Ahh the humble sausage. Maligned for years for being a "poor person's food" it enjoyed a resurgence in the last few years complete with a makeover with more exciting fillings (roast duck, chicken & camembert, venison & beetroot) along with the debut of the Chorizo, the debutante of the sausage world. The first time I tried these was years ago at a function where they served pan fried slices with a tangy tomato sauce. The chorizo is one of the reasons I could never become a vegetarian. So when a Croatian born brother in law requested some dry smoked Chorizo for a Christmas present, I knew that not just any kind would do, it would have to be from Eumundi Smokehouse which was raved about in the SMH and in the SBS eating Guide to Sydney.
With the oddest opening hours it took me a good three weeks before I could find a time to get there. Once you're there, the sweet smokey smell draws you to the shop. Its a little touch of Europe in the middle of Dulwich Hill with sausages hanging from displays in every conceivable shape and form. The staff are very friendly and happy to discuss their products and patient when it comes to choosing. The dry smoked sausages are $4 each and there are a total of 26 different products from dry smoked sausages to fresh ones and many feature alcohol to help preserve them but also give them a distinctive taste.
We purchase 4 chorizos (pork, chili, basil, onion, mint and coriander), 2 Russian Farmers sausages (coarsely ground pork with dill, caraway, parsley, onion and vodka) 2 Kasana (lean pork with James Squire's Porter) and 1 Polish Kielbasa (lean pork with garlic, marjoram and vodka). Fresh sausages have a variety of filling from venison & beetroot, lamb merguez, basil and garlic Italian, chicken and leek, chicken and white wine with tarragon. There are also fabulous looking double smoked bacon rashers (carved that day), smoked organic chickens with vodka and juniper berries, and smoked duck breast with a dijon and herb crust. We're advised to keep our sausages in paper as plastic makes sausages sweat, affecting their flavour and shortening their lifespan.
_Chorizos (pork, chili, basil, onion, mint and coriander) $4 each
From left to right: Kasana, Polish Kielbasa and Russian Farmers sausages
We can't wait to get home and try these beauties. They are distinguished using different string and we slice up a Chorizo, Russian Farmers and a Kasana. Slicing them, its evident from the different herbs and grinds that each one is distinct. The grind in the Russian Farmers is indeed coarser than the other two and the fresh dill is evident in its green speckling.
Top to bottom: Chorizo, Russian Farmers and Kasana
Pan frying them up in a dry pan, we taste each one. The Chorizo is wonderfully smokey and my husband's favourite with a touch of spice, although one would never call it spicy or hot. The Russian Farmers is my favourite, I adore dill and its heady in dill and caraway although my husband doesn't like the coarse grind as much while it doesn't bother me at all. The Kasana is the second favourite for both of us, if it was a girl at a party, it would be the cheerleader, not the most exotic or most unusual girl but with a flavour that almost everyone would enjoy, the one that everyone would be happy to have on their arm.
Left to right: Chorizo, Russian Farmers and Kasana
They're incredibly meaty which may sound silly but at Eumundi, they say they never add water or fillers which a lot of sausages contain. Its pure unadulterated meat we're talking about here. I fry up the sausages and improvise a creamy vodka penne, recipe following tomorrow, one of my husband's favourite pasta dishes.
Eumundi Smokehouse Sydney
Update: Eumundi Smokehouse has now closed down their Sydney location and has moved to Eumundi, Queensland. It is now available at Thomas Dux and Wilson Street Newtown markets.
402 New Canterbury Road Dulwich Hill
Tel: +61 (02) 9569 0205
Open Thu-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 7am-2pm.