Sucuk is a popular Turkish sausage. It is typically quite dry and spicy. Since Turkey is a culturally Muslim country, sucuk is made from beef. It is similar to many other sausages found in Balkan countries such as Bulgaria, and a variant of sucuk can even be found in Central Asia, where it is made out of horse meat.
In Turkey, however, sucuk is usually made with ground meat, usually beef or lamb, with a high fat content. Different spices are mixed into the meat, and the mixture is then fed into a sausage casing and dried for several weeks. Once it is fully dried, the sausage can be very stiff, so it is often cooked to soften it up. Since sucuk is very fatty, it does not need to be cooked in oil. Typical spices used are garlic, cumin, salt, red pepper, and sumac. Sucuk can be very hot, depending on the amount of pepper used, or it can have more of a garlic flavor.
Sucuk is often cut into slices and fried with eggs for a breakfast dish, but can be used in many dishes, like our brick oven pizza. Sucuk can also be used as a topping for savory pastries. In Turkey, it is sometimes eaten as a type of döner sandwich. Sucuk can even be cut into slices and grilled, then put into a sandwich with vegetables cooked in its fat. Sucuk and beans cooked together is also very popular. To prepare a quick, easy, and authentic sucuk dish, one can take a few slices of sucuk and fry them quickly in a pan, and then crack eggs into the pan. The eggs will set around the sausage and take on its flavor. This can be eaten alone or served over toasted bread.
For sucuk and beans, many people start by gently boiling crushed tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions in water. Once these ingredients have softened and cooked down, kidney beans or navy beans are added to the pot and allowed to cook further. Then, slices of sucuk are fried and added to the pot, making a delicious and filling stew.
Sucuk is more than a humble little sausage. It satisfies the tastes and appetites of an entire country. Its distinct taste and flavor is as unique as the culture of Turkey itself.