The humble sausage, created due to necessity and to minimize food wastage, is one of the best food items ever made.
Made from different kinds of ground animal parts, flavored with different kinds of spices and seasonings, and sometimes mixed with extenders like oats and potatoes, most of these are stuffed into casings and then cured, smoked, or boiled.
Some are stuffed into casings and then offered in delis raw.
The former can be eaten as is because, technically, these have been pre-cooked.
The latter is a bit difficult to cook because it’s hard to know if the meat is done all the way through.
Slicing it into smaller pieces before pan-frying or baking seems like a logical solution. But can you?
It is alright to slice raw sausage into pieces. This is an effective way to cook the meat all the way through and not have cold, raw parts in the middle.
Some are scared to do this because the ground interior could disintegrate to bits – that’s always a possibility. To prevent this, par freeze it inside the fridge for ten minutes or until quite firm before taking a knife to it. Doing this will help maintain its form.
The Germans are well known for their wursts, but a lot of other countries have their version.
Half of these, believe it or not, are fresh: Italian-style, German bratwursts, Filipino Longganizas, South African Boerewors, Korean Sundae, and Mexican chorizos all have raw ground meat inside.
With that ratio, you will have to learn how to do proper slicing.
Usual Types of Slices
1. Coin or Discs
Cut straight down, at a 90-degree angle. Start from one end of the link, using your knuckles to set your desired thickness.
Cut straight down, this time at a 45-degree angle to come up with slanted coins or discs.
Divide a piece into four or five 45 or 90-degree cuts.
4. Large dices
Slice a piece lengthwise (and long quarters, if you prefer), turn the pieces horizontally on the board, and then chop at a 90-degree angle.
Used for hotdog-style sandwiches, this is simply slicing the sausage in half, lengthwise.
Important Tips When Cooking Sliced Raw Sausages
1. Par freezing is a must
As aforementioned, this is a very important step to prevent the ground insides from crumbling out the casing while you’re slicing it. Again, 10 minutes inside the freezer is enough to firm it up. Solid, frozen wieners would be impossible to slice.
2. Use a sharp blade
The knife is the best tool for all the cuts listed above. Although other tools aren’t as versatile, you could also use the mandolin or a food processor if you’re only making coins or discs.
Just don’t forget to chill the meat so that it won’t get shredded in those tools.
3. Pan fry it first
If you are cooking these as an ingredient in a stir fry or a stew, try frying the individual pieces first. Besides giving that savory a caramelized flavor, you’re searing the exteriors so the insides won’t disintegrate.
4. Take extra care when stirring the stew
Be extra careful when mixing your stew in a pot. Although the slices have been seared, they can still break down when you stir too vigorously.
5. If all else fails, crumble it!
Not all sausages are stuffed into casings (intestinal or synthetic) and shaped like the usual cylinders.
Take Mcdonald’s breakfast item that is shaped like a patty and then sandwiched in English buns as an example.
If you are pressed for time and can’t do all the par freezing, pre-slicing and pan-frying, it would be best to take the casing out and sautee the interior instead with the other ingredients of your dish.
Don’t worry, you’re not going to lose the flavor.
Making Sure It’s Cooked All the Way Through
If you want a straightforward pan-fried or grilled sausage for a dinner party or a picnic, here are some ways to ensure that your meal is cooked well.
1. Simmer in a Pot
Place all the links in a pot. Fill that with water until all the pieces are submerged.
Take the pot to a stove and turn the heat on. When the water starts to simmer (5-8 minutes) turn the heat off and drain it off.
You can then fry or grill this.
2. Simmer in a Pan and Fry in Its Oil
This is similar to the first tip, except that you will do this in a pan under very low heat and let the water evaporate completely.
Poke the pieces to let the oil out and then let it cook.
3. Roast in an Oven or BBQ on a Grill
Cooking this in low heat for a long time is the best way to ensure your food is well done.
You can turn the heat up for a minute or two before taking it out to create that crispy crust.