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Russian Sausage

This is the sausage my Russian grandparents would make several times a year. It was served at every family gathering. They were from a small village outside of Minsk in Byelorussia. Preparing today for our family and friends is a wonderful way to carry on traditions through the generations.

This sausage is not made with the typical ground pork used in most sausages, it is made with hand cut 1 inch pieces of pork butt or pork shoulder. The leaner cuts do not work. We tried. The meat needs to be fatty.

The pieces of pork is mixed with a special combination of spices and garlic. Then it is marinated a day or so

The marinated pork mixture is stuffed into casings and then simmered in lots of water. The final step is roasting and browning the sausage in the oven


10 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder

Hog casings, soaked in water and then rinsed inside and out

Spice and seasoning mixture:

1 tablespoon sugar

10 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dill seed, ground

1 teaspoon ground allspice or 20 seeds ground

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or 2 whole cloves, ground

1 teaspoon ground coriander or 20 seeds, ground

1/2 bay leaf, crumbled fine

1 teaspoon ground mustard seed or 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ground

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or 1 dried hot red cayenne pepper, chopped fine

3/4 cup water


  • Combine the dry seasonings in a small bowl.
  • Mince the garlic and add 1 teaspoon of the salt to it and mash it with the knife side.
  • Cut the pork shoulder or butt into 1 inches pieces. Place in a very large ceramic or glass bowl.
  • Add garlic, water and seasonings to pork and mix well with your hands
  • Cover and refrigerate 1 day.
  • Using an automatic sausage stuffer, slip the casings over the stuffing tube. I have an attachment to my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
  • Twist the links every 12 inches or so and break off from the tube. Set the sausage link aside. Continue until all the meat is in the casings.
  • Bring 1 or 2 large pots of water to a boil. Allow enough space for the sausage
  • Add the sausage, return to a boil and then simmer 15 minutes.
  • Remove sausage from the pot and place on 2 shallow baking sheets. Poke holes in the sausage with a fork to prevent it from exploding!
  • Place 1/2 cup water in each pan with sausage and cover with foil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and roast until browned, about 10-15 minutes. Turn over once to brown on other side another 10-15 minutes. Don’t over cook! It needs to be tender.
  • Cut the roast sausage in 3 inch serving pieces for serving.
  • Serve with horseradish! To fill out the meal add rye bread with caraway seeds and butter. Russian Style Cabbage is a great addition too!

Boil the sausage in a large pot of water

Roast the sausage on shallow baking pans in a 350 F oven


Sausage and Kale Saute

Sausage and Kale with Cauliflower Mash and Romano Cheese

Sausage and Kale with Cauliflower Mash and Romano Cheese

Enjoy this kale and meat delish dish, rich in K 1 and K 2. I found this recipe in Real Simple Magazine last fall and I made it even more “simple”, changing it from a crock pot recipe to a quick stove top sauté. Serve it with pasta, mashed potatoes, or my Cauliflower Mash. All are good. Cauliflower has fewer carbs and some alternative nutrients. The Romano cheese is not essential, but it’s a yummy addition.  We like spicy and try to avoid fat, so I used hot Italian turkey sausage which is perfect for us. The sweet Italian turkey sausage would be good too. Don’t be afraid to add a ton of kale. I use the entire bunch, removing the stems before chopping. It shrinks up a lot!

Kale is the rage for it’s richness in Vitamin K which was first discovered in the early 1930’s for it’s role in coagulation. Deficiencies in Vitamin K are rare, or at least for K 1.  There is also a K 2 where deficiencies are common.  In the 21st century we are learning of the impact K 2 has on our heart and bone health.

K 2 is found in liver, chicken, beef, bacon, ham, egg yolks, and high-fat dairy foods. Some studies indicate it may help strengthen our bones and prevent the accumulation of calcium in our veins and arteries. This is significant, considering that 20% of our atherosclerotic plaques are comprised of calcium.

K 2 is also found in a fermented soy food called natto. The studies of Japanese women indicate those who eat natto regularly have a lower risk of hip fracture. High doses of vitamin K 2 supplements are approved in Japan for the treatment of osteoporosis.

And it may matter that we eat meat that is grass fed, rather than grain fed. We get vitamin K 2 from animal foods because animals synthesize vitamin K 2 from K 1 which they get from the grass they eat.

Hard cheese is a better source of K 2 than other dairy foods. Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, so it makes sense it is found in high fat foods.  Interesting that eating high fat foods may help our hearts and bones!

At this time we can accurately measure our blood levels of K 1, but not K 2. In the meantime, we need to be aware of the food sources of vitamins K 1 and K 2 and know that K 2 deficiency is prevalent.

For more information on Vitamin K go to the link below:

Sausage and Kale Saute

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound hot or sweet Italian chicken or pork sausage links, casings removed

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped or diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt and pepper as desired

1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped (about 7 cups or more)

  • Heat a Dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the oil.
  • Add onion and sauté until tender.
  • Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Do not brown!
  • Add sausage and break apart with a large spoon as it sautés.
  • Once the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the tomatoes and tomato paste and kale.
  • Mix and simmer 20 minutes.
  • I cook on an electric flat surface stove top. If you use a gas stove top, you may have to cover and/or add some water to prevent  sticking to the pan surface. I find cooking with gas is a drier heat. My next stove top will be gas 🙂
  • Serve in shallow bowls over Cauliflower Mash. Sprinkle with grated Romano cheese if desired. My favorite is the Locatelli brand.