This recipe for Lithuanian potato sausage, or vedarai, can be made entirely meatless or with the addition of chopped, cooked bacon.
Serve vedarai with sour cream alone for a vegetarian meal, or with bacon-sour cream gravy if not fasting.
The sausage can be cooked by boiling, boiling and browning in the oven, or simply cooked in the oven. Check out this tip for keeping grated potatoes from turning dark.
- For the Sausages:
- 12 medium potatoes (russet, peeled and finely grated)
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons butter (or 3 strips chopped bacon)
- 2 large eggs
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- Salt and pepper
- Few tablespoons all-purpose flour, if necessary
- 4 to 6 feet of hog casings (rinsed three times, see note about buying the correct amount)
- For the Bacon-Sour Cream Gravy:
- 1/2 pound bacon (diced)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 cup sour cream
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (if necessary)
Sauté 1 large finely chopped onion in 3 tablespoons butter or omit the butter and sauté the onion in 3 strips chopped bacon. Let come to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine 12 medium finely grated russet potatoes, onion with or without bacon, 2 large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, if using, salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too loose, add a few tablespoons of flour.
Stuff mixture into cleaned hog casings. Prick the casing in several spots so it doesn't explode while cooking. Boil in salted water for about 1 hour or boil 45 minutes and brown in a 350 F oven in a greased pan for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, place uncooked potato sausage in a greased pan with 1/4 cup water and bake about 1 hour or until golden brown in a 350 F oven. Serve with either sour cream or bacon-sour cream gravy.
The Bacon-Sour Cream Gravy
Fry 1/2 pound diced bacon and 1 large chopped onion until tender. Drain off all fat and combine bacon-onion mixture with sour cream and black pepper. Thin with 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, if necessary.
A Word about Hog Casings
Ask your butcher for the correct amount of hog casings you will need to make 2 pounds of sausage. Since most packages come in packages that will make 10 pounds or more, you undoubtedly will have leftover casings after making this recipe. But, that's not a problem. Natural hog casings stay fresh up to 2 years when left in its salt and tightly sealed in your refrigerator.