Tag Archives: German sausage

Beyond Bratwurst– Blutwurst, German Blood Sausage

Stick with me through this post on Blutwurst, and you will be rewarded by the next recipe to come–a luscious dessert is coming soon.

Now here’s a sausage that will test how adventurous your eating habits are.  Blutwurst, the German means Blood Sausage in English, turns some people off right there. Just the name.  Even if you get your steak rare or barely medium, with a little bloody juice dripping out, there is just something about being so bold as to actually eat something called blood.

Blutwurst Package

Blutwurst Package

Other Names for Blutwurst

The English, in their coy way, disguise their blood sausage under the name Black Pudding. Well, that sounds pretty innocent, doesn’t it?  Since the English also tend to call all desserts “pudding”, you might be fooled by Black Pudding.

The French call it boudin (boo-DAN), which sounds pretty classy.

Italians say biroldo.

In Poland it’s kiszka.

Ingredients of Blutwurst

And so on.  Proving that every culture that eats pigs has found a way to maximize the use of ALL of the pig.  So while I found that I do like Blutwurst, I find it necessary not to dwell on the ingredients.  It is not the blood (which can be pork or beef blood) that gets to me–it’s the “pig snouts, pork jowls and pork belly fat that are added to chopped pork, seasonings like clove and ginger, marjoram and garlic.

It seems that most other nationalities add fillers of wheat or rice or other grains, but my German ancestors thought the left over parts of the pig were just fine all by themselves–with a few seasonings, thank you.

The Blutwurst I got from Wisconsin’s German sausage maker Steiglmeir is fully cooked, but it does contain nitrite–a chemical not found in many of their sausages.  That makes it a food you eat once in a while, but not frequently.

People’s Reactions

Blutwurst sliced

Blutwurst sliced

People have a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ reaction to blutwurst. There seems to be no neutrality about this stuff.  Some are turned off at the mere thought of blood in the name. Some think they detect a strong, iron aftertaste that they hate.  Some don’t mind the taste but don’t like the texture.  (Blutwurst is soft, rather more like liverwurst than like the solid texture of bratwurst.)

How To Eat It

Like other German sausages, blutwurst can be eaten as a cold cut or fried. I was a little put off by the big globs of fat, so preferred it fried.  I found that the texture improved if I fried it longer than I would other sliced sausage.  When it cooks all the way through, it loses that “gooey” texture that it has otherwise.  However, even in an oiled cast iron skillet, it was prone to stick, so I turned it frequently.  It cooks up black and is not terribly photogenic.

Blutwurst fried

Blutwurst fried, on pumpernickel with mustard

As with the other sausages, the traditional German accompaniments taste great with blutwurst–namely potato salad and sauerkraut.  I didn’t have any sauerkraut on hand, but made a cold potato salad without mayo. In cooler weather, I would definitely make a German (hot) potato salad.  I also think I would love a few slices of apple cooked along with the sausage.

One Other Thing Not to Think About

Let’s face it, sausage does not qualify as health food, no matter how you slice it (or fry it).

But besides not thinking about ingredients, I try not to think about the nutritional value of the German Sausages I am trying out.  This one is loaded with iron, if you have an iron deficiency, however many people have to be careful not to ingest too much iron.  Otherwise, here’s the bad news about a serving of  blutwurst:

Good:

Protein, 15 grams  28%

Mixed:

Iron, 35%

Bad:

Saturated fat: 13 g., 65% of daily requirement

Ployunsaturated Fat 3.5 g.

Monosaturated Fat 16 g.

Cholesterol, 120 mg., 40% of daily requirement

Sodium 680 mg, 28 %

Vitamin D 13%

B-12  16%

Blutwurst dinner

Blutwurst on pumpernickel with potato salad

But once in a while, for a special treat, Blutwurst, sauerkraut and potato salad will fill my plate. Add some pumpernickel bread and a splash of German mustard.

Or maybe I’ll have one of these that I wrote about earlier.

  1. Weisswurst
  2. 2. Gelbwurst
  3. 3. Krakauerwurst

Beyond Brats: Krakauer Wurst, Versatile German Sausage

Krakauer Sausage

Krakauer / Krakow Sausage wrapping

The name gives away that fact that although Krakauer is classified as a German sausage, its roots are in Krakow, Poland. Krakauer can also be called Kawassy. As with the other sausages we have looked at (Weisswurst, Gelbwurst) the ingredients and look of the sausage may vary according to its origin. I have found pictures of long skinny sausages, and fatter rolls meant to slice for lunch meat or thickly sliced, fry quickly.  I had that second kind.

Krakauer sausage ingredients

Krakauer sausage ingredients–pork, beef, salt and garlic. “Spices” probably include pepper and nutmeg.

The sausage is traditionally 80% pork and 20% beef, and is smoked, boiled and smoked again before going to the market. One site described it as “bolder than bologna.”  I definitely liked this one–either as a cold cut or fried and found various uses for it.

Krakauer cold cuts

Krakauer sliced for cold cuts

This Stiglmeier sausage has no nitrites and is fully cooked. [A site in German says that if sausage contains nitrite it is actually dangerous to grill it, as the high heat turns the nitrite salts into a carcinogenic. I had never seen that before, an interesting thing to learn.]

First, we had it for dinner.  After I browned the sausage in some vegetable oil, I stirred cubed beets into the grease and sprinkled it with nutmeg.  I also fried some potatoes.

Krakauer Wurst dinner

Krakauer Wurst dinner with sauteed beets and fried potatoes.

The next morning, I diced some of the sausage and stirred it into pieces of the left over fried potatoes–sautéed it and mixed in an egg. Yummy.

A couple days later, I boiled some greens (I had kale and beet greens on hand). I browned cubes of the sausage in a little vegetable oil. when the greens were tender (less than 10 minutes), I stirred them in with the sausage cubes and we had another twist on Krakauer sausage.

Krakauer/Krakow/Kawassy–whatever you want to call it–this sausage has climbed to the top of my favorites.

Gelbwurst – Beyond Brats, German Sausage #2

Today we’ll take a look at Gelbwurst, a lemon-flavored sausage that you usually serve cold.

Gelbwurst outside

Gelbwurst package

I started the series on German Sausages when I saw a sign in a nearby butcher shop/deli advertising a dozen or more types of German Sausages.  I only recognized one or two of them.  With all those German Ancestors, I thought it was time for me to learn. You can see the first sausage, Weisswurst, here.

What Goes In To Gelbwurst

My ignorance of sausages showed when I pulled the sausage out of the freezer, ready to cook it for dinner, and discovered you don’t cook Gelbwurst. Instead, this sausage falls into the same category as bologna. Like bologna, you can fry slices if you wish, so we tried it both uncooked and fried. In either case, remove the yellow-colored casing before eating.

The name means yellow (golden) sausage.  Various meats may go into Gelbwurst. The ingredients can include pork and bacon. Mine had Veal with several seasonings, perhaps nutmeg, pepper and ginger but definitely including the most usual flavoring– lemon.

ALIAS

Like the Weisswurst I talked about earlier, Gelbwurst originated in Bavaria–the home of some of my German ancestors. According to this web site, in Bavaria it might be known as Kalbskäse or Weser Fleishkäse or Breganwurst in Northern Germany. If you saw the alternate name, Hirnwurst, it would mean made the old way with up to 25% pig brains, but brains are no longer considered a safe ingredient for making sausage. Yet, according to Wikipedia, the name Hirnwurst survives.

Gelbwurst

Gelbwurst ingredients

Do you want to make your own Gelbwurst? Follow the link.

A Short Life

The traditional casing was pig’s intestine died yellow, but nowadays it comes in an artificial casing–also yellow.  The sausage itself is a pale gray instead of pink because it has no nitrites. That makes it healthier than some sausages and cold cuts, however it also means it will not stay edible as long.  One website recommends eating it within two days of purchase.

In fact, my Gelbwurst began to smell a little “off” after two days out of the freezer.  Since we bought an uncut, frozen package rather than having a butcher slice some off a fresh loaf, we had more than we needed for one meal.  We ate it for dinner one night, breakfast and  lunch the next day and still had a bit to discard.

Gelbwurst for dinner

Gelbwurst for dinner with rye bread, hash brown potatoes and salad.

Sheerly a matter of taste, of course, but we preferred it fried on rye bread with a bit of old fashioned, seed-filled German mustard. In the picture above, we were eating it cold on rye bread–also good.