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Mar 16, 2014 02:36 PM

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 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.