Polish Sausage Kielbasa

People often think that kielbasa is Polish for sausage, but it’s not. Kielbasa is a special kind of Polish sausage and if you’ve ever been in a real Polish butcher shop on Chicago’s north side, you quickly learn there a lot of different sausages from the homeland. This recipe is for a pork and beef version of kielbasa, but if you are going to make this using game like deer or elk in place of beef, you’ll need to add bit of pork fat (see note below). I’ll leave it you and your arteries as to how much. If you are wondering if this is an authentic recipe, I got it from my Mom, who got it from her Mom, who got it from the Old Country.


  • 1.5 lbs Pork (loin or butt) cut into 1″ cubes
  • 0.5 lbs Beef – cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 Garlic clove – pressed
  • 1 tsp Mustard seed or powder
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper – ground
  • 3 TBL water


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting
  2. Mix the pork and beef and then grind using a coarse setting.
  3. Press garlic and crush mustard seeds.
  4. Mix the garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper and seep in boiling water.
  5. Remove the knife from the grinder and add the sausage stuffer attachment.
  6. Using your hands, pour the spice paste over the ground meat and work it around evenly.
  7. Stuff the sausage casings
    1. Soak the casing gently in water to hydrate.
    2. Slowly run water through the casing to open it up.
    3. Slide casing onto the stuffer attachment.
    4. Slowly and steadily stuff the casing – pack tight but not too tight.
    5. Occasionally prick the casing with a needle to let air pockets out
    6. Twist in desired lengths per your usual cooking amount.
  8. Hang sausage for an hour to dry, then put in fridge for 1-3 days to cure.
  9. Work casings into rings and seal in vacuum bags before freezing.

Note1: If you want to be frugal, you can add 0.5 cups of filler, like oatmeal or cream of wheat to the ground meat.

Note 2: If you use game, use at least 25% pork and 25% pork fat.

Note 3: Chef Dwight mentioned a trick he uses when he can’t find pork fat is to use bacon. The advantages are that the bacon fat is already cured and likely has a nice smoking taste already. It’s a pricey alternative since bacon is about $7/lb while pork fat is $3/lb, but it seems alike an interesting thing to try.