Sausages might be one of the most versatile foods available today. We see them at baseball games, in breakfast menus, and on fancy Italian menus. And there’s a reason for that. They’re delicious!
Well, there are also other reasons too. Sausages are incredibly easy to cook. In fact, for culinary beginners, I can’t think of a more forgiving, easy-to-make-in-just-minutes meal than sausages. And most important of all, for those of you on a more- how shall I say- constrained budget, they’re cheap.
So, let’s get started and learn how to prepare sausages!
So what are the basic sausage cooking methods? Well, there are several methods and choosing one particular way over another really depends on what recipe you’re using. But let’s break down the different methods.
Cooking Italian Sausages
The video below shows a simple method of cooking Italian Sausages which involves steaming the sausages, followed by searing the sausages in olive oil on medium heat.
– Poaching Then Frying
Source: IserniosSausage’s channel
Poaching sausages may be the quickest first-step that one can use to ensure the fatter style sausage cook uniformly and also remain moist whenever you barbecue or char-grill them.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Place the uncooked sausages in the water, ensuring there is enough water to completely cover the sausages. Reduce to gentle simmer. After approximately 10 minutes, the sausage should be thoroughly cooked.
– Baking Sausages
There are some who swear by the baking method. It’s definitely one of the easiest ways of cooking sausages but it can take a while. As baking typically means using a reduced, convection heat transfer, the sausages can often dry out.
– Grilling Sausages
Source: HowToBBQRight Malcom Reed
Light the grill and allow it to attain an average heat, then carefully pile your sausages. On the other hand when using the charcoal pile of charcoal and use a lighter chimney to gradually heat the charcoals. Using lighter fluid, I find, taints the meat with a faint butane smell. And after all the work you put into cooking, that’s the last thing you want to taste.
– Frying Sausages
Source: Greg’s Kitchen
Pan frying is probably the go-to method for most cooks. First let the sausage cook with no disturbance. After a duration of about 2 minutes you’re required to flip it over. Continue with this process untill the sausages are brown all round.
This can take about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your sausage. And because sausages have such a high fat content, there’s no need to use more than just a little oil on the pan.
– Crumble & Pan fry
For making pasta dishes, this is definitely one of my favorite methods. Removing the sausage skins and crumbling meat into the pan is the quickest ways to cook your sausages and there’s no need to worry about the skins splitting.
Sometimes a particular dish just calls for a different kind of texture and simply slicing a sausage won’t do. If you want the flavor of the sausage to be more fully integrated into the dish, then slicing open the outer lining and crumbling the contents onto the frying pan is the best method.
Sausage Recipes to Try
This first video is probably the simplest, classic Italian dish imaginable. It’s creamy polenta with parmesan and sausage
1. Creamy Polenta with Parmesan Sausage
Source: The New York Times
Polenta is one of those dishes that is so simple to make, yet so many people aren’t quite sure how to. In this recipe, Mark Bittman instructs us on how to sautee the sausages and then whisk the cornmeal into delicious polenta. The polenta will be done in 15 to 30 minutes. Add cheese and butter. Serve topped with sausages. That’s it. It’s that easy!
2. Sausage and Tomato Ragu
Source: The New York Times
This recipe developed by chef Sara Jenkins shows a classic meat sauce recipe using sausage meat. She prefers pork instead of beef. She also suggests that when the sausages meat seem to be timidly flavored, you may decide to add chile flakes, chopped garlic, fennel seed or even some dried herbs such as oregano together with sage into the meat as it browns.
3. Butternut Squash with Polenta
Source: The New York Times
Cooked together slowly, squash and polenta serve as a sweet and silky bed for caramelized onions and savory sausage. This recipe is a variation from the other polenta recipe and sausage recipe as it integrates squash and onions into the dish.
4. Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo
In this video Mark Bittman prepares fried chickpeas with chorizo, a traditional Spanish dish that he made up.
Source: The New York Times
In this dish, you’re going to want to cook the chickpeas long enough so that the texture is crisp. The chorizo adds a bold, red color to the spicy dish.
5. Sausage Pasta Recipe
In this video we learn ways of making a simple sausage and pasta dish.
The chef here provides us with some tips on how to cut a sausage and other techniques for cooking sausages with onions, garlic, and paprika- which goes great with this dish!
6. Easy Gnocchi with Pork Sausage Recipe
In this video the chefs demonstrate for us how to make potato gnocchi with pork sausage and grated parmesan cheese.
You can either purchase your own gnocchi, however making your own is surprisingly easy. And this video shows you how! The sausage compliments the dish perfectly.
7. Merguez Sausage
Here’s a great idea, although a bit more on the complicated side: merguez sausage and goat cheese stuffed summer squash.
Source: Food Wishes
And I know what you’re thinking. Won’t the strong, merguez lamb sausage over power the other flavors of the dish? Well, yes it will. And that’s the point!
8. Chicken Sausage & Seafood Gumbo
Now here’s a fantastic Cajun classic recipe. It’s a Chicken, Sausage & Seafood Gumbo.
Gumbo is a stew originated in Louisiana in the 18th century and consists mostly of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish. Sausage or ham is often added to gumbos of either variety. After the base is prepared, vegetables are cooked down, and then meat is added. The dish simmers for a minimum of three hours, with shellfish and some spices added near the end.
9. Crab, Sausage, Shrimp and Potatoes
In another dish that’s a classic Cajun dish, we learn ways of making a crab, sausage, potato, and shrimp seafood boil.
Many Cajun recipes tend to be quite spicy, however, you can always control the level of spiciness by managing which spices are going into the dish.
10. Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
And because there’s no such thing as too many Cajun recipes, I’ll include this one as well: Shrimp and Andouille Sausage with Grits.
If you find Andouille sausages to be too spicy then you can use smoked sausage instead. This recipe calls for slow-cooked grits, which are essentially the same as polenta, or just basic cornmeal.
11. My Breakfast Burritos
In this video we’ll explore how to use sausages in making delicious breakfast burritos.
Like most burritos, this recipe take a spicy twist and calls for spicy Italian sausage and pico de gallo, a cilantro and jalapeno salsa. But these burritos are still delicious even if you opt for a less spicy sausage.
12. Sausage Pizza
In this recipe you’ll learn how to make a sausage pizza.
Source: Rebecca Brand
Making your own pizza is not for the faint hearted. There are various techniques one can use to bake the crust to perfection. One method I use is starting the dough in cast iron skillet on high heat, laying out the toppings and then shifting the skillet with the pizza underneath a broiler to finish. You’ll end up with a far crispier crust.
13. Sausage, Bacon, Mushroom and Cheese Omelette
If you love omelettes as much as I do, then you’ll love this recipe! It’s an omelette that calls for sausage, mushrooms, bacon, and cheese.
Source: Aussie Griller
The chef in this video uses some unconventional methods for making the omeletet. He uses egg whites, which isn’t totally necessary, but is definitely worth trying!
14. Hot Sausage Sandwich
If you’re looking for a proper Italian sausage sandwich, then you’ve stumbled upon the right video.
Source: Felicia O’Dell Auntie Fee
The chef here demonstrates for us the right kinds of ingredients to use for an authentic sandwich.
15. Crispy Sausage and Potatoes Recipe
Here’s a great simple recipe. If you’re craving just crispy potatoes and spicy sausages, then this is the video for you.
Source: Laura in the Kitchen
16. Spanish Chorizo and Potato Stew
In this final video, you’ll learn ways of preparing a spicy and warm traditional Spanish chorizo and potato stew.
Source: Jamie Oliver
This dish is a lot of fun to make if you have the right ingredients. The recipe however stresses that you use smoked paprika instead of just regular paprika.
But where do they come from? Sausages have been around for a really, really long time- approximately 2,000 years ago is the first documented reference to them.
It was a favorite food of the Romans. During the governance period of Nero, the Roman emperor, sausages were mostly associated with the Lupercalia festival, possibly the oldest festival known. The modern word “sausage” comes from Old French, “Saussiche,” which can be roughly translated as, “Salted.”
The term was probably used to describe just about any type of salted or cured meat. Sausage making and curing meats was an ideal method for people to preserve meats before the advent of refrigeration.
And as oriental spices slowly integrated into the European diet, dry sausages made use of these new ingredients, which helped to enhance, flavor and preserve the meat. Different countries and different cities within those countries started producing their own distinctive types of sausage, both fresh and dry. These different types of sausage were mostly influenced by the availability of ingredients as well as regional climate.
There are many variations of sausages. But the five most common are Kielbasa, Chorizo, Italian, Andouille, and Bratwurst.
- Kiełbasa is a Polish word of sausage and also in Poland the word means any type of sausage. While in the U.S., kielbasa refers to a spiral-shaped, pork sausage which is often smoked, it may sometimes be partially smoked or even unsmoked completely.
- Chorizo always refers to the Spanish or Mexican variety of sausage, that’s uncured and also flavored by chilies, spices and garlic, although some of the exact ingredients may vary.
- The Italian sausages always come in two categories: the sweet and hot sausages. Hot sausages are typically prepared from pork then seasoned with; garlic, salt, flakes of red pepper and anise seed. The sweet sausages omits pepper flakes. These types of sausages are interchangeable and it depends on the spice preference.
- Andouilles are spicy smoked sausages known mostly for their role in the Cajun cuisine. Here they are the key ingredient in the jambalaya and also gumbo. One may also utilize them in any of the recipe that may call for the smoked sausage whenever you want some heat.
- Bratwurst is a German sausage centre with dozens varieties.
If you enjoyed this post, then let me know. This list of recipes is far from comprehensive, but it should inspire you to think outside of the box when cooking with sausage. Sausage is not merely confined to one type of ethnic cuisine and may be utilized in a multitude of ways.
If you have any further suggestions, then don’t hesitate to submit your comments. And if you liked this article, then please feel free to share!