Chris Oppermann has been making wurst since he was a child, but Barry Wengel watches to make sure it is all good.
Chris Oppermann has been making wurst since he was a child, but Barry Wengel watches to make sure it is all good. Noel Thompson

Best of the wurst is made in Binjour

DURING July each year, the Wengel, Oppermann and Prygoda families of Binjour get together to make around 600 wurst sausages which will last them until July next year.

The three families are all of German descent and live on the Binjour Plateau.

Along with many others who migrated from Germany, the ancestors of the Wengel family migrated in 1909 and settled on the Binjour Plateau.

Bopper Wengel is the main wurst hanger, who spaces all the sausage on sticks before they are smoked.
Bopper Wengel is the main wurst hanger, who spaces all the sausage on sticks before they are smoked.

Daughter of those settlers, 94-year-old Anna Wengel, said she remembered the old mincers and grinders, the old smokehouse and, above, all the beautiful taste of the wurst.

"Cleaning pig intestines with a dolly peg to make the sausage skins was just one of the chores we had to do on the farm in the early days," she said.

"The 12 members of the families here today are still making wurst the same as we did back then."

It takes three days to make the wurst using the traditional methods. The first day is always a Thursday when the animals are prepared.

"A pig and a cow were killed, butchered and hung under the house," she said.

"Friday was mincing day and the men cut up the meat and ground it and mixed the pork with the beef.

"Saturday is wurst-making day and we worked all day and into the night to get the last piece into the smokehouse."

MEAT AND GREET: 600 wurst sausages are smoked so three families can enjoy them all year.
MEAT AND GREET: 600 wurst sausages are smoked so three families can enjoy them all year.

Germans have been making wurst for centuries, and many of the most popular sausage-making recipes in the world today are from traditional German sausage.

Anna Wengel's daughter in-law, Gayleen Wengel, said that back in the early years, times were hard, with no refrigeration, and smoked sausage was their main source of protein.

"It is presumed it wasn't long after settlement in Binjour that a fattened cow and pig were killed for wurst making," she said.

"These days all the skins are purchased already cleaned and pre-salted.

"The skins are still made from animal intestines. It is just easier these days not to have to collect them and clean them ourselves.

"Prior to filling with the sausage mix, the skins must be soaked in water."


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