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What Is Veal Sausage?

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  • Written By: Dan Harkins
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Of the dozens of sausage styles prepared across the globe, just a few are made with veal, and even those are usually blended with more prevalent sausage fodder — pork. A German-born cousin to the traditional hot dog, Bockwurst veal sausage is a plump, pink blend of mostly veal, less pork, and a range of distinctive ingredients like egg, garlic, coriander seeds, paprika, mace, nutmeg, mustard powder and some sugar. By contrast, a Bavarian blend of veal and bacon called weisswurst, or white sausage, turns completely white during the cooking process, despite similar spicing, due to the lack of preservative nitrites.

Bockwurst and weisswurst can both be considered veal sausage. A few other veal-containing sausages — the Dutch boterhamworst, and the iconic German bratwurst — are primarily made of pork. These often have just a little veal thrown in for good measure as well as certain spices that give them a distinct taste.

According to a sausage glossary maintained online by the American Meat Institute, bockwurst typically has more veal than pork, though that not always the case. A recipe for bockwurst at the Spicy Sausage Web site uses 7 lbs. (about 3.2 kg) of ground pork to about 3 lbs. (about 1.4 kg) of ground veal. This is then seasoned with salt, pepper, celery and onion powder, mace, chives, parsley, eggs, liquid smoke and grated lemon zest.

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A weisswurst recipe for veal sausage, at the Food From Bavaria Web site, includes veal as well as ham and meat from the head of a cow. These are ground and spiced with mace, lemon zest, onion powder, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. The mixture is then fed into gut casings — either from a sheep or cow, depending on the desired size.

Veal sausage, whether predominantly veal or pork, is highly perishable. Many butchers prepare ground veal to be consumed on the same day. Stringent procedures must be maintained to ensure veal sausage has cooked completely through, either by parboiling, grilling or oven baking. The What's Cooking America Web site states that ground beef or veal should be no longer pink and 160°F (about 71°C) or more.

Depending on the region, veal sausage may be served in a variety of ways. Often, it is accompanied by spicy mustard and a soft, salted pretzel. A beer would not be too far out of reach traditionally, either. Some stuff their veal sausage inside a bun, though others think that mars the natural flavor.

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