Homestyle Foods Hot Smoked Sausage

One thing I’ve noticed over the years..when it comes to what is “hot”, opinions vary. Greatly. Judging by the spice level in their Hot Smoked Sausage, the folks at Homestyle Foods understand hot.

homestyle foods hot smoked sausage

I picked up a package of their Hot Smoked Sausage on a recent trip to Kroger. This is a medium grind sausage that has the right amount of smoke and a large dose of heat. In fact, if you like your smoked sausage to be spicy, this is your sausage. After cooking and slicing off a few pieces, I decided the heat was a bit much for my palate and slapped two pieces on a nice roll I had picked up at Panera’s earlier in the day. I added some sauteed bell peppers and some mayo to cool things down a bit and quite frankly, it was still almost to spicy hot for me. One note. I’m a fan of sage sausage and since sage is listed as the number 3 ingredient, I expected a little more sage flavor but I didn’t pick up on any.

Considering that I find most sausages that are labeled hot to be anything but, I would buy this product again whenever I’m looking for that extra heat.

Ingredients: Pork, salt, sage, red pepper, msg, dextrose, sugar, black pepper, flavorings, sodium nitrite.

Conecuh Cajun Smoked Sausage

A small regional purveyor of smoked meats, Conecuh Sausage Co in Evergreen Alabama, became our next sausage review when I picked up a package of their Cajun Smoked Sausage.

conecuh cajun sausage reviews

I’m a fan of regional sausage makers and usually find them to offer a solid product and Conecuh certainly rose to the challenge with their Cajun variety.

When I think cajun (or cajun spiced) sausage I think flavor and heat. Unlike a regular hot sausage, the cajun sausage should offer less heat but expand on the flavor profile to include garlic, a little onion, maybe some oregano, and of course a little cayenne.

The Conecuh Sausage version provided nice flavor in a medium grind sausage that would work great on the grill, in your favorite recipe, or straight up wrapped in a tortilla with some peppers and onions. If I had one issue with the sausage it would be that for my pallete it was slightly over smoked but that’s not a deal breaker and this is a sausage I would purchase again. You can check availability in your area on their website or just order directly through their site.

Ingredients: Pork, water, salt, sugar spices, dextrose, MSG, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite

Hillshire Farms Gourmet Creations – Beef and Jalapeno with Monterey Jack Cheese Sausage

Some of the large (national? multi-national?) sausage companies are spinning out some products that, by name at least, are premium products. I for one applaud any effort to make a better sausage but I suspect that many of them will be much like Budweisers attempt to produce a premium beer. Pretty much tastes the same, just costs me more. I however will not rush to judgement and will review each sausage on its own merits.

Here we have a new product from Hillshire Farms labeled under their (new) Gourmet Creations collection. This collection includes the following:

  • Sweet Italian with peppers and mozzarella
  • Beef and Bacon with monterey jack cheese
  • Chicken Apple with gouda
  • Beef and Jalapeno with monterey jack cheese

hillshire farms gourmet creations collection sausage reviewFor my first foray into this collection I went with the Beef and Jalapeno, cooking it to browned on one side and then turning the sausage over, covering, and turning off the heat. The grind on this sausage is ok but overall the flavors are weak and muddled with no real Jalapeno flavor. If you’re going to put cheese in a sausage, which I personally like, the cheese should be good enough to make a dent in the flavor and texture. Unfortunately this cheese did not.

I’d love to list the ingredients and packaging information but unfortunately the wife tossed out the packaging and email to Hillshire went unanswered except for the $1 off coupon I received in the mail 4 days after requesting more information from the company about the ingredients, etc for this product.

So eventually, when I get back to the store, I will get back to this post and fill in the blanks but for now suffice to say that this edition of the Gourmet Creations Collection is a miss and not a sausage that I would purchase again.

 

Ok, in just a shade under 3 weeks I heard back from SaraLee, the parent company of Hillshire farms. Here’s the ingredient list for this sausage:

INGREDIENTS: BEEF, WATER, CORN SYRUP, PASTEURIZED PROCESS MONTEREY JACK CHEESE (CULTURED MILK, WATER, CREAM, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SALT, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SORBIC ACID [PRESERVATIVE], LACTIC ACID, ENZYMES), JALAPEN?O PEPPER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PASTEURIZED PROCESS SHARP WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE [CHEDDAR CHEESE (CULTURED MILK, SALT, ENZYMES), WATER, CREAM, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, LACTIC ACID, SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVE)], RICE BRAN, SALT, DEXTROSE, NATURAL FLAVORS, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, BROWN SUGAR, POTASSIUM AND SODIUM PHOSPHATES, YEAST EXTRACT, CILANTRO, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE. CONTAINS MILK