While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world. Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausage—their flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.
Addictively flavorful and plump with cheese, Kaese Krainer is a hidden gem among sausages. Swiss cheese mingles with mildly smoked pork and beef to create this luscious and hearty sausage.
Also known as Käsekrainer or Käse Krainer, the invention of Kaese Krainer is attributed to Franz Thalhammer in 1971 in Austria. Thalhammer ingeniously combined a Carniolan sausage (a pork and beef Slovenian sausage) with Swiss cheese, garlic, onion, and spices to create the unique Kaese Krainer.
It did not take long for the people of Austria to discover this rustic and juicy sausage. By the early 1980s, many sausage suppliers in the region had added Kaese Krainer to their menus. While Kaese Krainer has a growing its fan base in the U.S., it is still wildly popular in Vienna.
Preparing Kaese Krainer
Kaese Krainer is a hot-smoked sausage so it is fully cooked and requires only brief preparation, which can be done in a variety of ways. It can be grilled, boiled, or fried. When grilling or frying the sausage it is important to use low to medium heat to avoid a burnt exterior and a cold middle. It is also important not to pierce the sausage while cooking or let the casing burst from excessive heat. Doing so would release the cheese that has been melting inside.
The Hot Dog Gets a Makeover
Würstelstands, or as it translates “sausage stands,” are extremely popular in Vienna. A beloved item at these stands is a Kaese Krainer Hot Dog.
To prepare this fan favorite, the Kaese Krainer is cooked on a flat-top grill. At the end of cooking, little cuts are made along one side of the sausage, revealing the cheese inside.
The cook then takes a roll similar in style to a French baguette and cuts it open at one end. A hot metal rod measuring approximately 1 inch in diameter is inserted into the roll, creating the prefect cavity for the sausage.
Sauces are then added to the opening. Popular sauces include sharp mustard, sweet mustard, and ketchup. Some people also like to sprinkle in some curry powder. The Kaese Krainer is then inserted into the hole and customers can begin to enjoy this wonderful creation.
Should you ever find yourself at a Würstelstand in Vienna, to order simply say “a Eitrige mit an Buckel und a 16er-Blech, owa Tschenifer” which roughly translates to “a Kaese Krainer Hot Dog and a beer, STAT!”
Have you had Kaese Krainer? Would you try the Kaese Krainer Hot Dog? What would you put on your Kaese Krainer Hot Dog?