When I made my initial foray to America’s foodie wonderland, Jungle Jims in Cincinnati last week, one item I picked up was a local product, Queen City Smoke Sausage.
(The official sausage of the Reds, apparently). Sausage is a big deal in Cincinnati, as is German food in general. So popular, the city celebrates its sausage heritage with a weekend fest in July, with two to three dozen purveyors offering their sausage and related wares.
A skinless, smoked sausage of pork and beef, mildly seasoned, is called a “Mettwurst” or simply a “Mett” in this part of the country.
A traditional Mett in Germany is usually pork only, cured and smoked, and strongly seasoned with spices and garlic. Although even in Germany, you’ll find different versions of the “Mett.”
Two states away, in Wisconsin or Illinois, this exact flavor and texture of skinless sausage would be called a Polish, or kielbasa. Queen City brand is one of the more popular local processors, around since 1965, and in addition to smoked sausage, they offer a Mett in a natural casing, fresh Chorizo and fresh Italian, bratwurst, cooked bockwurst, bierwurst and smoked andouille. Different sizes of wieners and dinner franks, sliced deli meats, ham, roast beef, and a few other items.
I did mine in a cast iron skillet and put a little char on them. I do that to emulate a natural casing, as I prefer casings to skinless. That’s just me. They go on a plain bun with yellow mustard and/or kraut. Ingredients are beef and pork and seasonings (first one listed is mustard), but also corn syrup solids, and that’s not a personal preference of mine at all. Sweet and savory clash, in my mind. Overall, I liked it, and I’d buy it again and like to try some of their other products.
If you can’t find Queen City’s products at a store near you, they are also available online. I purchased the 14 oz package which contains six sausages. Larger sizes are available.
The bottom picture below is Queen City’s factory, located in the part of the city that used to be known as “Porkopolis,” due to the large number of slaughter and packing houses in the ‘hood.