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What to Do With Cured Sausage?

So I bought some very exciting spicy leek Greek sausage at a real good butcher shop (fwiw, Artopolis in Astoria). And it dawns on my I have no idea what to do with it.

I've never had cured sausage in my kitchen before. I asked a friend, and he suggested I basically treat it like shoe leather, stewing for 4-5 hours then serving it heavily sauced.

I have reason to think this will have lots of flavor, so I don't want to do too much to bury its goodness. What's a nice simple way to do it?

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  1. If this is what you mean by "cured sausage," then you don't cook it.


    1. You can use those as seasoning, depending on the flavors involved. I like to make a stew with salt cod, potatoes, onion and tomato, with smoked Spanish paprika and a pinch of saffron threads heated up in some dry white wine as the primary seasoning ingredients. When I get some dry Spanish chorizo I like to chop that up and throw it in too. That same dish can lean Mediterranean French with herbes de Provence and chopped saucisse sec, so I'd expect you could do a Greek version too. You don't even need the cod if you don't want it; cubed lamb shoulder would be good, maybe better!

      No, all the salumi family don't get cooked as often as eaten dry, but it's not that unusual. Pizza, anyone?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        Excellent point and ideas. I wasn't thinking about adding it to other things.

      2. Is it Loukaniko, if so there are lots of simple ways to use it.

        1. Diced up fine, add it for the last few minutes to a diced potato/onion homefry

          2 Replies
          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

            Ding ding ding. We have a winner!

            You just used two magic words....

            1. re: Jim Leff

              Rofl...all you wanna do is heat the sausage.....the rest.well.as you like. It adds a nice dimension/flavor

          2. There's a tang resulting from the fermentation process in cured sausage that will disappear if you cook it. You certainly CAN, but heat will turn it into a different thing entirely. I'd suggest trying it as is first. Thin-sliced, with good bread and condiments. Always open-faced and preferably served on a wooden slat or cutting board. Accompanying charcuterie with cornichons, bread, mustard, butter, and beer is standard for a reason.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              You're quite right about that, on both accounts. While cooking cured sausage is not a misuse, you do lose that lovely pungency you get when it's raw, which is how you should get acquainted with a new one. And if it were expensive and/or hard to come by, the only cooking I'd do with it would be a small bit in scrambled eggs. For cooking I buy the ones Trader Joe's carries, or the commercial Spanish chorizo fro the neighborhood Latino market.

              It is mistake to cook it for too long; in the stew I mentioned, the sausage is diced very coarsely, and added to the stew along with the pre-fried fish chunks to finish in the oven after the potatoes have cooked. That way it adds flavor without losing all of its own.

              1. re: greygarious

                I agree. If it's that special I'd just eat it the first time around. Fool around with it after that.

              2. Before consuming this Sausage raw I would talk to the Butcher who made it. Not all cured Products are meant to be consumed with out cooking.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chefj

                  Good advice, thanks. Turns out it is a kind of loukaniko. I found this suggestion for this specific sausage: http://www.amny.com/eat-and-drink/cul...

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    Interesting info from c oliver's NYT article at the top of this thread. I like to know and think about these things when I cook.

                    "Food historians believe that the Romans picked up the craft from the Lucanians, a tribe that for almost 1,000 years ruled part of what is now Basilicata in southern Italy, developing a reputation for sausages while fending off imperial conquerors. The Greek sausage loukanika and its Mediterranean cousins the longaniza (Spain), luganega (Italy), and linguiça (Portugal) are all descendants of the ancient lucanicus."

                2. Jim, I am unfamiliar with the product. Does it require cooking or is it more like a salami or pepperoni?

                  Some things that come to mind is a small dice added to a Clam Stuffie, a stuffed mushroom, with lentils served with salmon, added to a greek salad with a great feta and dressing, on a baked potato, in a chowder, chopped clam and greek sausage flat bread. . . . .

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bellachefa

                    I bet it would work nice with a light pasta dish with asparagus and goat cheese and small tomatoes

                  2. I like to cube into small pieces and add it to a mussel or clam recipe. No need to cook the crap out of it. Or I just like to slice and have it with some bread.

                    1. I though most dried sausages, like the dry salamis with white 'mold' on the outside, are cured. Or a dry Spanish chorizo.

                        1. It is most often enjoyed simply as a meze, sliced and fried or grilled/broiled and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice before consuming. Accompanied by olives, cheese, dips, crusty bread, etc..
                          It can also be used in a classic dish called Spetsofai/Spetzofai. Although I prefer a non-cured spicy sausage for this application. For discussion purposes Spetsofai is a Greek Island version of sausage and peppers with onions.
                          It is sautéed with peppers and onions and garlic. White wine added and some tomato or tomato sauce. Simmered and enjoyed with crusty bread.
                          I do prefer it grilled, but fried is very good. Don't forget the lemon juice!
                          BTW, FWIW, Artopolis is a bakery, so I suspect you got the sausage from Mediterranean Foods II next door to Artopolis, or Plaza Meat Market, an exceptional butcher shop.
                          Good shop, good sausage. They also have "Sheftalia" / "Seftalia" if you ask. AND they have Cypriot sausage that rivals the leek sausage.