It’s been well documented how much I love making sausage. I don’t get to do that as much these days, so when I got this particular call I jumped at the opportunity. A deli owner who had spent time in the Netherlands was looking to recreate a dutch delicacy, Gelderse Rookworst, and wanted my help reverse engineering it. A chance to play with an interesting regional sausage from far away lands? And it’s smoked? Sign me up…
A Rookworst is similar to an emulsified German Bratwurst in that it’s lightly seasoned with the usual Low Country suspects of mace, coriander, and white pepper. Where this sausage really stands out is it’s almost 50/50 meat to fat ratio which leads to an incredibly rich, juicy sausage. Apparently these are served up in a traditional stampot which is a dish consisting of a hulking portion of Rookworst, mashed potatoes, and occasionally sauerkraut – essentially all of my food groups on one plate.
After taking a look at a commercial sample right from the Netherlands, it was clear it was a very finely textured emulsified sausage – which is always a fun challenge on relatively basic processing equipment. But, bowl chopper envy aside we ended up with a very true to type Dutch Rookworst made right here in the states. There’s still some tweaks to be made, especially around the amount of smoke being used in the cooking process, but it’s a great jumping off point for a really unique sausage.
If you’re looking to try a traditional taste of the Netherlands and you find yourself in the Winooski area, definitely check out http://www.happybellyvt.com. Or if you’ve got any crazy ideas for a sausage you want to recreate, let me know!