Swiss Sausage is a specialty of this part of the world, brought here by the Swiss-Italian families who settled in the Salinas Valley to farm. When you're lucky enough to find it in the retail case, it's always priced a little higher than the Italian sausage next to it. I've had the ones made in-house by Star Market and homemade versions, as well as grilled Swiss sausage at various youth fundraisers. But I'd never made the pilgrimage to Roy's Swiss Sausage Factory in Greenfield until a couple months ago.
Located just east of Hwy 101 and away from town, Roy's Swiss Sausage Factory is etched into a wood plank sign down a country road to point the way. It's about 45 minutes south of Salinas.
Housed in a simple cinder block building, this used to be the local slaughterhouse when independent operators still dotted the countryside. Today, Roy's continues to process game and local hunters bring their deer and wild boar for butchering. The front door opens directly to the cutting room floor. I'd arrived just after a sausage-making session. Buckets on the floor were full of trim and the crew were hosing down the tables. Customers are welcome to observe the operations.
This is the premium meat market in this area with the day's selections listed on an overhead white board. Roy told me proudly that he sources Certified Angus Beef from Del Monte Meat Company and he can procure other special cuts. And yes, he always has veal sweetbreads in the freezer.
However, I was here to buy sausage. Swiss sausage are made with the original 75% pork and 25% choice sirloin tip beef stuffing in regular or spicy ($6.89/pound) or in a dark meat chicken version of each ($7.89/pound). These are available fresh or frozen for travel. Then there are a couple flavored types, artichoke or jalapeño/jack cheese. The sausages are stuffed into natural casings and the strings for tying the links left intact. The only other ingredient information I could get out of Roy is that Carlo Rossi Burgundy is the jug wine he uses.
At home I cooked these by starting with a little bit of water in a covered skillet to steam them through and then browned off in the rendered fat. Not much fat actually runs off, and these turned out to be quite juicy and not too hard (the way Star Market's can be). The casings have a satisfying "pop". I preferred the regular version to better taste the snap of wine and sweet spicing. My brother liked the spicy version.
Bring a cooler next time you're traveling this stretch of 101 to take home some Swiss sausage from Roy's.
Roy's Swiss Sausage Factory
40821 Cherry Ave
Greenfield, CA 93927
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