Rookworst (“smoked sausage”) is a type of Dutch sausage in which ground meat is mixed with spices and salt and stuffed into a casing (originally made of intestine, but these days usually made of bovine collagen). Rookworst is a traditional ingredient in Stamppot. Described as a Bologna-type sausage, it is common in the Netherlands and is also exported to Great Britain. A version of it is also manufactured in Australia for domestic consumption.
Contrary to what the name suggests, the modern rookworst is rarely smoked. To achieve the smoked flavour typical to the product, smoke aromatics are added to the product alongside the spices. Glucono delta-lactone is added to lower the pH and add to shelf life. Old-fashioned rookworst is smoked over wood chips: it can be recognised by a dried-in drop at the end of the sausage.
There are two types of rookworst:
- The most common form of rookworst is a vacuum packed cooked sausage. This sausage leaves the factory already cooked, it is shelf-stable for weeks, and only needs to be reheated in boiling water. This type of rookworst is also called Gelderse rookworst, i.e., rookworst from (or in the manner of) Gelderland.
- Raw rookworst — also known as crafted, old-fashioned or butchers’ rookworst — contains raw meats, and has to be prepared properly. Often this type of rookworst still uses natural bowel instead of bovine collagen. This type needs to be cooked in barely simmering water before it can be safely eaten.