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The Hirshon Polish Ruthenian Farmhouse-Style Kielbasa - Ruska Kiełbasa Wiejska

The Hirshon Polish Ruthenian Farmhouse-Style Kielbasa – Ruska Kiełbasa Wiejska

  • Author: The Generalissimo


  • 700 g lean heirloom Pork – TFD likes Berkshire/Kurobota
  • 200 g lean grass-fed organic Beef
  • 200 g Fat trimmings
  • 18.0 g Kosher Salt
  • 2.5 g Cure # 1
  • 2.0 g Black Pepper, dry-toasted and ground
  • 18.0 g Garlic (about 3 cloves), through a garlic press
  • 1.0 g Sugar
  • 4.0 g ground dried marjoram
  • 2.5 g whole mustard seeds
  • ¼ onion, chopped very fine (optional but it is what makes this Ruthenian!)
  • 1.5 g Coriander seed, dry-toasted and ground
  • .75 g powdered bay leaf
  • Cherry wood chips for smoking
  • Hog casings for stuffing
  • Butchers twine
  • Onion marmalade and fresh-shredded horseradish for garnish, or beet horseradish from the jar


  1. Cut pork into 1” (25 mm) pieces. Chill fat, pork and beef in the fridge for at least an hour. Grind beef through ⅛” (3 mm) plate. Grind fat through ⅜” (8 mm) plate. Emulsify ground beef in food processor adding 40% (40 g) ice or ice-cold water. Add cure #1 and spices.
  2. Mix diced pork pieces with salt until sticky. Add emulsified mixture and ground fat and mix everything together. If your room is warmer than 65°F, set the bowl for the ground meat into another bowl of ice to keep it cold. Put the meat mixture and bowl in the freezer while you clean up.
  3. Stuff the sausage into the casings. When stuffing your sausages try not to stuff too tight as that may result in burst casings. You want the sausages to feel slightly firm, but not too tight.
  4. Kielbasa is normally made into long links tied at both ends to form a loop. Stuff about 2 feet of sausage, then pinch off the trailing end and pull off at least 6 inches of casing from the stuffing tube. Cut the casing with a knife and immediately pull out another 6 inches or so of casing to form the loose end for the next long loop of sausage. This ensures that you will have enough casing to tie off the links. Leave the links untied for now.
  5. Check each long link of kielbasa for air pockets. You will probably have some. Use a sterilized needle (get the point glowing in the stove burner for a second or so to do this) and pierce the casing all around any air pockets. Gently compress the meat in the link from either end. Don’t force it or the casing will burst. When you see no more air pockets, tie off the casings at either end.
  6. Hang sausages for 2 hours at room temperature.
  7. Smoking is done in three steps: Drying sausages using thin smoke, 45-55° C (113-131° F) for 20-30 min. Proper smoking with a thick smoke, 45-55° C (113-131° F) for 40-60 min. Baking with a thin smoke, 75-90° C (167-194° F) for 40-60 min until sausages reach 68-70° C (154-158° F) internal temperature and casings are dark brown with a reddish tint. Total time about 150 min.
  8. Once the sausages are cooked, pull them from the smoker and give them a spritz with some cool water from a spray bottle. This process, called “blooming” the sausage, is supposed to help the color develop, arrest the cooking, and helps to rehydrate the skin on the sausages.
  9. Cool sausages in air to 18° C (64° F) or lower. TFD likes to further hang his kielbasa in a curing chamber (if you are lucky enough to have one, do this at 55°F at 70 percent humidity) for 2 extra days before eating. This dries them out just a bit, and TFD considers both the flavor and texture to be improved, but this is not traditional or necessary to the final product if you lack such an outré accoutrement.
  10. Heat the sausages for eating by gently boiling them in water with a heaping tablespoon of whole-grained mustard – just until heated through, please. Serve them in the classical fashion with onion marmalade and freshly-shredded horseradish or try ćwikła – a very traditional beet horseradish relish made in Poland and Western Ukraine (red horseradish from the jar is a good substitute).
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