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Graziano Brothers sausage

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Post Thu May 02, 2013 9:09 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Location: Stoughton, WI
Graziano Brothers has been in business since 1912 so I made a point of checking it out when I was in Des Moines last week. It's a not-fancy building in a not-fancy neighborhood, but it has lots of good things inside.
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They're known for their sausage so I picked up 3 varieties while I was there: sweet Italian, medium Italian (their traditional "default" sausage), and garlic. When ordering link sausage the counterman basically eyeballs a length based on the requested weight and just breaks it off, and this is what the garlic sausage looked like after I defrosted it Sunday afternoon.
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I cooked it over direct heat but kept the temperature nice and low so the casing wouldn't split.
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The grind was on the finer side and the sausage stayed moist, but the flavor wasn't real popular with the family. It wasn't excessively garlicky or anything like that, just different. I think the other 2 types will go over better, although Mrs. Chicken will undoubtedly say that the "medium" is too spicy. :lol:
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Post Thu May 02, 2013 1:24 pm
sroach well done
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Posts: 1160
Location: Warrington, PA
Hmm very strong garlic is fine with me..


Let us know how the others are!
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Post Thu May 02, 2013 4:18 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
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Location: Redwood City, California

I love finding places like that. The journey always seems to turn up more than the destination. Too bad you didn't like the sausage so much, but I still respect the fact that a place like that can hang on for 100 years. That resonates with me.
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Post Thu May 02, 2013 6:52 pm
beercuer User avatar
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Location: Southern Californy
Ah Brad,... you gave me a craving and made me hungry. I yearn for that sausage, all dressed in a bun with mustard! Luv the (what appears to be a purplish hue) in the precooked pic. :D
Got beer???

Post Fri May 03, 2013 12:21 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7452
Location: Stoughton, WI
scorched_porch wrote:
I love finding places like that. The journey always seems to turn up more than the destination. Too bad you didn't like the sausage so much, but I still respect the fact that a place like that can hang on for 100 years. That resonates with me.
There's something to be said for staying power. When I'm on the road I often try to plan my route and allow enough time to visit restaurants and stores of note, or just the ones I stumble across.

There's a good pizza place just east of Des Moines and it uses Graziano sausage. Based on what I had there I'm looking forward to trying the other 2 varieties I brought home.

BC, you can bet that the next ones will also be bunned and mustarded...unless I get my hands on some good Italian beef and some jus! :wink:

Post Fri May 03, 2013 3:46 pm
beercuer User avatar
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Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
ScreamingChicken wrote:
...
BC, you can bet that the next ones will also be bunned and mustarded...unless I get my hands on some good Italian beef and some jus! :wink:


I hear ya... Sometimes, especially sausage, is most enjoyable with mustard, and let the sausage speak for itself. I know of wine connoisseurs who prefer their meals simple so that the enjoyment of the wine can shine through and be the star of the meal. I just bought some Hebrew National beef knockwurst to simply pair with mustard and sauerkraut on a bun, and save some for an upcoming German style meatloaf to be smoked on the pit. :D
Got beer???

Post Fri May 03, 2013 9:00 pm
Dyal_SC well done
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Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
I'd love to try the sausage and cheeses up in your neck of the country.
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Post Sat May 04, 2013 6:39 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7452
Location: Stoughton, WI
We do have a lot from which to choose, that's for sure!

But you forgot to mention the beer. :wink:

Post Thu May 16, 2013 3:32 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7452
Location: Stoughton, WI
On Monday night had the next version: sweet Italian. I bought it already frozen and was expecting links, but like the others I bought at the counter this one was also a coil.
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It didn't get really brown but it was cooked all the way through.
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The texture was similar to the garlic sausage and we liked the taste a lot better. It was mildly seasoned without any overpowering flavors, and Mrs. Chicken said it had just enough heat for her.
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So far it's a split decision. The sweet Italian was liked by all but the garlic sausage...not so much. All that remains is the medium...

Post Thu May 16, 2013 5:37 pm
sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1160
Location: Warrington, PA
SC,

That's awesome. I know you were worried Mrs. Chicken would think it was too spicy.. That's a nice looking sammie, no pepper and onions on there?
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Post Thu May 16, 2013 8:10 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7452
Location: Stoughton, WI
Nope, no peppers or onions for me. It's either mustard or on a roll with or without Italian beef, wet.

I'm picky about when and where I'll eat or use onions, and bell peppers are on the "no way" list.

Post Sat May 18, 2013 2:05 am
beercuer User avatar
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Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
That is a superb looking sausage, Brad! That cooked pic looks so cool, colored and coiled like a snake like that. I'd luv for one of those, especially when the Chargers and Bears match up. :bbq:
Got beer???

Post Sun May 19, 2013 9:30 am
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Looks delicious... I only have one question. Where are the peppers, onions, and mustard!? :lol: J/K I will eat them on a plate with nothing else around. :bbq:
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Post Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:03 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 7452
Location: Stoughton, WI
It's time to bring this thread to a close. Last Thursday I took my last package out of the freezer: the medium spicy Italian sausage.
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It didn't take long to grill but there was a bit of a mishap when transferring it to the plate! :oops:
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This was without a doubt the best of the three varieties. It's Graziano's original recipe and I suspect it's what a lot of the Italian and pizza places around Des Moines (like Georgioz in Colfax, which makes some outstanding pizza) use. It was mildly spicy (but spicy enough for me to grill it on a night when Mrs. Chicken wasn't around) with good flavor, and maybe it was just me but it seemed like the grind might've been just a touch coarser than the other two sausages. Regardless, the next time I'm near Des Moines I'm going to pick up some to bring home, and maybe even the Hy-Vee here in Madison would be willing to order some!
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Post Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:37 am
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Broken sausage tastes as good as unbroken. :wink: And that looks delicious!
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