Johnsonville Italian Sausage Four Cheese

This is our first review of a fresh Johnsonville sausage product, the Johnsonville Italian Four Cheese Sausage.

I was not a fan of the Johnsville 3 Cheese pre-cooked sausage, finding it both confusing and bland but this is a different beast altogether. I pan fried this for about 12 minutes and it browned up very nicely. My first reaction when slicing this sausage open was, that’s a lot of cheese, but I’ve been fooled by a lot of tasteless cheese in past reviews so did this cheesy Italian make the grade?

No doubt. This sausage was fresh, porky, and cheesy and it was a very nice cheesy that provided good flavor and nice texture and mouthfeel. In fact, I would say that this is one of the top 5 commercial sausages I’ve ever eaten. Quite frankly, I was shocked at how good this was!

This would be a great sausage for eating straight up or on a nice bun. I wouldn’t bury it in anything simply because the flavors do just fine on their own.

If you haven’t tried this Johnsonville sausage I recommend you pick some up.

 

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.

 

 

Simply Sausage Sweet Italian Sausage

Another product from one of our favorite sausage makers, this sweet italian sausage is one of the most interesting italian style sausages I’ve ever eaten.

simply sausge sweet italian sausage

Italian sausage is one of my very favorite sausage products and we have sampled some of the very best for reviews in the past. Simply Sausage out of Landover Maryland is one of our favorite sausage makers. But when we combine those two things, we ended up with unexpected results. Initially at least.

As usual, Simply Sausage has a clean list of high quality ingredients and the finished italian sausage was meaty and not greasy. Upon first bite, this sausage was underwhelming when compared to the great italian sausages from places like Espositos in New York and Pontrelli and Laricchia in Los Angeles. But as I finished up the first half of a link, I started to pick up on all the spices and flavors that I expect in an italian sausage, and by the end of the link, I was blown away by the subtlety of this product.

It had all the flavor of the great sausages, just not in a big robust fashion. This delicate sausage was flavorful yet sophisticated and hit on all the right notes.

If you haven’t ordered from Simply Sausage, you’re simply missing one of the great sausage makers in the US. I urge you to give them a try.

 

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.