Chicago. A Mid-Western Mecca for fantastic foods. Home to big people, bigger buildings and some of the biggest appetites in the country. As of 2007, it was America’s third fattest city, after Houston and Milwaukee- and that’s just fine by me. As far as I’m concerned, that little bit of extra weight is just defense mechanism brought about by those cold and frigid winters (thanks in part to the lake effect off of Lake Michigan) and a testament to the great taste in food that people in the Chicago Land area have. Honestly, I’m surprised they’re not bigger out there, what with all the amazing options they have. It’s the birthplace of the deep dish pizza, the Italian Beef sandwich, the Chicago dog, pizza puffs and perhaps my favorite, the Polish Sausage.
I can still remember getting off the Blue Line at the Damen stop on Friday nights, on my way out to my buddy Lou’s place in Bucktown. I’d get off the “L” and would almost immediately be consumed by the sweet, aromatic smells of grilled sausage and veggies. I’d see the friendly man at the sausage cart outside of the bar and my eyes would light up, opening as wide as a child on Christmas morning tearing into the largest gift under the tree. Some people may not be as entranced by the aroma of grilled meat and onions as I am, but as far as I’m concerned, if someone could find a way to bottle that scent- I’d be the first guy walking into the club wearing “Ode D’ Sausage”. Seriously, I love this food that much.
Several years later, I returned to my ancient home land of New York and decided to make my own version of this remarkable recipe. In some ways, as a creative outlet for myself. In the majority of ways, to avoid being sued by stringent copyright laws. So, I gave the sausage a few more polish qualities by adding some fried peorogies to the sandwich. Then, I gave it a little taste of New York by topping this masterpiece with sauerkraut and finally dubbed it the Lech Walesa (the former President of Poland). So now it’s same recipe, only different. I’ve been making this delicious delicacy for the last few years in my kitchen and now you can make it in yours too. But be warned, with great sandwich come great responsibility.
-1 kielbasa (or package of bun sized kielbasa’s)
-1 onion (halved and sliced)
-Perogies (3 mini sized or 2 regular sized per sandwich)
-Spicy brown Mustard
-French bread (or large sub roll)
1. Begin by boiling water in a large pot. Once water boils, add perogies and kielbasa. Boil for 10 minutes.
2. While water is boiling, cut onion in half and slice into strips. Lightly coat pan with olive oil or butter. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until onions are limp and translucent. Add worcester sauce for flavor.
3. After 10 minutes, remove perogies and kielabasa from water. Add perogies to onions and continue pan frying on low heat or until slightly crispy. Grill sausage or broil in oven for 10 minutes, about 5 per side.
4. Boil or microwave some sauerkraut until hot and ready (5 minutes boiled, 40 seconds in microwave).
5. Slice an appropriate size of bread (unless already sized). Cut open half way and add onions and perogies, then bun sized piece of kielabasa. Top with sauerkraut, mustard, salt and pepper. Serve with some fries or potato chips. Enjoy!