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Apr 29, 2012 07:34 PM

Is there any source for Kishka made with beef intestine?

When I was a child I remember eating kishka that differs significantly from anything I've had ever since. It was made with a fairly thick beef intestine, chicken fat, onion, flour and a few other ingredients. It was crisp on the outside and had lots of flavor. It was not like the 'natural' casing on a sausage because it was much thicker. These days, delis mostly sell a version of kishka with either inedible casings (paper, plastic, cellulose) or edible casings made from collagen from processing the skin of cows and other means. I don't know of anyone that makes kishka from hand-cleaned beef intestine, do you?

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  1. I too miss the kishka of yesteryear. It was firmer, grittier, had pieces of "stuff" in it. The current crop is pastier and leave this oily reddish slick when heated. However I can do without the intestines.

    1. Did you try Pomogranite in Brooklyn, NY? I seem to recall them selling homemade kishka, not sure if it was beef intestine, but it might be worth checking out what it was made of, as it was not run of the mill kishka

      1 Reply
      1. I know it is not in beef intestine - but Romanians in Chicago makes a GREAT kishke that is excellent without with oily reddish slick from other offerings -

        2 Replies
        1. re: weinstein5

          I heard about the Romanian Kosher Sausage Company but I haven't tried their product yet. I'll be in Chicago this summer, so I'll try to check it out.

          The one characteristic that seems to have disappeared from all kishka is the crispy, chewy, delicious casing. I may have to make my own version from chicken skin. :)

          1. re: Buzzy2

            Your description takes me back to my mother's kishka, the best I've ever had. That was in Chicago. Can't find anything to compare here in Los Angeles.

        2. I'm pretty sure that the reason that you will not find it anywhere in the U.S. is because it is now illegal to sell. I was jsut talking about it over the shabbos table. there is no substitute for it, not even Romainian's. the best that i remember from yesteryear was from Sinai of Best, but they are both long gone.

          14 Replies
            1. re: chicago maven

              I assumed that the FDA had made the sale of beef intestine illegal due to the issue of cleanliness. My grandmother used to spend hours and hours cleaning it inside and out. If worse gets to worse, I'm going to make it myself, with chicken skin. Think of it as a cross of gribenes and old style kishka from 1965 and earlier.

              1. re: Buzzy2

                if you are planning to make it with poultry skin, then you are really making Helzel, not kishke. The poulty slin imparts a completely different taste than the cow intestine and gives off much fat into the stuffing.

                I really miss the edible casings

                1. re: Buzzy2

                  I couldn't tell you about any specific FDA laws, but here in the South chitterlings (aka chittlins aka pig intestines) are available. They're not quite as easy to find as they once were, but that has more to do with changing tastes rather than regulations. I've heard from old timers who have experience with their mamas and grandmamas cooking chitterlings that you never ever eat chitterlings that you or someone you trust with your life hasn't prepared. That has everything to do with how difficult it is to clean them properly.

                  So if pig intestines are legal to sell, why wouldn't cow intestines be legal?

                  1. re: rockycat

                    They also smell when cooking to high heaven. Personal experience. :P

                2. re: chicago maven

                  Old news I beleive

                  And, I think it was originally done due to Mad Cow

                  1. re: chazzer

                    So it seems that it was briefly illegal under an interim regulation, but the final regulation made it legal again. Right?

                    1. re: zsero

                      That is how it looks to me. Reading another posting on the FDA site indicates that only a section of the small intestine can transmit Mad Cow. The new regulation allows for removal of that section.

                      Please remember that this is my lay interpretation of the information I found and in no way am I an expert.

                      1. re: chazzer

                        This all started way before the recent mad cow think hit the fan so I don't think that is the only reason.

                        1. re: chicago maven

                          think boxedbeef and consolidated slaughterhouses such as Agriprocessors. When slaughtering ceased to be done locally and a few giants did it nationally and shipped boxed beef to the kosher meat retailers, all the goodies such as the intestines disappeared from the food chain. Your local kosher butcher no longer had an intestine from each cow schect locally from which to make kishka. I also miss the edible wrapping, but the plastic casing has been around for more than 30 years.

                          1. re: ferret

                            Thanks for informing us of this development - NOT! Now I will envision cow intestines being ground up and put into hot dogs - at the start of the grilling season yet!


                            1. re: MartyB

                              Um, the intestines are not ground up and put into hot dogs - it's the exact opposite. What do you think a hot dog *is*? How do you think they were made before plastic?

                              1. re: zsero

                                "By removing 80 inches of the approximately 100-foot small intestine, Smith concluded the intestine can be safely used for sausage casings and other human food while ensuring the entire ileum, which is 18 to 24 inches in length, including the distal portion is safely removed."

                                Just what "human food" did they have in mind?