Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sausage Making

Earlier this month my pal AK headed up to NYC for a cooking weekend. We have a long history of fun (and often ambitious) meat-related cooking. On tap for the weekend was starting some home-cured pancetta and making sausage.

Our plan was to make the pancetta following the recipe and instructions on Menu in Progress, but quickly realized that since TD and I were heading out of town, we wouldn't be able to let it cure properly. So that will have to wait for another time. So we were left with SAUSAGE!

Homemade sausage is one of my favorite cooking projects because it gives you a lot of satisfaction for a (relatively) small amount of work. AK and are getting to be pros and we finished in just a couple of hours, minus chilling time.

We use a kitchen aid Grinder attachment with sausage stuffer. In the past, we have used a heavy duty grinder from Cabela's. The kitchen aid is great for small amounts. We made 9 lbs without trouble. The key is to keep your meat very cold. Winter in Boston is much better for this than summer in the central valley!

We made 3 types of sausage--Boerwors, Merguez, and Chorizo--all stuffed into pork casings. We had made Boerwors before and both remembered liking it (although it was our least favorite of the 3). The merguez and chorizo were amazing. This sausage is so good, its really best eaten plain, but the chorizo was great in a Paella we had last week. For all recipes we grind meat, mix in spices, then let chill for at least 3 hours before stuffing in casings. Unfortunately I don't have the Boerwors recipe, as it is in a super secret Excel spreadsheet on AK's computer. I am pretty excited that we received a grinder and stuffer of our very own for a wedding present. I think there is a lot more sausage making in my future!

Homemade Merguez (from NY Times, we tripled the recipe)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped; more for serving
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Spanish Chorizo from SausageMania
Ground pork: 1 lb.
Coarse salt: 1/2 tablespoon
Garlic, crushed or finely chopped: 1.5 cloves
Ground nutmeg: 0.4 teaspoon
Brown sugar: 0.8 tablespoon
Smoked paprika : 0.8 tablespoon
Aleppo pepper: 0.8 tablespoon

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