Kiełbasa is the Polish word for sausage, and there are a plethora of absolutely wonderful sausages produced in Poland. Most sausages in Poland are made from Pork, with our favourite varieties being: Mysliwska (Hunter’s Sausage); Wiejska (a u-shaped sausage originating in the Polish countryside); and Slaska (a Silesian Pork sausage). Other popular Polish sausages include: Kaszanka (blood sausage); kabanosy (a thin air-dried smoked sausage often eaten cold as a snack); Krakowska (a cooked smoked sausage often sliced and used in sandwiches); kielbasa biala (a raw white sausage similar to the German Weisswurst); and Parowki (a Frankfurter-style breakfast sausage).
A billboard advertising various Kielbasa (Polish sausages) outside a store in Lubuskie, western Poland.
Polish kielbasa are commonly eaten on the their own with mustard and/or horseradish; and in traditional Polish dishes such as bigos (hunter’s stew), zurek (sour rye soup), cooked with sauerkraut and potato to make a tasty stew; and white sausages are an essential ingredient in barszcz biały (another sour rye soup).
Related: A delicious recipe for a traditional Sauerkraut and Sausage Stew.
This is my adaptation of our family recipe of a truly tasty Sauerkraut and Sausage (kielbasa) dish. It’s based on a traditional German / Polish recipe from the Poznan area and one of our favourite dishes.
200 grams butter
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
6 large potatoes, cut into chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
900 grams sauerkraut, rinsed
500 grams pork sausages, cut into large chunks
2 bay leaves
ground black pepper, to taste
a pinch of dried thyme
- Add the butter to a pan with the onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic. Simmer for a couple more minutes.
- Add the sauerkraut (thoroughly rinsed in water), sausage, carrot, potatoes, bay leaves, thyme and black pepper. Simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are fully cooked.
Serve with fresh bread.
- Smoked (Kielbasa-type) sausages probably work best for this recipe but you can substitute these for white (Bratwurst-type) sausages, if you wish.
- We sometimes also add a couple of cored and diced apples to this dish. The combination of the sourness of the sauerkraut and the sweetness of the apple adds an interesting dimension to the overall taste. Similarly you might want to consider adding a glass or two of white wine or apple juice to the pot before cooking.
- We think that this recipe tastes even better warmed up the following day!