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Radio Kitchen #917 - Sausage And Wurst 11-23-10
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It may have been Oktoberfest or it may have been football tailgate parties that got us thinking about our topic for this week's show...and that would be sausage and wurst. We weren't initially aware of it, but these incredibly savory packages of meat and seasonings appear in one form or another in mosst countries around the world.
There are two types of sausage: dried, cured sausage, which is ready to eat, and fresh sausage that needs to be cooked up. When it comes to beer and sausage, i.e., the kind of food we crave this time of year, the German varieties are hard to beat. Here's a roster of the leading German styles.
Bratwurst, also Rostbratwurst reddish brown in color, these are made from finely minced pork and beef. these are best grilled and served with a spicy mustard and a piece of thick bread.
Knackwurst are all-beef, a pale tan color, and flavored with garlic. they are often boiled and serve up very well with sauerkraut and potato salad.
Weisswurst is pale white, just as its name suggests. It is made with veal and bacon and is seasoned with parsley, onion, lemon and cardamom. It is boiled and it usually is eaten after the skin is removed. This mild flavored sausage goes best with milder mustards and lighter beers.
Frankfurter or Bockwurst forget about American hotdogs. You haven't eaten really good franks until you try the original. These are traditionally made from veal, pork and a little beef. Salt, pepper and paprika are the seasonings. The sausages are long and slender and come in links. Ordinarily boiled, they also stand up well to grilling, of course. Germans will specify a hearty bock beer to go with them. I think India Pale Ale is also perfect. Two ready to eat sausages are also fairly well known.
Leberkase means "liver cheese", two ingredients it doesn't have! This is essentially a cold meatloaf, which is eaten in slices. Made from corned beef, onions and marjoram you can eat it cold, or pan fry it.
Landjager is a fairly common cured sausage that looks like a little salami. made from beef, pork, sugar and spices, you eat it cold just like you would an Italian salmi.
Finally, if you haven't heard of Baltimore's own sausage champions, you need to learn about Ostrowski's in Highlandtown (524 Washington Street), and Binkert's in Rosedale (8805 Philadelphia Road). Unbelievably good!