Hamburgers, chicken, fish —I love it all. But this Memorial Day, I plan to please my German forefathers and break the mold of the same-old-same-old. It’s time to fire up the grill for some juicy, all-natural sausages. Savory, spicy, sweet and succulent, I love to celebrate sausage in all its diversity!
Back in the old days, sausage meant mainly pork. Not so anymore. One peruse through the meat department of your local Whole Foods Market turns up all shapes and sizes of sausages made from beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork (of course) and even seafood. Some varieties are raw and must be cooked; others are already fully cooked and just need to be heated to serve. Not much of a meat-eater? Don’t forget there are no-meat “sausage-style” vegetarian options available that can be cooked in many of the same ways that traditional sausage is cooked.
Many sausage varieties are lean and full of delicious ingredients such as apples, sage, feta cheese, spinach, garlic, herbs and spices, and for a touch of sweetness, maple syrup. Some are suggested for breakfast and others for main meals. And with so many ways to cook them, the sky’s the limit! You can bake them, broil or boil them, warm them in a skillet, or slice and sauté, and eat them alone or as part of a main or side dish.
With all the myriad ways of preparing sausage, there’s still no tastier way than grilling. Did you know you can parboil sausages to pre-cook them before grilling? This helps keep them moist and tender. Parboil in water, beer, wine, broth and even apple juice. Get creative! Drop in hot liquid just until the skin tightens up and the sausage looks a little firmer. Then just put them on the grill to finish cooking. For straight grilling, keep your flame medium to low. Better to take longer to cook than biting into a dried out sausage with burnt skin! Use larger sausage for grilling and keep the smaller varieties for the pan on the stove-top.
Whether firing up the grill or not, here are a variety of ways to prepare and enjoy sausage:
Got a hankering for some good sausage? Got a favorite recipe? Let me know. Vielen Dank und Auf Wiedersehen!