Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homemade Kielbasa!

One of my favorite childhood memories is our family's tradition of homemade Polish kielbasa. It didn't matter at whose house we would be spending a holiday, it was a given that kielbasa would be on the menu. Of course, there were differences in how much fat or garlic went in to the mix, but in the end, it was homemade, and it was good.


Up until a few years ago, I'd never made kielbasa myself, but thanks to my dad and step mom who gave me the grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for my KitchenAid, I'm happily carrying on the tradition. :)

We used 15 pounds of our own homegrown pork (raised by friends for us); pork shoulder to be specific as it has the right meat to fat ratio for sausage. We added 1 pound of pork fat (from the same pig that was in our freezer) to ensure a juicy sausage. Other ingredients included nearly 2 heads (that's heads, not cloves!) garlic, salt & pepper to taste, and real pork casings (available at Whole Foods or ask your local butcher).

Ready? Sausage making isn't really an attractive process, but here goes...

Chop the meat into slices or cubes that can be fed into the grinder.



Notice the pieces of fat amongst the meat...


Peel and mince garlic. Lots of garlic.


We used almost two entire heads...


Soak and rinse the casings...


That's the kielbasa master (my dad!) working the grinder...


Add the garlic...


Some salt...


and black pepper. Mix it all together along with some water (I've never done the mixing, but the water is added until it "feels right" -- I guess I'll have to learn this part next time).


Form a couple patties and fry them up. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (we needed more salt).



Now that you've ground your pork and are happy with the seasonings, it's time to feed the casing onto the sausage stuffer attachment.


Tie off the end with cotton string.


Now it's time to fill the casings. Grandpa stuffs seasoned sausage into the KitchenAid while Daniel handles the casing end (he's using a pin to poke holes in the casing as it fills to help keep it from breaking open).


Grandpa is looking forward to dinner. :)


I cannot believe I forgot to take pictures when we were finished, so the following photos are from our last "sausage fest" which was back in March.


Pack kielbasa into large freezer bags for future meals, but be sure to leave some out to enjoy for dinner! My favorite way to cook kielbasa is in a frying pan. Simmer with water to cook the sausage until the water evaporates, then brown until cooked through.


Perfection...


Thanks, Dad & M for the wonderful day and for helping me pass our family tradition on to my own children!

PS: While we were busy in the kitchen making sausage, this guy popped out of the woods out back...


Venison kielbasa next year??

~~~~~~~~~~

Sharing our sausage fest with: The Gallery of FavoritesFull Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and the Homestead Barn Hop! :)

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17 comments:

  1. ohhhh I would take some venison kielbasa! [o= That is so neat you can share a family tradition with your kiddos. It looks very yummy. Thanks for sharing this with us. [o= I learned something new today.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    -Mary

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  2. How Yummy! My mouth's watering already! Looks like you had a great time with Grandpa and Grandma. :)

    Jess~

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  3. That looks SO yummy! I can almost smell it! You inspire me with all that you do yourself!
    I love you my friend!
    Jeanne

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  4. How very, very cool was that! I'm 1/2 German, so I love a good sausage, Polish or otherwise! Venison Kielbasa sounds delectable...

    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Lori

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  5. We love making our own sausage at my dad's place ... and usually it is venison sausage. Yours looks SO delicious! :)

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  6. Wow-love your photos of the whole process! Interesting! And though we are almost vegetarians, I do love some really good kielbasa now and then! Great job, Lisa!! (Actually, I fixed pork chops for dinner! )

    Nice to get the family involved!

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  7. Oh, this is fabulous! I have really learned something wonderful from this post. Thank you!

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  8. Oh my goodness~that looks fantastic! We've been making our own venison sausage, but have never used casings to make keilbasa. I thought it would be really difficult, but your family makes it look easy! I wouldn't have known to poke the casing either...I think a trip to Whole Foods is in order! Love the family pics!

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  9. You are sure bringing back memories for me. A really good family friend made this sausage in his meat market when I was a young girl. We had this as a staple at our table. It is so good just boiled, sliced and served with a little mustard. I have never made it myself, however you have given me courage to try. Looks like your whole family was having so much fun. This is a great post! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  10. That looks so good! I've made sausage patties before but never tried to make kielbasa or any other cased sausage.

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  11. Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful comments! I want to encourage you all that you CAN do this -- it is not difficult, only time consuming. :) The reward is a freezer filled with delicious sausage and a little something savory for dinner.

    Many blessings to you all! ~Lisa

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  12. What a wonderful way to sepnd some family time together and make some yummy food!

    Also, I wanted to give you the Liebster Blog Award! Awarded to those whose have outstanding & up & coming blogs! Thanks for always leaving me the sweetest comments Lisa!

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  13. This is an ambitious undertaking but sooooo good.

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  14. What a wonderful post - I love family food traditions, and family recipes are the best! This is such a great tutorial as well. Thank you for sharing it with The Gallery of Favorites.

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  15. I do not have an inexpensive source of meat readily available to me but I soooo want to make my own sausage....I have been hoping my guys will take down a deer for me this season so I can make tons of it! Thanks for the inspirational post!

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  16. That looks so fun! I've wanted to make my own sausages ever since I saw Mario Batali making his own (using the kitchen aid just like you guys) on tv once.

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  17. Christy, making homemade sausage is really not difficult, just time consuming. :) Hope you give it a try! ~Lisa :)

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Thanks so much for visiting; your kind thoughts and questions are always welcome. :)

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