How to Cook Fresh Kielbasa: Everything You Must to Know
A lot of people are wondering what in the hell is Kielbasa? Is it just a name that someone came up with by mistake? First of all, you need to understand what it is before I explain to you the various ways to prepare it. Don't be confused by the name. Kielbasa is simply a type of sausage that hails from Europe, specifically from Polish (Poland) region. Now that you know what it is, we can easily proceed to the ways to prepare it.
You can eat boiled or fried kielbasa but not when raw. Leave that to cannibals and animals. So there are different ways in which you can prepare your kielbasa. It really depends on how you want to eat yours. Whether boiled or fried, you may think that Kielbasa is similar to the usual smoked sausages, but they are not. Kielbasa has a garlic taste and has a little bit rough surface than the usually smoked sausage. It does not have the smoky flavors since it is traditionally made from pork meat unlike the usual "smokies" which are boiled then smoked or added with smoky flavors.
Ways To Prepare Kielbasa
Smoked sausages can be eaten while cold or warm. There is commercially made kielbasa which uses different kinds of meat other than the traditional pork. Some are made using beef meat, while others come with turkey meat. So if you are trying it for the first time and you want a traditional Polish kielbasa, you better be careful not to pick the commercially made ones. If you know how to make them yourself, then it is always advisable that you purchase the raw pork and the traditionally made coats and not processed collagens. You can also buy raw fresh sausages from renowned kielbasa vendors to avoid all the problems.
Depending on the time you want to cook your kielbasa, you need to make sure that the meat is waiting for the day in the refrigerator. If you are planning to eat it in due time, you can remove the seal, but if not, you have to make sure the package is airtightly sealed in the refrigerator. A vacuum sealed kielbasa takes up to 3 weeks inside a refrigerator before going bad.
Boiling the Fresh Kielbasa
Some experts disagree with the idea of boiling kielbasa. They argue that since you are cooking raw sausages under a specific temperature to ensure that you maintain the correct texture and flavor, it is called poaching.
For the fresh raw kielbasa, you need to add enough water on to the pot. The water should be sufficient for the kielbasa you are going to boil. You can put it on the stove or whatever cooker you are using to boil if you like it natural without any spices. But if you are a spices person, you can add any kind of spice you want to the water to bring the flavor. Now add kielbasa and let the water boil again because of the addition of kielbasa kind of reduces the water temperature. So let it boil a little before you reduce the heat and let the contents in the pot simmer until the temperatures reach at least 165 degrees. This should take you roughly 50 minutes. Don't let the skin be tenderer because it will take away the flavor. Remove the sausages immediately you realize that it has acquired the required tenderness.
Obtaining the Brown Color on The Skin of Kielbasa
Once you are done with boiling, you can eat it or grill the sausages until you get that brown color on its surface. You can achieve this using the following techniques.
- You can grill your boiled kielbasa. It is actually simple to do this. All you need is a grill where you are going to put the boiled sausages. The grill is supposed to be hot enough to bring out the brown color. If all is set, you heat the boiled sausages until it gets a uniform brown color. This should take you roughly 4 minutes depending on how hot the grill is.
- You can also roast your sausages in an oven. The temperatures should be between 340 and 360 degrees. Put the boiled sausages on a tray and put it in the oven making sure you give each a uniform turn for about 20 minutes until you obtain a uniform brown color. Remove the sausages and serve them.
- Frying it with oil and a pan will definitely create a brown color. This is my favorite technique because it allows me to fry kielbasa alongside many different ingredients too.
- The last and the worst technique is the one where you boil it again for five to ten minutes. I call it the worst because it makes the skin tenderer that it will give you a disturbing mucus feeling in your mouth as you eat it. Boiling sausages too much also take away the flavor.
After you complete the procedure, it's time to set the table and start serving. You can decide to eat it just like that, or you can eat it alongside any other dish. You can eat it with potato fries or other ingredients like a stew. I recently found out an awesome ingredient that you can eat with cooked kielbasa. Kenyans call it "Kachumbari." This is simply a mixture of neatly chopped fresh onions, chopped tomatoes and coriander topped up with a little chili powder. This combination will leave you asking for more.
Now that you fully understand what kielbasa is and all the ways in which you can cook your kielbasa, don't you think it's high time you try it today in your kitchen? Or the next time you are barbecuing with your friends at your backyard near the pool, you should surprise them with this recipe. Preparing kielbasa whichever way you like it is not a hard task as long as you follow correctly all the steps I have mentioned above. Most people prefer grilling theirs because it is the fastest and the natural way to cook your sausages.