Beef Sausage is a food that is made with ground beef, which has been blended with various spices, herbs and salt. This sausage, like all other sausages, is encased in a casing that is made from the intestine of the animal; however, there are times when the casing is synthetic (which could include cellulose, collagen, plastic or extruded casings), which is removed during the processing of the sausage. This sausage can be preserved and stored for a long time by various preserving methods such as drying, curing or smoking. There are many European cuisines, such as English, Irish, Dutch, Turkish, Polish and Swiss and also Latin American cuisines that use this sausage in their preparations, which include breakfast dishes, side dishes, main course dishes, etc.
Beef Sausage was one of the earliest sausages made by ancient man, as a way to preserve food. Traditionally, beef, along with pork and veal, was the meat with which sausages were made. Various rarely consumed, but highly nutritious organs of the animal, such as tissues, intestines, scraps, etc., were ground and mixed with spices and salt and preserved. Initially, these sausages were preserved by drying, but with technological development over the years, various other methods of preserving foods have evolved. Today, this sausage is part of many cuisines and is used in a range of preparations.
The key ingredients of Beef Sausage are the cleaned intestines, tissues, collagen and scraps of bovines or domestic cattle. Seasonings such as black pepper, salt, garlic, paprika and certain herbs are the other ingredients that add flavor to the sausage.
Method of Preparation
Beef Sausage is prepared by blending ground meat (it includes unused edible portions of the animal) with fat and seasonings. The meat to fat ratio usually ranges between 70:30 to 75:25, depending on the processing method and the region where it is produced. Fillers such as bread or starch-based products (such as soy) are used. These fillers help in absorbing the moisture that gets lost from the meat when it is processed. This mixture of meat and fat is then processed (put through an automatic machine that makes long oblong shaped sausages) and encased with a casing that is made of either the intestines or even a synthetic material. If the casing is synthetic, then the sausages are first processed and then encased with the casing.
Types of Processing
Beef Sausage is processed in different ways and each process, which is specific to the region where it is processed, results in a different flavor and texture. It uses in various preparations also vary accordingly. Listed here are some common ways of processing this sausage -
- Fresh – These sausages are not cooked. Uncured meat is refrigerated and cooked thoroughly when they need to be used.
- Fresh Smoked – These are made by smoking uncured meat. They too need to be refrigerated and thoroughly cooked at the time of consumption. This is popular in Poland.
- Cooked – All ingredients are mixed, cooked, made into sausages and refrigerated. This type of sausage is generally used in hot dogs.
- Cooked & Smoked – These sausages are made by cooking and smoking or smoke-cooking them. However, they have to be refrigerated.
- Dried – These are made by fermenting cured meat and then drying them. They can be eaten cold and tend to have a longer shelf-life. This is popular in Turkey.
Popular Beef Sausage Recipes
Beef Sausage is the key ingredient in a range of preparations of various cuisines. Depending on the dish, it is used as the only main ingredient or in combination with other ingredients. Mentioned here are a few popular preparations of this sausage –
Beef Sausages & Balsamic Tomatoes –
Ingredients Used: Beef Sausages, red onions, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, fresh basil, oil, salt & pepper.
Preparation: Sausages are tossed in olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper and this is followed by tossing in the red onions. When all ingredients have blended in well, they are baked till the sausages brown. Once done, sliced cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar are added; the contents are tossed once again and baked till the sausages are fully done. Torn basil leaves are stirred into the cooked sausages and served with bread.
Sausage, Beans & Greens Casserole –
Ingredients Used: Beef Sausages/Kielbasa, onions, garlic, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, dried thyme leaves, white beans/cannellini, canned spinach, salt & pepper.
Preparation: Sausages are browned without fat. Chopped onions, minced garlic and diced tomatoes are added and cooked a while. The remaining ingredients are added and stirred in well. This dish can be refrigerated (up to 2 days, if required) and baked just before it needs to be served. This makes a delicious side dish.
- Uncured sausages do not contain much sodium; however, cured sausages are high in salt, thus resulting in high blood pressure and the fillers are not suitable to many people. As per reports, they are known to cause cancer.
- “Sausage” is a word that was derived from “Salsus”, a Latin word that means salted. Beef Sausage is one of the first traditionally prepared sausages.