David Theiss: Sausage stew is perfect for a fall day
September 26, 2012
As we enter into our fall season, many foods come to mind but none more than sausage. Germany’s Oktoberfest, one of the largest fall festivals, features sausages among other foods. This annual festival is now celebrated all across the world in almost any country. Oktoberfest originated in Germany in 1810. It was a celebration of the Royals’ nuptials held in a field outside of Munich. It was such a great success they decided to make it an annual event, which local Germans today call “Die Wiesen” after the name of the fields where it took place. It is a 16-day event that starts in late September, and ends on the first Sunday in October. It has grown so large that nearly six million people attend this event annually. (That’s a lot of sausage and beer.) Sausage has always been a large part of the fall harvests of pigs. It is the efficient end to processing all that pork. In days gone by, sausage makers would use everything including the squeal to make sausage, encompassing the meat with up to 50-percent fat.Nowadays, commercial sausage is made with a lot stricter rules with caps put on fats and additives. Sausage is defined as ground meat seasoned and stuffed in a natural or artificial casing. Years ago it was necessary to cure, smoke and or dry sausages for preservation. Sausage today continues to be made, because it’s just great food. Many ethnic groups in the world has some sort of food that is by definition sausage. German wursts, Polish kielbasa, Hungarian kolbasz, South African boerewors, and Basque chorizo. All of these are unique to their culture and food styles. I make 45 different kinds of sausage, and I always have customers asking if I make their version of sausage. Not only does sausage vary from culture to culture, it varies from region to region. I have seen 11 different recipes just for Portuguese linguia. What they make in New York City for Italian sausage is completely different from what people want for Italian sausage out West. Sausages were once made from the seasonings that were available to people regionally. Herbs and seasonings today are readily available almost all the time but not so much in yesteryear. What was once made out of necessity is now one of life’s great entres. Celebrate your own Oktoberfest by inviting some friends over and cook up some sausages and have a beer or two. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, sausage is a delicious meal. Pick up some freshly made smoked sausages for this recipe, or enjoy a low fat alternative with chicken sausages. Here’s a quick way to enjoy a smoked sausage. Boil a bratwurst in beer and then throw it on the grill for a few minutes, add some mustard and sauerkraut on a roll and enjoy. If you want a little more substantial dinner try this recipe. Enjoy some smoked Polish kielbasa, or a spicier andouille. Enjoy!Smoked sausage stew1 pound smoked sausage, sliced shopping list 3⁄8-inch thick, mild or spicy whatever you prefer4 medium potatoes cubed into 1⁄2-inch pieces1 onion, chopped1⁄2 cup of flour6 cups of water4 chicken bouillon cubesSalt and pepper to taste2 tablespoons olive oilIn a medium sized pot, place olive oil, sausage, and onions and brown over medium heat. Add flour and one cup of the water and stir until creamy. Dissolve chicken bouillon cubes with the remaining five cups of water and add to pot. Season with the salt and pepper to taste, add the potatoes, and let simmer for 45 minutes.• David Theiss a longtime resident of Carson City, and the owner of Butler Gourmet Meats in Carson City.