Southside Market Elgin 1882 Hot Recipe Sausage

Today we’re taking a bite of Southside Markets Elgin 1882 Hot Recipe Sausage. Here’s a quick blurb from their website about this product:

If you’ve been familiar with Southside Market for many years, you may think the sausage isn’t as hot as it once was. And you’re right! Many moons ago Ernest reduced the pepper so everyone could enjoy it. But after all these years, people keep asking for the old “hot” sausage. Thanks for your persistence. Here’s the old original recipe, with all the pepper you remember.

1882 Hot Recipe Sausage

Southside Market has a long and interesting history dating back to 1882 and has been owned continuously by the same family since 1968. They generously shipped one package of each sausage variety for our review so be sure to check back for more from Southside.

So on to the review of their 1882 Hot Recipe Sausage. Apparently the company removed some of the cayenne from their hot sausage recipe back around 1970. But with folks clamoring for it’s return, they brought it back. I heated 2 links of this sausage in a pan with a small amount of olive oil and then took the other 2 and placed them on the grill for about 20 minutes. Both cooking methods turned out about the same with the grilled sausages being a little leaner when finished.

This is a classic Texas beef sausage (some would say it’s THE classic Texas sausage meaning possibly the one that started it all) with a course grind and a thick casing. The meat was lean and there was just the right amount of fat with primarily juice instead of fat running on my plate when the sausages were sliced. This sausage had a nice beefy flavor and the seasoning was nice.

I had two small issues with this product. The first link I ate had two bits of bone about 1/4″ in length which I found to be quite large. I finished off an additional link with no more bone issues so I’m thinking it was just a fluke. If you eat enough sausage you’re going to get some links with bone and gristle from time to time so this isn’t a big issue.  In addition,  while the overall flavor was good, I didn’t find the sausage to be hot. I would have loved some more cayenne and more black pepper..probably almost twice as much as the sausage contained. I’m a big fan of the black pepper heat that you tend to get with Texas sausages.

So overall this sausage had a nice grind, nice seasoning, the perfect casing for a Texas sausage, and it was fabulously lean. With a little more heat I think this would be a 4 on a  scale of 5 but as is, considering “Hot” is in the name, I’ll give this one a 3-3.5

Sunset Farm Georgia Smoked Sausage

We covered a bit about Sunset Farm in some other reviews but just to recap, a Georgia meat company in business since 1918, Sunset Farm produces just about every meat product that I can recall in my time growing up in the South. From smoked ham, picnics, and bacon to souse and liver pudding. And of course, sausages.

I spent some time on their website searching out some products to try for future reviews (Bell Pepper and Onion, Jalapeno and Monterey Jack, Garlic Herb and Tomato, Beef Smoked Sausages, and Georgia Reds all look interesting so expect to see these in future reviews) but today we’re going to take a look at their Georgia Smoked Sausage.

sunset farm georgia smoked sausage

In the world of smoked sausage there are just a few things that you need to get right to make a good sausage.

  • Texture – a good smoked sausage shouldn’t be gritty or have a greasy mouth feel. When you take a bite you should be thinking meaty and flavorful
  • Flavor – a slight smokiness with a little bite from the spice and above all the flavor of pork should come through
  • Aroma – a part of the overall taste, the aroma should be a nice mix of smoke and pork

Unfortunately there are many lower end sausage makers that just get it wrong, producing a sausage gritty with fillers, gristle, or poor quality ingredients. Some places over-smoke their sausage making it almost caustic and still others create a bland greasy sausage with no real feel for properly spicing a sausage so all the components come together.

I’m pleased to say that the Georgia Smoked Sausage product hits all the right notes. I grilled some up this afternoon and everything about this sausage was spot on from the smoke and spice levels to the fine grind of the meat that provided great texture and mouth feel. I’ve got a few links remaining and I think I’m going to use them in a pot of split pea soup tomorrow.

If you like a good southern style smoked sausage or you’re living where you can’t get a good southern style smoked sausage, Sunset Farm offers online ordering and I recommend you pick some up. I’ve been very pleased with the products we’ve reviewed and I’m confident that you will be too.

 

 

Sunset Farm Jalapeno Pepper Smoked Sausage

This is our second review of a Sunset Farm product with a couple more to go.

sunset farms jalapeno pepper smoked sausage review

This is very much a Southern variety smoked sausage, the kind you’ll find on every backyard grill all summer long. And rightly so. Sunset Farm does a great job with this product by incorporating a subtle amount of jalapeno flavor and a little heat into their already fine smoked sausage. This rendition is smoked perfectly, has a clean list of ingredients, and a nice casing.

One thing I really like about their smoked sausage products is the overall meatyness that seems to come from the grind and the packing of the sausage in the casing. The texture is perfect and their line of smoked sausages are great off the grill, in sandwiches, or even in your favorite soup or pot of vegetables. They hold up well and don’tbreak down in any cooking environment.

In short, you can’t go wrong with this product and I highly recommend you pick some up for your next cooking session. If they are not in your local grocery store, you can order online at their website. They have a great selection and I plan to order some different varieties for future reviews.

 

Pederson Farms Uncured Smoked Bacon and Pork Sausage

After an OK start with Pedersons products, they came roaring back with their excellent Andouille product. So how about the Uncured Smoked Bacon and Pork Sausage?

I put these puppies on the grill and they came out beautifully charred with juice oozing out of slightly split casings – watching them cook reminded me of some of the high quality natural casing hot dogs that I really like on the grill. The folks at Pederson’s have a real winner on their hands here.

Typically I will pass on buying products that are uncured and/or the label shouts at me about how the pork was raised and no gluten and no nitrates, etc – so many of this type of product in the past has been, well, gimmicky in the way that soy sausage is gimmicky. It never tasted right and in my mind, was for people who didn’t really like sausage.

Not this one. Forget about all the good things on the label (and they are good things). This sausage hands down is flavorful, juicy, and meaty. The bacon and pork flavors really shine and the sausage is mildly spiced in a way that doesn’t get in the way of the porky goodness.

I would give this a strong 8 on a scale of 10 and can highly recommend you give this a try. This is the second Pederson’s product we reviewed in the past 3 days and both received a score of 8. In my book, that’s a great score and is only enhanced by the fact that they start with great ingredients and then let those products speak for themselves.

 

Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations – Beef with Bacon and Monterey Jack Cheese Smoked Sausage

Before writing this review I went back and looked at the last review we did for the Hillshire Farms Gourmet Collections brand and the first thing that struck me is the length of the name of their products. It takes 13 words to accurately record the name of this particular sausage. That reminded me of the old Lance Crackers commercials where the guy says “we have 12 scientists creating our products and one drunk guy naming them”. That was a funny spot.

This was a medium to fine grind sausage with slight hints of bacon. The cheese, while visually present in small pockets, added nothing in mouthfeel or flavor. Slightly smokey and just a hint of spice, overall this was not a bad sausage, it just needed more flavorful cheese.

I would rate this a 4 on a scale of 10. It wasn’t greasy and the texture was fine. The overall flavor lacked any punch so it had that “getting by for the masses” appeal that you often find in mass produced products.