Kid just loves him some cows (komos) wrote,
Kid just loves him some cows

Cooking with a Butcher's Apprentice, Interlude - Sausage Making

This past week we were given advanced sausage making basics at the shop. The "advanced" bit included thoughts on equipment, costs, and strategies around large scale production. "Basics" focused a little more on crafting recipes, techniques to use, choice of meats, and just how f&cking simple it is to make sausage. I agree, but only to an extent. Truth is, in spite of Ruhlman's catastrophizing over "broken" grinds and his insistence on a step by step method to ensure success, making a seasoned ground meat that may or may not be stuffed into a casing is a rather trivial affair. I do have to depart from my mentor a bit insofar as I believe that crafting a great sausage requires a little more skill.

I'm thinking I managed merely "good" with my project (there were compromises made in the name of expedience), but it has some potential.

What you'll need:

Some basic equipment like a grinder and a large bowl
3.2 fluid oz. coarse sea salt
3 lb lamb
5 lb chicken
2 lb smoked bacon
10 oz bag of frozen spinach
1/8 cup meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup garlic (in granules)
1/8 cup black pepper
1/4 cup oregano
1/8 cup red pepper flakes
2 cups of red wine
1 cup roasted red peppers
An unmeasured quantity of ice

What you'll do:
  • Gather your ingredients, cube the meat, and mix everything together with your hands. Don't worry over naysayers questioning the addition of greens into the mix, but do ask plenty of questions about their behavior in grinds. (Note: unblanched greens tend to turn black.)
  • Grind the meat.
  • Add a "scoop" of ice to the mix (in my case, this worked out to rather less than a quart container) and grind again. Beam a little when the boss says, "This looks fucking great, by the way..."
  • Let grind sit for 24 hours, then stuff into some 20 feet of casings.

To be honest, the volume measures bug me a little, but that's the method currently in use at the shop and I'm there to learn how they do things. On tasting, I thought the grind could use a little more zing (I'm thinking lemon zest) and might be a little on the salty side. I'm also tempted to go all-lamb even though I've been warned against it.


In other news, I have dined with Joel Salatin (who is amiable, funny, and has a notable weakness for ice cream), and spotted Julie Powell (who's taller than I expected) in the shop.  In a more curious twist, I may be traveling to Montreal at the end of this week for a filming of Bizarre Foods and dinner at Au Pied de Cochon.  I probably won't have time to ask Mr. Zimmern about my concerns about his approach.  I am, however, very much looking forward to the possibility of having Picard's Poutine au Foie Gras because it just seems so very, very wrong

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