Friday, May 25, 2012

Kielbasa Time

This post was adapted from a newsletter by our favorite Polish market - Kielbasa Factory, in Rockville MD.

Witamy!  Kielbasa is an iconic Polish word that describes a traditional sausage. A staple of Polish cuisine, kielbasa comes in several of varieties of primarily smoked or fresh cooked lean pork, also available in beef, chicken, turkey, and veal. Every region of Poland has its own unique ingredients and recipes. The most popular are:

Kabanosy – a very thin, air-dried smoked sausage (referred to by some as a Polish slim jim);

Kielbasa Szynkowa – a very thick smoked sausage made from ham;
Kielbasa Krakowska – from Krakow, a thick, straight, smoked sausage with garlic and pepper, a favorite of Polish Kings;

Biala Kielbasa – a famous un-smoked fresh sausage traditionally used as an accompaniment to White Barszcz, a traditional Polish soup prepared for Easter;

Kielbasa Starowiejska – “old-country style, ”a smoked thin sausage made using a very old, traditional recipe;

Kielbasa Wiejska – a country-style sausage shaped like a large U made primarily from pork or a mix of pork and veal, with marjoram and garlic;

Parówki – a Polish style hot dog made from veal or pork, best served hot. 

The best Polish-style kielbasa uses only the choicest cuts of tender pork with a little beef or veal added to improve its body and character.  Typically, no preservatives are added.  The sausage is seasoned with fresh herbs and spices and then gently smoked, just long enough to achieve the right color, flavor and aroma.  It is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner; snack time or any time!
Kielbasa can be served cold or hot, boiled, baked, grilled, or right out of the fridge.  It can be cooked in soups such as Barszcz, Kapusniak (Cabbage Soup), or Grochówka (Bean Soup), baked with sauerkraut or added to bean dishes, stews (notably Bigos or Hunter Stew which is the signature dish of our book.  Often kielbasa is served with Cwikła, a traditional garnish of shredded beets and horseradish.  Our book contains many heritage recipes that make great use of kielbasa.

It’s easy to buy a mass-produced kielbasa at the big grocery stores, but the flavors just don’t measure up to the authentic Polish-style varieties available at Polish delis such as Kielbasa Factory.

2 cans of red beets, drained and shredded in a food processor
5 ounces of prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon of sugar
Combine everything, place in a sealed glass jar and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to really integrate.  Taste...add more horseradish if your palate can take it.

No comments:

Post a Comment