The good folks at Shiner sent me a nice variety pack of their products and while I planned to start some reviews later this month, I tend to get ahead of myself whenever jalapeno and cheddar “meat”. So I jumped right in sampled their Spicy Jalapeno and Cheddar smoked sausage.
We recently received a shipment of various smoked sausage and boudin from Borque Specialties in Port Barre La (thanks guys!). I’ve started making my way through some of their fine sausage products but after sampling their boudin, I knew that it was going to be the first product we reviewed for the site.
Fresh on the heels of our review of their 1882 Smoked Sausage, we jumped right back in and tried out their Garlic Pork Sausage variety.
We have already reviewed a couple of Maestro Sausage Company products (see here and here) and in my book, their hot italian sausage is hands down one of the top 2 or 3 italian sausages in the country. Do what you need to do to get a case for your next get together.
Today we’re talking about their Italian Sausage with Goat Milk Cheddar. Considering that we are already starting out with what we know to be an excellent italian sausage, the question is, would the addition of the cheese elevate the experience or muddle this top sausage. Would the cheese flavor profile be to strong or perhaps it would be in the name only, not distinguishable in any way except by the mother of the goat?
I’m pleased to report that this is a homerun. The goats milk cheddar tasted fresh and creamy yet it was subtle enough in flavor to allow the italian sausage to shine at the same time. Almost luxuriously creamy in texture, this sausage is perfect for grilling (keep it low and slow though to keep the skins from bursting) or just baking them and enjoying with wine and some good bread to cut the richness of the goats milk cheddar.
Highly recommended, get your hands on some of this if you can.
I want four things from my Italian Hot sausage.
1) Fresh pork flavor
2) Nice heat
3) Nice fennel
4) No gristle or other non meat products.
While that seems simple enough, I’ve had far to many Italian Hot Sausages that failed to deliver on what would seem to be the fundamentals of a decent Italian sausage.
Just this week I received a shipment of various sausages from Nick Pontrelli at Maestro Sausage Company in Vernon California. His family has been in the business of making Italian sausage for about 90 years and let me say right upfront, they knock down the fundamentals and then some. I have several varieties of their sausages to review over the next month but I wanted to get started with their Hot Italian sausage so I broke out a few links for breakfast this morning.
This is a very nice mid-course grind with noticeable whole fennel seeds and flecks of red pepper flakes. Excellent fresh italian sausage taste and texture to this with perfect levels of fennel and red pepper so each bite is similar in flavor with just a touch of varience created by the amount of fennel seeds or red pepper flakes. I’m often disappointed in the heat level of hot italian sausage but the heat in this was just right to me. It was a fabulous natural heat that you get in different areas of your mouth instead of that un-natural, almost chemical like heat you get when to much cayenne is used in a sausage. Nice but very subtle mouth burn (I’d say a 5 on a scale of 10 which for an italian sausage is about right imo) even 10 minutes after finishing this one.
Slicing it open reveals exactly what you want to see in a well made fresh Hot Italian sausage. Plenty of fennel seed (I’ll take whole over ground any day) and red pepper flakes surrounded by course ground meat. It doesn’t get any better then that.
Hands down just a great example of what a Hot Italian Sausage should be. I would buy this again and highly recommend you give it a try.
Ingredients: Pork, Seasoning (spices, salt, dextrose, msg, flavorings, paprika, extractives of paprika), water