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Sausage you can't live without

Tell me about sausages,dogs, frank, etc. that have left a permanent impression on you. Feel free to rant and go off on a tangent, I need to know what it is about certain sausages that can bring a tear of joy to your eye and a warmth in your belly that you'll never forget.

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  1. In Tucson there is a small butcher shop called Dickman's that makes THE best fresh bratwurst. I had only had the precooked, processed, packaged brats before. Then I tried the fresh ones and there was no turning back! Fabulous, fresh, meaty flavor... a little mustard on a bun and it's perfection.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyf4lyf

      Similar experience here with Forest Pork Store, a terrific German butcher. You walk in and TAKE A NUMBER! the place is tiny, everyone in there but me is speaking in German, and little old ladies are standing there saying "Nein! Grosser!" and point to the plockwurst they want.

      Forest's fresh wursts are outta this world. Those brats are like heaven in casing.

    2. Thats what im talking about. I dont think most of us know what a good sausage really is.(or how to cook one for that matter)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Carmelizedbunions

        What the butcher told me to do was to simmer in the liquid of my choice (I've done water, beer, and hard cider, all with good results)...and do NOT pierce the skin. Then drain, and grill. I have used both a BBQ grill outside and a grill pan on the stove inside, both with excellent results. Sometimes one of the brats will burst their skins, but most of the time they don't and they are so juicy. Nothing like the fresh ones. I can never go back.

        1. re: wyf4lyf


          The difference, from your method, is that I like to soft steam (190-200 degree) them rather than parboiling them.

          I gotta agree with that never pierce the skin thing.


      2. In my hometown in WA there was a Swiss butcher who made bockwurst every Spring around Lent. They were divine! Veal quenelles in a casing. Very light and tender. My normally-frugal father would buy a couple big batches of these - hang the expense! The local supermarket versions around here don't compare.

        My second-favorite sausages were the Frankfurt street-food bratwurst. Big (@1/3 lb.) white fine-ground super-flavorful pork doggies. If I ever get back to Germany, I'll have to stop by a schnell-imbiss and have one for old-times sake.

        1. Merguez. Moroccan lamb sausage. I had my kosher butcher in South Orange make up a batch for me, with lots of harissa, the hot, spicy middle-eastern condiment, and a few other spices.

          When you grill it, it is so fragrant, so delicious, so juicy, you just can't stop eating it. On a roll, with some tahina, or on top of a salad, with a light dressing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

          1. Gabe's Country Market in Maple City, MI (between Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore). Homemade potato sausage mixed up with scrambled eggs and green onions, eaten with bites of buttery whole wheat toast. A serious weekend breakfast. Plus smoked meats and jerky of all kinds.

            1. mmm.. sausage..

              Johnsonville Brats

              1. I'm a saus-aholic. I' grew up in the NY/NJ/PA area and have always had tremendous access to great Italian and European sausages -- wursts, kielbasas -- of all kinds that I almost take them for granted. Sausage sandwiches with onions and peppers are found everywhere in the tri-state area. My favorite pizza is sausage and mushroom, but so many places put such crappy sausage on their pizza that it's hard to find a great one these days. My first revelation that sausages could be made with something other than pork was when a stall opened at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill in the late 70's that made all kinds of wonderful sausages made with chicken, seafood, fruits, vegetables, you name it. Then I went to NOLA and discovered andouille and alligator sausages, which I'd bring home with me to include in jambalaya and gumbos. These days I'm particularly fond of an Italian sausage made with broccoli rabe, sharp provolone and a hint of crushed red pepper made at the Bagliani market in Hammonton, NJ. My latest sausage discovery was something called "Christmas Sausage" made at a little butcher shop in Villas, NJ, that my neighbor raved about. It is made with garlic, cheese and white wine and was quite different and wonderful served with fried onions over pasta. I've since gone to sausage makers in South Philly to ask about it and it turns out they all make slightly different versions and may or may not call it Christmas sausage. I've yet to do a taste test though. Give me a good Italian sausage made with plenty of garlic and the right amount of fennel alongside a plate of pasta with red gravy and freshly grated locatelli and I'm in heaven.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Ellen

                  Yum, I might have to make a sausage pilgrammige to the tri-state. Ive yet to try a christmas sausage, but ive read about the kind from france (boudin blanc maybe) with lots of cream and eggs and unique spices like cloves and nutmeg, but that version in the Jers sounds mighty good. I used to go to a market outside of chcago called caputo's that had all sorts, one of my favorites being a fresh green pepper and provalone italian sausage. You could add it to a can of crushed tomatoes and do nothing else and it was the best sauce ever.

                  1. re: Ellen

                    Ellen, love your description and the end of it made me laugh when you referenced "freshly grated locatelli".

                    When I met my husband, the first time I had dinner at his parent's very Sicilian home they kept saying "pass the Locatelli". I'd never heard of this type of cheese before.

                    When I went to put it on my pasta, it sure tasted a lot like Pecorino Romano to me. I later mentioned this to my husband. He said, "no, it's Locatelli".

                    I went to look at the container it was in and pointed out to him that the type of cheese was indeed Pecorino Romano but the brand name was "Locatelli". His whole entire life (and his families too of course) he thought Locatelli was the type of cheese LOL.

                    But I have to say, good fresh, sweet italian sausage, with red gravy (not sauce in their house either LOL) or some broccoli rabe is one of my favorite meals, hands down :-)

                    1. re: sivyaleah

                      You're right. We used those terms interchangeably and I don't even realize it.

                  2. • My friend’s mom’s lukanika made with smoked pork, orange peel, and leeks that she makes for Christmas. Alas, she has retired to the other side of The Atlantic, but my buddy tells me she still uses the old hand cranked sausage stuffer every year.
                    • Anything hanging from the ceiling of The Calabria Pork Store on Arthur Avenue.
                    • Fresh bratwurst from Forest Pork Store in Huntington, Long Island which is an off shoot of the Glendale, Queens (old Germantown) branch. It’s not that easy to procure fresh quality brats in the NY metro area.
                    • The yearly pilgrimage to the mecca of hot dogs: Nathan’s at Coney Island for a lazy mid week summer lunch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: byrd

                      Ah, yes, but the Forest Pork Store in Queens is really in Ridgewood, not Glendale. Zumm Stammtisch is in Glendale, as is Rudy's Konditorei if that gives you a reference point. Neiderstein's (now an Arby's!) was Middle Village.

                    2. I saw heaven in the smoked Polish kielbasa from Bobak's sausage company in Chicago. Bobak's has a Polish market and buffet restaurant, and man-oh-man, that place is awesome. If you've ever got some time on a layover at Midway airport, Bobak's is right around the corner, and so worth a visit.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: litchick

                        Is Bobak's actually in the airport?

                        1. re: heidipie

                          No, outside, a few blocks away. It's on Archer Ave, just off Cicero. But worth the hassle with re-entering security if you've got the time and a hankering for kielbasa!



                      2. Um.....

                        All of them.

                        To me it's like cheese or wine or bread. They all have their specific applications and to a varying degree, are not interchangeable. You can't make biscuits and gravy with with chorizo anymore than you can make gumbo with English bangers.

                        All hail the mighty sausage!!!


                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Davwud

                          Lets try, anyone have a good biscuit and chorizo sausage recipe, or maybe spicy italian and eggs.

                          1. re: Davwud

                            except now i am fixated on the idea of biscuits and gravy made with chorizo. why wouldn't a spicy chorizo gravy not pair well with fluffy biscuits?

                            one of the reasons i miss munich: people eating weisswurst with mustard, a proper bavarian pretzel, and a frosty glass of hefeweizen.

                            1. re: augustiner

                              Got it, something corn based in a biscuit shape, cornbread, polenta cakes, cornmeal pancakes, covered in our new invention chorizo sausage country gravy, topped with a poached or fried egg (OE). Although every time I think i invented something new turns out someone else has done it.

                              1. re: augustiner

                                I love sausage in general, but yes, this query immediately made me think of slurping up creamy, perfectly spiced Weisswurst from its little condom...

                            2. I cry for good Spanish sausages. I finally found a Spanish store in SoHo that sells amazing morcillas with either rice or hard-to-find onion. It's amazing. I've been craving the good Filipino longanizas and chorizos de Bilbao that I remember eating when I was younger. El Rey brand chorizo is virtually impossible to find in New York (and throughout much of the country, it seems) and I'm stuck with poor approximations from Léon. If I could find that, my life would be complete. That and black pudding.

                              1. Have to second the vote for a black pudding, but only a slice or two thats enough for one sitting. Also decent Spanish chorizo. Occasionally I'll come across a decent package, normally I have to be happy with one that isn't quite Mexican, but also not quite spanish (usually too moist and a little mushy)

                                also a real proper traditional Cumberland Sasauge loaded with black pepper, or even a true Linconshire one. the imitation varities simply cannot hold up to the classic ones you get from the local butchers who use the traditional ingredients.

                                1. In the nouveau-sausage category:

                                  The first time I went to Jody Maroni's stand on Venice Beach, in about 1989, the two varieties that blew my mind were the lamb with figs and pine nuts, and the chicken/duck with orange, cumin and garlic. I've been making variations on them ever since. (BTW, how's their quality nowadays? I know they expanded a whole lot, and imagine it isn't what it was, but haven't been there in a long time.)

                                  Also, New Orleans boudin blanc. Wow.

                                  1. There's a locker about 30 miles from here that has all sorts of different sausage, including several varieties of skinless brats. Sounds like it shouldn't be, I suppose, but they're awfully good.

                                    Actually, I like about any kind of sausage. The homemade regular breakfast sausage I get at the grocery store here, their homemade bulk Italian sausage, Polish sausage from the Schwan's man, Tiefenthaler's skinless brats, their maple breakfast sausage, you name it.

                                    Bad for you. But I can't not have it. As a matter of fact I have a bit of homemade Italian sausage from Pallucca's in Frontenac, Kansas, thawing right now for supper.

                                    1. Bratwurst sold from the corner of German bakeries and eaten on the street. Served with mustard (unless it's a curry wurst) on a small, crusty roll. If I had a jet plane, I'd fly there right now just to have one.

                                      Also crave NY's Gray's Papaya hot dogs all the time.

                                      1. When we lived in Portland we used to go to the Beaverton farmer's market on Saturday mornings. An outfit called Fetzer's had a stand there where they sold brats and spicy beer sausages. We used to would pick up a bunch of those with mustard and sauerkraut, and eat a couple of them there and take the rest of them home for later. I miss them, even here in the upper midwest where there's lots of good sausage to be had.