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Kabanosy (Polish Slim Jim)

These long dried sausages are the precursor to the Slim Jim meat snack found in the US. Coming from Polish roots, these sausages were traditionally made from pork, beef, or horse meat. Dating to the Middle Ages, they were a popular traveler's food due to their preservation and easy portability. Kabanosy sausages are usually presented folded in two. The doubled shape may be due to the common historical practice of wearing the sausages looped around the neck or wrist while walking or riding, for a quick snack on the go. There are hard and soft versions and different spiciness levels of kabanosy, which have been officially recognized by the European Union as a Polish heritage dish. In the United States, kabanosy is often made with wild game.

Recipe Servings: 10

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
6 hours
Total Time
6 hours 20 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Prepare the meat and fat for grinding, trimming into pieces small enough to fit in the grinder.
  2. In a large dish, combine the meat and fat pieces with the salts and spices. Chill in the freezer for 60 minutes.
  3. Prepare the casings by soaking in lukewarm water.
  4. With the grinder’s fine setting, grind the meat, fat, and spices, keeping the ingredients chilled and freezing again if necessary to keep the temperature at or below 35°F.
  5. Working with a stand mixer, add the ice water and blend with the meat and fat for 1 to 2 minutes, until it binds. Refrigerate the mixture.
  6. Flush the sheep casings with warm water.
  7. Stuff the casings with the meat and spice mixture, filling a link 12–24 inches, leaving plenty of extra casing on either end and avoiding over-stuffing.
  8. Continue stuffing, cutting the casing between each, until all the meat is used.
  9. With a sterilized needle, pierce any air pockets in the sausages, and squeeze the meat in the casings to tighten.
  10. When all the links are firm, tie the ends of the casings together in a knot, trimming any excess.
  11. Hang the links to dry in a cool place for several hours.
  12. Move links to a smoker and smoke at a cool temperature for about 4 hours, until the interior of the sausages reaches 150°F.
  13. When the links are cooled after smoking, move them to hang in a cool, dark location. Let dry for 3–5 days.
  14. Keep the finished kabanosy sealed or refrigerated.

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