5 Types of Sausage Perfect for Any Occasion

5 Types of Sausage Perfect for Any Occasion

Sausage is among the oldest European meat dishes and its varieties range widely — from mild British bangers to spicy Italian sausages and Poland’s smoked kielbasa to Germany’s dizzying array of sausages of nearly any kind. Happily, here in the United

States, we eat a variety of cuisines that incorporate all kinds of different sausages. Here are some of the types of sausage you’re likely to encounter and five ideas for how best to prepare them.

1. Kielbasa
“Kiełbasa” is the Polish word for sausage and in Poland it can mean any kind of sausage. In the U.S., kielbasa (also known simply as “Polish sausage”) refers to a horseshoe-shaped, pork country sausage that is most often smoked, but is sometimes partially smoked or unsmoked.
Whatever kind you’re using, you’ll want to heat it because it tastes best that way. Partly smoked or unsmoked kielbasa will have to be cooked through.
How to prepare Kielbasa: This type of sausage is great on the grill or sautéed and served over your favorite Central European sides — boiled potatoes, braised cabbage or sauerkraut. Kielbasa also works well on a bun with mustard or sliced and served in
soup.

2. Andouille
Andouille is a spicy smoked sausage originally from France, but known mainly for its role in Cajun cuisine, where it is a key ingredient in jambalaya and gumbo. You can also use it in any recipe that calls for smoked sausage if you want a little heat.
How to prepare Andouille: Because it's smoked, Andouille is precooked and can be sliced and served cold as a snack or appetizer. When you’re cooking with it, simply slice and add to your dish; for added flavor, give the Andouille a quick toss in a hot pan to brown the edges.

3. Bratwurst
Bratwurst comes to us from Germany, where there are more than a dozen varieties. In the U.S., however, it’s typically made of pork and veal, and seasoned with salt, ginger, nutmeg and caraway.
How to Prepare Bratwurst: Here, as in Germany, bratwurst (or brats) are usually grilled or sautéed.

4. Italian Sausage
Italian sausage comes in two varieties — hot and sweet. Hot sausage is typically made from pork and seasoned with salt, garlic, anise seed and red pepper flakes. Sweet sausage omits the pepper flakes but is otherwise the same. These types of sausage are interchangeable; it just depends on your spice preference.
How to prepare: Italian sausage can be used in a variety of ways. Grill or sauté the Italian sausage as you would a bratwurst and serve on a roll with onions and peppers, or served sliced, sautéed sausage on top of a pizza. Italian sausage can also be added to tomato sauce — either sliced and sautéed or removed from its casing altogether —
and served over pasta.

5. Chorizo
In the U.S., chorizo usually refers to the Mexican variety, which is uncured and flavored with chilies, garlic and spices, although the exact ingredients can vary.
Most often sold in casings, chorizo is generally removed from them and cooked prior to use. Simply sauté it as you would ground beef and use it in enchiladas, tacos, burritos,
soups or stews.

By Brian Campbell

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