The next day slice it thin and enjoy the fruits of your labor!!
Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage
- High Quality Natural Casings (AA Grade)
- Iodophor Sanitizer
- MK4 Thermapen (Accurate Thermometer)
- Chef Knife – KOTAI
- Boning Knife
- Sausage Pricker
- Iwatani Professional Chef Torch
- Insta Cure #1
- Non Fat Dry Milk Powder
- Meat Grinders
- Meat Mixers
- Sausage Stuffers
- Bella’s Cold Smoke Generator
Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!
If you want to see the different things that we use in operation our be sure to check out our new Amazon Store.
This recipe is an adaptation from: Krakowska Sausage (Kiełbasa krakowska) (meatsandsausages.com)
If you are making sausage adjust the servings to reflect the total weight of your meat and fat
- Start by cutting your lean pork (group 1) into large chunks (1" x 2"). Add the salt and the cure to the meat and place in a zip lock bag (with all the air removed)
- Next take the pork should (group 2) and cut into medium size cubes. Add the salt and the cure to group 2 and place in a zip lock bag (with all the air removed)
- Finally take the fatty pork shoulder (or belly) and the lean beef (group 3) and cut into small cubes. Add the salt and the cure to the meat and place in a zip lock bag (with all the air removed)
- Label the bags and place them in the refrigerator to begin the curing process. Each day flip the bag and massage the meat. This will need to cure for 5 days.
- Once your meat has finished curing you can remove it from the refrigerator. Take group 2 (pork shoulder) and grind on a 10mm or 12mm plate. Make sure your meat is chilled before you grind it. Set this to the side.
- Next take group 3 (lean beef and fatty pork shoulder or belly) and grind it on a 3mm plate Make sure the meat is chilled before grinding. Take this chilled ground meat (group 3) and place it in a food processor. Begin to chop your meat for 30 seconds adding the crushed ice as it's being chopped. After 30 seconds add the rest of the seasonings and continue chopping your meat. Do this for 60 – 90 seconds more. Your meat batter should not exceed 55F. Set this to the side
- In a stand mixer add the lean pork meat from group 1 and the coarsely ground meat from group 2. Begin to mix with the paddle attachment till the ground meat gets very sticky. Once you can grab a little handful of mince meat and it sticks to your hand you can stop mixing.
- Combine the emulsified meat batter with the rest of the meat you just mixed and begin to mix everything well to combine.
- Stuff your farce tightly into your casings and prick out any air pockets
- Cold smoke for 2 hours
- Cook in a water bath 145F for 2-3 hours. Once cooked, cool in ice water, and refrigerate overnight
- Slice thinly and enjoy!!
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