November 20, 2021 | Recipes
It can be difficult to convey in a name all the traits and nuances that make each type of sausage unique. The names we use at Freybe aim to pay homage to the cultural, geographical, and historical origins of the recipes we use. For those people well acquainted with these European recipes, these names give a lot of clues about what they can expect from the sausages. For those newer to some of these styles, the names don’t quite manage to get all the information across. Two perfect examples which we get a lot of questions about are the very similar sounding, but very different, Swiss Farmer Sausage and the Mennonite Style Farmer Sausage.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Despite the similarity in the names, just one look and you can tell that these are very different styles of sausages. To break down some of the differences, let’s start by looking at the blackened Swiss Farmer Sausage.
SWISS FARMER SAUSAGE
Although Swiss by name, versions of this sausage are found around Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. We coat the sausages in caramel before smoking and air-drying them. This gives them their traditional black coating which helps preserve them and hides the bright cerise-coloured centre. The sausage has a smoky taste with a complex spice palette from the pepper, ginger, coriander, and cardamom. People tend to treat the Swiss Farmer Sausage like a salami or a Landjaeger, cutting it into pasta, salads, or other dishes to provide a smoky flavour and a splash of colour.
MENNONITE-STYLE FARMER SAUSAGE
Our Mennonite-Style Farmer Sausages pay tribute to heritage recipes that use limited spices and allow the smoking process to contribute the lion’s share of the flavour profile. (Our Spicy Mennonite Style Farmer Sausage follows the same lines but obviously diverges slightly to provide a little something for those of us who love spicy heat and the Mennonite Style Farmer Sausage.) Our Mennonite Style Farmers Sausages (spicy and otherwise) seem to find their way into a lot of hearty, one-dish, family-style meals; think casseroles, cassoulets, stews, soup, and pasta bakes.
Probably the best way to see the difference for yourself is to try out the sausages in some recipes. So here are a couple to get you started: Swiss Farmer Sausage and Cabbage Casserole and Mennonite Style Farmer Sausage and Cabbage Casserole. (You can also find a great recipe here for Swiss Farmer Sausage and Maple Squash Flatbread.)
SWISS FARMER SAUSAGE AND PEARL COUSCOUS SALAD
- 2-3 cups (~500-750 ml) of cold water
- 1 cup (~250 ml) pearl couscous
- 2 Freybe Swiss Farmer Sausages
- 1 cup (~250 ml) of cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup (~125 ml) of fresh green beans, chopped
- ½ cup (~125 ml) of fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Place the cold water and the couscous in a pot with a general shake of salt. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it cook for ~10 minutes. If it’s still chewy at 10 minutes, keep going a little longer. When it’s done, remove it from the heat and drain.
While the couscous is simmering, chop the remaining ingredients into bite-sized pieces, e.g., cherry tomatoes in half, Swiss Farmer Sausage in slices, or half slices.
To combine, place the couscous in a large bowl and stir through the olive oil. Stir in the rest of the ingredients along with the lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
MENNONITE STYLE FARMER SAUSAGE AND CABBAGE CASSEROLE
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
- 2 Freybe Mennonite Style Farmer Sausages, cut into thick pieces
- (or if you have one of our Kolbassas in your fridge, that’ll work too)
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 1 tomato, puréed
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 small head of cabbage, leaves and base should be chopped roughly
- 1 cup (~250 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 large potato (or several small ones), peeled, boiled, and cut up
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the pieces of Mennonite Style Farmer Sausage and brown them in the butter (around 5 minutes), shaking the pot occasionally to flip the sausage pieces around. Remove the sausage and put on a plate to one side.
Add the onion, tomato, and bay leaves to the pot (the tomato purée will help to deglaze the delicious, caramelized sausage flavours from the bottom of the pot). Stir frequently for around 10 minutes.
Add the cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the Mennonite Style Farmer Sausage back to the pot. Finally, pour in the stock and add the boiled potato. Cook until the cabbage is cooked and the sausage is tender (around 35 minutes).
Before serving, remove the bay leaves and salt pepper to taste.