Krainerwurst (Slovenian Sausage)
Cured, Smoked, Cooked!

Genuine Slovenian Krainerwurst contains a minimum of 68% pork, about 12% beef, and 20% fresh pork belly (bacon) with a little added water and only salt, garlic, and black pepper added for seasoning. Authentic Slovenian recipes have pretty specific instructions. The meat must be cut into 10 to 13 mm. pieces, and the bacon into 8 to 10 mm. pieces. Only 32-36 mm. hog casings are used, and links are formed in pairs of 12 to 16 cm lengths having the weight of 180 to 220 grams. Wooden skewers are used to hold the pairs together. The sausages are cured and then hot-smoked at relatively low temperatures. It’s interesting to note that the recipe has been widely misrepresented over time, especially in America where various spices and cheeses have been added.

Here is the basic recipe:

  • 7 lbs. Pork Butt with Fat
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Lean Beef Chuck
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Fresh Pork Bacon
  • 2 level tspns.
  • Instacure #1
  • 5 tblspns. Salt
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (crushed and minced)
  • 1 tblspn. Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tblspns. Coarse Black Pepper (freshly ground)
  • 32-36 mm. Hog Casings

Place the grinder knife and plate into the freezer while you separate the fat from the lean meat using a sharp knife. Cut the meat into 1-1/2 ” cubes to keep sinew from wrapping around the auger behind the plate as the meat is ground. Grind the meat using the 3/8” plate and the pork fat using a 3/16” plate. Mix the Instacure #1 with a little water for uniform distribution and add it to the meat. Work with small batches, refrigerating the meat and fat at every opportunity. Next, mix the meat with all the remaining ingredients, kneading the mixture to develop the proteins myosin and actin, creating a “sticky meat paste” (primary bind).

Stuff the sausage into 32-36 mm. hog casings, allowing them to hang and dry at room temperature for an hour. Place the sausages into a preheated 130°F. (54°C.) smokehouse for an hour (with the damper open) before introducing hickory smoke and adjusting the damper to only ¼ open. Gradually, only a couple of degrees each twenty minutes, raise the smokehouse temperature until the internal meat temperature (IMT) registers 152°F. (67°C.). This procedure must be done slowly to avoid breaking the collagen. Remove the sausages, showering them with cold water until the IMT drops to less than 90°F. (32°C.). This sausage remains perishable and must be refrigerated.

Best wishes, Chuckwagon