|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 43g||55%|
|Saturated Fat 15g||73%|
|Total Carbohydrate 11g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||9%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
In Ukrainian, kovbasa is the generic word for any type of "sausage," much like kiełbasa is the generic word for "sausage" in Polish. The beauty of this particular Ukrainian fresh sausage (not smoked) recipe is that casings are optional. The links can be formed by hand if desired. Other Eastern European sausages formed by hand include Serbian/Croatian cevapcici and Romanian mititei.
This simple sausage is made with a combination of pork and beef and peperivka, a spicy vodka. The meat mixture can be prepared days in advance in order for the flavors to meld and develop before rolling into cylinders and cooking. Grilling, frying, baking, or poaching all produce a good result. If you have trouble finding peperivka, there's a recipe for it below. It must be aged for 48 hours before using, so plan accordingly.
For the Peperivka:
3 whole cayenne peppers
2/3 cup vodka
For the Sausages:
1 pound ground pork shoulder
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
4 ounces fatback
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons peperivka
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 double-layer muslin
6 inches butcher's twine
7 1/2 cups chicken stock
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Make the Peperivka
Prick cayenne peppers all over with a fine skewer.
Place peppers in a sterilized glass jar and add vodka. Screw on the top and shake.
Let the pepper vodka sit for at least 48 hours before using and then refrigerate. This makes about 2/3 cup.
Make the Sausages
Combine the ground pork shoulder, ground beef chuck, fatback, beaten eggs, 2 teaspoons peperivka, allspice, and salt. Check seasonings by frying a small amount and tasting. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
Form meat mixture into 6 sausages. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, carefully add sausages, cooking in batches if necessary, 7 to 10 minutes per side. Sausages also can be grilled or baked.
To Poach the Sausages: Form the meat mixture into 2 (8-inch) long sausages, wrap them in a double muslin layer and tie securely with butcher's twine. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a gentle simmer. Add the sausages and poach gently, frequently turning, for 35 to 40 minutes or until the juices run clear when the sausages are pierced with a fine skewer. Leave the sausages in the stock for 20 minutes, then remove and leave to cool. Remove the twine and muslin and sauté the sausages in oil to brown them.
Garnish with parsley and serve with buttered mashed potatoes, if desired.
- Bourbon or another style of whiskey can be used instead of vodka to make the peperivka.
- Adapted from "Polish and Russian: 70 Traditional Step-by-Step Dishes from Eastern Europe (Cooking Around the World)" by Lesley Chamberlain & Catherine Atkinson (Lorenz Books, 2005).