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Sausage Festival Rolls Into Texas

Sausage Festival Rolls Into Texas


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Fire up the grill! Texas gets ready for a sausage feast.

More than 1,200 pounds of savory, steamed, smoked, and fried bratwurst and hot dogs will be cooked, stuffed, and eaten during the food fest. Hundreds of vendors from the Lone Star State and beyond will be grilling Texas frankfurters. Highlights of the Great Texas Sausage Festival include the new 2012 Sausage Cook-Off, Sausage Stuff Eating Contest and a weiner dog contest.

Those fending off a case of indigestion or needing to burn calories can partake in an eclectic mix of activities like lawn-mower races and a regatta of motor-less handmade floatation creations. Check out their web site for more information. (5 p.m. to 10 p.m., May 11; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., May 12, Welch Park, Somerville, Texas, $5)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


What Is Texas-German Sausage?

Last week I spent some time in West Texas eating barbecue. I&rsquove done a few tours through the area already, so I know not to get excited when I see &ldquoGerman sausage&rdquo on a menu, but I had a temporary memory lapse. The prospect of finding a coarsely ground and smoky beef sausage was quickly dashed when a large greasy section of grocery store-grade sausage, ground to the consistency of a hot dog, sat on the plate. I asked around about how this cheap sausage came to be known as &ldquoGerman.&rdquo I couldn&rsquot find an answer, so I headed to Central Texas to find the origin of what we consider to be authentic Texas-German sausage.

The rise of the Texas meat market began in the nineteenth century, as I&rsquove chronicled on TMBBQ before, a response to the increasing urban population&rsquos demand for beef. Barbecue as we know it today sprung from these original meat markets. Which isn&rsquot to say these were places dedicated to serving smoked meats, like the restaurants familiar to us now, but rather markets that extended the sales potential of their raw beef leftovers by cooking them as ready-to-eat meats. Any scraps or trimmings not cooked off as smoked cuts made their way into sausages.

Sausage even made an appearance in the earliest advertisement for barbecue, a description of a Bastrop butcher&rsquos stall, found in the October 25, 1878 edition of the Brenham Weekly Banner.

By the 1880&rsquos, smoked sausage could be purchased at Kemper Bros. in Fort Worth, Fritz Fisher&rsquos in Brenham, and the competing interests of John Kohler&rsquos and Alexander & Gill&rsquos in Bastrop.

Many of these meat markets were run by German immigrants or those with German ancestry, people from families that migrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s (the Czechs wouldn&rsquot bring their sausage traditions to this country until the early 1900s). With these families came food traditions and culture, in this case, Old World sausage skills. But not everyone was happy with this influx of German links. A disparaging report from the Dallas Daily Herald came in 1875:

&ldquoA German sausage factory has been established in Austin. It may not be amiss to remind our city authorities that this is a splendid opportunity to dispose of our surplus dog crop.&rdquo

A map of immigrant populations in Texas.

Then in 1882, William J. Moon, the man who would make German sausage famous in Texas, started stuffing links in Elgin. When Moon began his meat delivery business, his motto was &ldquoButcher Today, Deliver Today.&rdquo Bryan Bracewell, the current owner of Southside Market, recently described Moon&rsquos early operation to me. &ldquoHe was a small town butcher that slaughtered beef, pigs, and lamb on a piece of property about a mile outside of town,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoHe&rsquod haul the fresh meat into Elgin and sell it door-to-door from a horse drawn buggy. The barbecue and sausage was just a derivative of having fresh meat and no refrigeration. If he wasn&rsquot a good salesman that day, he had to smoke it or smell it.&rdquo

By 1886 Moon had opened a storefront in downtown Elgin, and the popularity of his spicy sausages grew, eventually earning the affectionate title of &ldquohot guts.&rdquo Today at Southside, they use a recipe similar to Moon&rsquos original. They&rsquove taken out some of the cayenne and black pepper to tone down the heat, but it&rsquos still an all-beef sausage in pork casings. Bracewell is mum on the other ingredients, but from the ingredient list on their packaged sausage, I can tell what it doesn&rsquot have in it: garlic.

Texas-Czech sausages all contain garlic in one form or another, but Texas-German sausages are simpler: beef (primarily) coarsely ground and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and maybe some cayenne, stuffed into natural hog casings and smoked. &ldquoIt&rsquos like a farm sausage,&rdquo Bracewell said. &ldquoMeat, salt, and black pepper. There&rsquos nothing in there like herbs or garlic that isn&rsquot shelf stable.&rdquo

Sausage at Prause Meat Market in La Grange.

Southside Market isn&rsquot the only Texas-German sausage business in Elgin. R.G. Meyer opened Meyer&rsquos Elgin Sausage in 1949, using a recipe his father Henry brought back from Germany. Meyer&rsquos opened a restaurant in 1998, three years after Elgin was named the Sausage Capital of Texas, a designation bestowed upon the Texas Legislature in 1995.

Sausages ready for the smoker at Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter

Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas, is also home to some mighty fine Texas-German sausages. Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market in 1900, and the original sausage recipe is still being used today by the Schmidt family at both Kreuz Market and Smitty&rsquos Market. It&rsquos an 85-to-15-percent beef-to-pork ratio with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Both joints use pork casings now, but Rick Schmidt told me they used to use beef casings. &ldquoMy dad and the Kreuzes always used beef guts to make the sausage,&rdquo but the supply for beef casings dried up soon after he took over, so they made the switch to pork casings.

Three types of German sausage (regular, jalapeño, and chipotle) from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor.

They also add some bull flour as a binder. Schmidt said he tried making it without the bull flour once. &ldquoWhen I cut into it was like hamburger meat that crumbled and all that juice just ran everywhere.&rdquo Kent Black of Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart agrees. His restaurant has been serving Texas-German sausage since 1932, and it&rsquos all about the beef. Black said that ground pork has enough of natural binding capability, but beef needs some help, and that&rsquos where the bull flour comes in.

Don&rsquot assume that cutting out pork means these beef sausages aren&rsquot juicy. There&rsquos still plenty of fat in them, and it&rsquoll run down to your elbows if you aren&rsquot careful. One of my favorites is in Luling at City Market where Joe Capello has been smoking them since 1962. &ldquoNow we&rsquove got the pork ribs, so the trimmings from the ribs go into the sausage now, which makes it about 95 percent beef and five percent pork,&rdquo Capello said. &ldquoWe tell them it&rsquos beef sausage, but it still has a little pork in it.&rdquo Buy a link or two and swipe them through their mustard barbecue sauce to experience one of the finer bites of Texas barbecue.

Sausages on the pit at City Market in Luling. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter.

After asking around, nobody could tell me if there was a particular German sausage recipe that the Texas version was imitating, but Rick Schmidt recalled how he was convinced of the provenance of Kreuz Market&rsquos recipe.

&ldquoI couldn&rsquot answer that until about twenty years ago&hellip.A charter bus came through at the old place. It was a big group of German citizens&hellipA lady came and asked me &lsquoare you the owner?&rsquo I said &lsquoYes mam.&rsquo She said &lsquoI want to tell you that your sausage is the only sausage that I&rsquove tasted here that reminds me of my hometown.&rsquo&rdquo Schmidt asked for further explanation. &ldquoShe said &lsquoeach little town has a wurstmeister, a sausage maker, so each town has its own flavor. Your sausage tastes like my hometown.&rdquo

Schmidt said he was too stunned to ask what her hometown was, but that&rsquos how he knows his sausage is a German sausage, and that&rsquos good enough for me.

Other barbecue joints across Texas where you can find Texas-German sausages:

Bellville Meat Market in Bellville

Black&rsquos BBQ in Lockhart

Chisholm Trail Barbecue in Lockhart

City Market in Luling

City Meat Market in Giddings

Cousin&rsquos BBQ in Fort Worth

Davila&rsquos BBQ in Seguin

Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales

Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos

Kreuz Market in Lockhart

Lockhart Smokehouse in Dallas and Plano (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor

Luling Bar-B-Que in Luling

Meyer&rsquos Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin

Prause Meat Market in LaGrange

Smitty&rsquos Market in Lockhart

Schmidt Family Barbecue (From Kreuz Market in Lockhart)

Stiles Switch in Austin (From Thorndale Meat Market in Thorndale)


Watch the video: Φτιάχνω λουκάνικα χωριάτικα, Καρδιτσιώτικα με πράσο. Grill philosophy (May 2022).


Comments:

  1. Wynton

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  2. Kent

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  3. Torry

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