Monday, June 4, 2012

Boss Kielbasa from Caw Caw Creek

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

  • Caw Caw Creek
I must admit, the sausages sat in my freezer for many months. It was a pack of kielbasa from Caw Caw Creek, whose farm sits outside Columbia, South Carolina. A friend of mine happens to travel by there frequently, and is known to bring back large quantities of Emile DeFelice's pasture-raised pork. Caw Caw Creek is a prized supplier to many of the top restaurants in the South, and DeFelice has built a reputation as an advocate for raising pigs right (and the amazing pork-y goodness that results from that).

When some friends came over for an impromptu dinner last night, I took inventory of our freezer and was happy to uncover that Caw Caw Creek kielbasa. Caw Caw's kielbasa is unassuming at first glance, pale in color, flecked with a few dots of seasoning, like a Polish white kielbasa. You could almost call it unappetizing, but that would be a grave mistake. A comment from DeFelice reflects both the homely looks and hidden charm of this sausage, "kielbasa - our worst selling sausage just might be the best."

The best. I defrosted the kielbasa a bit, then threw them on the grill; one turn only, getting a nice brown char. They didn't split, thank goodness, keeping all the juiciness inside the sausages. To the table, some caramelized Vidalia onion on the side, a splotch of good French mustard. I cut into one, and there was the reassuring snap of the crisped skin, and a burst of pent up juice from inside (sorry - I know "sausage juice" is not appealing - but what's a better way to say it? Should it be "sausage likker"? Or "meat milk"? No, definitely not "meat milk." Carry on.) Ahem, anyway, these simple sausages, which had been sitting in my freezer far too long, sent shockwaves around the table. They were the epitome of pork. The seasoning was sitting in the background, there in spirit but not really there. It was the quality of the meat that made these magical, the pure pork-iness of every bite. Put this side by side with a typical kielbasa and you will begin to understand the distinction between pasture-raised pork and mega-farmed mediocrity.

While I doubt you'll be driving by Caw Caw Creek's farm in the near future, you can buy direct from their website. The minimum order is $75, so you may want to load up the freezer or share an order with some friends. You will not be disappointed.

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