Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Sausages--Cook-Off 17

Charcuterie Cookoff

  • Please log in to reply
211 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 18 December 2005 - 09:05 AM

Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index.

For our seventeenth Cook-Off, we're making sausages.

Wait! Come back!!

I think sausages get a lousy rap. There are many, many bad sausages around, ones that include animal body parts that even Fergus Henderson won't eat, and as a result a lot of folks here probably don't incorporate them into their diet regularly. But they're perfect for a cook-off, and here's why.

Your effort is rewarded amply, because you can make a huge batch of sausages in roughly the same amount of time it takes to make a small batch, and most sausages freeze with ease. You don't really need any fancy equipment; indeed, you can make patties instead of links and "grind" the meat with a chef's knife or cleaver.

Of course, there are more kinds of sausages than you can shake a link at. If you look at the list below, you'll see that there's a wide variety of pork-based European (and some Chinese) sausages explored in the eGullet Society forums. However, there are many kinds of sausages that aren't made with pork and that come from other cuisines. For example, I'm looking forward to making a new batch of sai oua, Thai sausage, in the next week or two, and I might take a crack at lobster sausages for a new years eve treat.

Finally, sausages are one of the world's great foods. The snap of the casing, the flavor of the meat, the aroma of the seasonings, the lovely coating of fat on your tongue... once you start making your own, you'll begin to realize that there really is not limit to what you can make into sausages.

Sausage fans should certainly check out Klink's sausage diary, days one, two, three, four, five, and (no typo) twenty four. There's also a great newer thread devoted mainly to cured European sausages here. There are other threads devoted to fat ratios in sausage, fresh Chinese pork sausages, a boudin making, equipment, sweet Italian sausage recipes, Nullo Modo's sausage-making party, and homemade sausage. There's even a previous sausage cook-off in the China forum. Finally, folks are cooking from eGullet's own Michael Ruhlman's new Charcuterie book here.

So, all you sausage-phobes out there, remember that the purpose of a cook-off is to try to make something that you've never made before. As far as I can tell, sausage making is a bit precarious, but all the more fun because of that; I stress out about air pockets, while the gang curing their own get to worry about maggots and botulism. :blink: It's all part of what makes a cook-off great, though, imposing your anxieties on willing chums, right?

Trust me: if you take a crack at making sausages from scratch, you'll never look back. Of course, we then need to discuss dishes in which to use them, so if you'd rather start on the bunny slope using storebought sausages, have at it!

Let's get to grindin' and stuffin', folks!
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#2 Mallet

Mallet
  • participating member
  • 875 posts
  • Location:Halifax, NS (currently in Kingston ON)

Posted 18 December 2005 - 09:55 AM

What a great Cook-Off topic! I will be sure to join the fray...
Martin Mallet
<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

#3 Susan in FL

Susan in FL
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,838 posts
  • Location:Daytona Beach

Posted 18 December 2005 - 09:55 AM

Welcome to the one-year anniversary eGullet Recipe Cook-Off!

One year!! Special congrats and thanks go to you, Chris. This is your baby, and we are grateful. It's been educational and best of all, great fun. Cheers!
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#4 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 18 December 2005 - 10:29 AM

Thanks, Susan. So what is the beer host going to be serving with her frosty lagers, eh? I used to live in Milwaukee, and I can tell you what they'd say there....
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#5 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:30 AM

I'm hoping to make some garlic sausages of the sort that are used in cassoulet. (Here's the cook-off, wherein I take a crack at them.) Any recipes out there?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#6 jgm

jgm
  • participating member
  • 1,698 posts
  • Location:Wichita, KS

Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:44 AM

I'd love to have a recipe for banger sausages. It's been a long time since a local restaurant took bangers and mash off their menu, and absence is definitely making the heart grow fonder.

#7 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:29 PM

How finely ground would the meat be in bangers?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#8 Busboy

Busboy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,426 posts
  • Location:Washington, DC

Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:25 PM

[/QUOTE][quote name='chrisamirault' date='Dec 19 2005, 09:30 AM']I'm hoping to make some garlic sausages of the sort that are used in cassoulet. (Here's the cook-off, wherein I take a crack at them.) Any recipes out there?

View Post

[/quote]

I faced this same dilemma myself and was rescued, on the Cassoulet threat you link to up top, by our own Paula Wolfert, whose entire response I reproduce here:

[quote]I have a recipe in the cooking of southwest france for making toulouse sausages. The recipe is from a spicemaker in the Toulouse main market. I forget his name but it was something like bourdonc . Don't buy the book, I'll post the ingredients here. I figure you know how to make sausage.

The recipe makes about 1 1/4 pounds
4 ounces ventreche without rind (like pancetta)
12 ounces pork tenderloin,trimmed of fat
4 ounces pork fat back
l teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
3/4 teaspon sugar
l large minced clove garlic
hog or sheep casing


THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU CAN BUY TOULOUSE SAUSAGES MADE BY SOME FRENCH CHARCUTIERS WORKING IN CALIFORNIA. www.fabriquesdelices.com or via frenchselections.com
[/quote]

I used pancetta, as ventrenche is not available hereabouts. They came out great.
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government.

#9 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:36 PM

Charles, did you mince the pancetta? And grind the rest finely? I don't know why but I'm obsessing about the fineness of the grind....
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#10 Eden

Eden
  • participating member
  • 959 posts

Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:13 PM

And me with some ground lamb in the fridge waiting for my attention - perfect timing!

Once upon a time we made an arabic lavendar lamb sausage that was out of this world, but the "eww it tastes like soap" weenies complained, so we didn't make it again, and the recipe has since been lost :sad:

I love sausage, it has such infinite possibilities. Hmm, I'm making a grand aioli next weekend. Any suggestions for the perfect sausage to serve with aioli?
Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

#11 Busboy

Busboy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,426 posts
  • Location:Washington, DC

Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:42 PM

Charles, did you mince the pancetta? And grind the rest finely? I don't know why but I'm obsessing about the fineness of the grind....

View Post


I just chopped the pancetta coarsly, threw it in with the other meat and ground them both together, for a consistent texture.

Eden: don't know what you have in mind for the lamb, but I like to throw it with sundried tomatoes and feta cheese, using a bit of cumin and cinnamon for spicing.
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government.

#12 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 20 December 2005 - 03:06 PM

This thread is just in time! I will be serving two different kinds of homemade sausage for Xmas eve dinner this saturday, both are from "Charcuterie".

click here for more info.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#13 hwilson41

hwilson41
  • participating member
  • 479 posts
  • Location:Fairfax, VA

Posted 20 December 2005 - 03:49 PM

Chris, what a great and timely topic. I won't be able to play until after Christmas because of travel plans, but I'm all over it when we get home from NC on the 27th. I've been fiddling off and on (more off than on, I fear) with a recipe for all beef Texas hot links for many, many months, and maybe this will prod me into real action now. Great choice, especially for a cold winter night's meal :biggrin:.
"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

#14 snowangel

snowangel
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 8,140 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted 20 December 2005 - 04:48 PM

This thread is just in time! I will be serving two different kinds of homemade sausage for Xmas eve dinner this saturday, both are from "Charcuterie".

click here for more info.

View Post


Beautiful, Elie! They look so neat and even and tidy. You mention using collagen casings.

So, time people talked about casings. My meat grinder should be returning from the cabin right after the new year, so I might be a bit behind on this one!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#15 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 20 December 2005 - 05:28 PM

Yes, Elie, do tell: collagen casings?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#16 coquus

coquus
  • participating member
  • 484 posts

Posted 20 December 2005 - 05:41 PM

In my opinion you can just brush off this green mold if you are at the ready to eat stage.

Then again, if the green mold is taking over and you see it in FULL EFFECT then there may be something wrong.  I wouldn't worry about it too much if there is a small hint of green.

Let someone know before you try your salami...just to be safe (j/k!)

How about a photo?

View Post

Yeah, everybody, sorry no photos, I have a digi, but it's all packed away. The salami is still very much edible, and the green stuff didn't change the flavor noticeably after I washed it off. I think I had a little too much fennel flavor, otherwise its great. Thanks Ore, Aidells, it worked out just fine. You know, davebr, someone else might be able to answer your question but as long as you can grow some mold on it within the first week, keeping it in a walk in should work. There is a fundamental difference, and that is that the method discussed here most, with set humidity, higher temps, uses is pretty much fool proof as I understand it. It seems the mold helps control the moisture loss so to avoid the dreaded case hardening.

#17 Eden

Eden
  • participating member
  • 959 posts

Posted 20 December 2005 - 08:40 PM

Eden: don't know what you have in mind for the lamb, but I like to throw it with sundried tomatoes and feta cheese, using a bit of cumin and cinnamon for spicing.

Sounds wonderful! However I needed to cook the lamb today, and lacking feta in the house, I made Ahrash, an early Andalusian recipe spiced with cumin coriander and caraway. Served with a honey mustard sauce:
Posted Image
I've made these before & they're mighty tasty - you can't go wrong with lamb & cumin in my world :rolleyes:

Ahrash are meant to be a patty style sausage, so I could take the easy way out today. However I found some casings in the freezer today so if I have time later in the month I'll make some proper stuffed sausages as well. (Though they probably won't be as pretty as FoodMan's!)
Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

#18 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:34 AM

Yes, Elie, do tell: collagen casings?

View Post


Collagen casings are edible casings that can be stored at room temperature and cook up very nicely. They are simpler to work with than natural (no cleaning, soaking, foul smell...) for a beginner sausage maker. they actually feel like parchment paper and keep forever in a drawer.

Click for more info

The downside is that they are not as "flexible" so, they need to be tied with butcher twine because they do not stay twisted. See, the natural casings are very elastic and remain more or less closed where there is no filling. These ones retain their diameter, even when not filled.

I am planning on trying natural casings soon to see the difference for myself.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#19 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 21 December 2005 - 10:00 AM

I made Ahrash, an early Andalusian recipe spiced with cumin coriander and caraway.  Served with a honey mustard sauce:

View Post

Eden, they look great! Do you have the recipe? I can tell that RecipeGullet is itchin' to have your version!

Collagen casings are edible casings that can be stored at room temperature and cook up very nicely. They are simpler to work with than natural (no cleaning, soaking, foul smell...) for a beginner sausage maker. snip
I am planning on trying natural casings soon to see the difference for myself.

View Post

Elie, I've been having great luck with natural casings that my butcher at Whole Foods has. They have been pre-cleaned and come inserted with a segment of red plastic tubing that makes inserting them onto the sausage stuffer very easy. I haven't had to desalt, rinse, soak, or enzyme 'em, and they've been pretty simple to work with. No odor either. They don't put them out front, of course (insert Whole Foods joke here), but any WF that makes their own sausages probably has them.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#20 FoodMan

FoodMan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,316 posts

Posted 21 December 2005 - 10:20 AM

Thanks for the tip chris, I'll make sure to ask for it. Believe it or not Whole Foods is also my source for Pork fat back for sausage. They throw away tons of the stuff and are usually happy to give it to me.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#21 Eden

Eden
  • participating member
  • 959 posts

Posted 21 December 2005 - 06:08 PM

I made Ahrash, an early Andalusian recipe spiced with cumin coriander and caraway.  Served with a honey mustard sauce:

View Post

Eden, they look great! Do you have the recipe? I can tell that RecipeGullet is itchin' to have your version!

Ask & ye shall receive. Ahrash recipe.
Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

#22 melkor

melkor
  • legacy participant
  • 2,554 posts
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 22 December 2005 - 11:57 PM

After chasing the UPS driver across town we came home with a sausage stuffer and put it to work.

Following the recipe in Ruhlman's Charcuterie book, swapping sheep casings in place of hog and rendered beef fat where the recipe calls for pork fat we made a batch of merguez.
Posted Image

Our wine cellar being woefully low on meat, we set out to rectify the problem while the merguez was resting in the fridge. I disassembled four ducks, rendered the fat and the legs and thighs are now happily turning to confit in the oven (not sausage related but preserved nonetheless). We used the rest of the meat from the ducks mixed with a fair bit of fat to make a duck version of saucisson sec. After twisting off the links we meatified the wine cellar.

Posted Image

I'm really curious to see how they come out. The forcemeat was much looser than expected, likely because we used rendered fat.

The merguez went on the grill and were served with couscous, harissa, preserved lemons, yellow carrots.

Posted Image

#23 Doc-G

Doc-G
  • participating member
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Adelaide, Australia/London, UK

Posted 23 December 2005 - 05:01 AM

I cant believe there is actually even a thread for my kind of people in here!!!! Well done to whoever thought of this!!!

Sausages!! I LOVE THEM!!!

I have grown up around them....I make them...I sell them...I've even judged competitions for them!

Someone here was mentioning that they had problems with collagen casings and that they were using twine to create the sausages. You need to learn from someone how to link your sausages. It is relatively easy to learn but difficult to describe over the net. The picture below is of a beef sausage made with a collagen casing and then linked by hand. You are right that collagen is easy to work with and you hardly ever get any splits although I dont think it looks as nice as a well made sausage with a natural casing.

Posted Image

Below on the other hand is a picture of a sausage I judged at the South Australian 'Sausage King' competition. You can see that this is made from a natural skin. It has a natural curve, a nice sheen and you can still see the remnants of blood vessels in the gut wall.

Posted Image

Below is a picture of some Weisswurst that we made. They are then boiled in a copper. They are delicious grilled in a pan and served on crusty toast with a sweet mustard. These were made in a natural casing. They look a little nicer as they have a natural curve and also have a natural sheen that makes them look beautiful.

Posted Image

I have lots more pics which I will share when I have the chance.

I would love to hear more stories from my fellow 'snag' lovers.

Cheers,

Doc-G
  • Paul Higham likes this

#24 annecros

annecros
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,643 posts
  • Location:South Broward County, Florida

Posted 23 December 2005 - 05:36 AM

Beautiful sausages, Doc!

Raised in the Southeastern United States, I have always wondered if we owe a larger debt to our heritage from the British Isle's than we do the German concerning the sausages we know and love. I know that sausage making was widespread among those various ethnicities who settled the Southern US, but in my particular neck of the woods, we seem to share more in common with the banger than the brat. A haggis wouldn't be looked at too askance by my grandparents. Mutts that we are, though, there is a great deal of cross pollination.

I have great grandmothers whose surnames were Mayo, Preston, Moore, Griner, Wilson etc., but Grandaddy Moore simply made the best sausage, hands down, known regionally in his time and sought out. His mother, to whom he credited his skill, was a Faircloth.

Personally, I prefer the natural casings, in both fresh and smoked sausage.

#25 jeniac42

jeniac42
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:Adrian, MI

Posted 24 December 2005 - 01:04 PM

I wanted to participate in this cookoff anyway, and was planning to use my Cuisinart and my knives to "grind" the meat... but would you believe, my wonderful boyfriend got me the KitchenAid meat grinder and sausage stuffing attachments for Christmas! (We exchanged our gifts yesterday...) I got him homebrewing equipment so it'll be Oktoberfest all year for us in 2006....

Today I went to the Strip in Pittsburgh to try to buy ingredients to make some kind of sausage. I got a nice pork butt and hog casings, but NOBODY had any pork fat available at all. I'm going to try calling a few other grocery stores in the area to see what I can find. Tonight will be the maiden voyage for the grinder and the stuffer. Here's hoping it turns out OK!
Jennie

#26 jeniac42

jeniac42
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:Adrian, MI

Posted 25 December 2005 - 11:46 AM

Well, I did manage to get some pork fat. I'm not sure it was back fat, because the guys at the Giant Eagle butcher's counter just threw it together for me. At least there was no charge....

I would say for a first attempt it went pretty well. I forgot to put the knife blade in the grinder initially and could NOT figure out why the meat was just getting stuck to the back of the grinding disc. Oops. After that it seemed to go fine, though.

As for stuffing the sausage into casings... man, putting the casing onto the sausage horn is just... well, no comment. I tied the end first as suggested in one or another of the books I've read since Friday, and it immediately filled with air when I turned the mixer's motor on. I untied it and placed the end of the casing even with the end of the horn and waited for the meat to start flowing, and then it was all OK. I had Eric feeding the sausage mixture into the hopper, and it seemed really difficult to keep a steady flow going. Like it was taking a really long time somehow to shove it all down in there. Any suggestions?

I used the Kentucky-Style Pork Sausage recipe from Bruce Aidell's cookbook, minus the nutmeg and plus a little brown sugar. I found the seasoning to be a little on the bland side for me; next time I'd use more sage, maybe a little more sugar, and definitely more cayenne and black pepper.

Also, the size of casing that I got (the only size that was available) was far too large for normal breakfast sausage. Still, since the sausage itself is a little underseasoned, I think it'll make for decent sandwiches - it's about the right size for that.

Photos! First we have the spice mix (salt, brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sage, coriander), the casing being soaked, and the newly instituted sausage notebook:
Posted Image

Also the grinder attachment on the KitchenAid, because it looks exciting:
Posted Image

The meat mixture:
Posted Image

The links, minus the one that split and was thrown back into the loose sausage bowl:
Posted Image

And finally, a cooked piece with some bread.
Posted Image
Jennie

#27 Doc-G

Doc-G
  • participating member
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Adelaide, Australia/London, UK

Posted 26 December 2005 - 03:20 AM

Nice job Jeniac!

I just thought I would post another couple of pics.

The first is of some polish sausage that we made. These you need a large nozzle for your sausage filler and some special skins that you should be able to get from your local butcher or butcher's supplier.

You need to ensure they are filled out tightly and then you tie them by hand or if you have a clipper, you then clip them.

Here you can see that they have already been smoked and are sitting on the smoke sticks, ready to be taken off and stored or eaten!!!

Posted Image

The next picture is of biersticks which are made in a similar way to polish sausage except that they have a 'thin' natural casing and are filled using a smaller nozzle.

Posted Image

Both of these products have cures and are both smoked until an internal temp of 68oC has been maintained for 10 minutes.

I can assure you that both products were delicious.

I hope you like them.

Let's see what others have done.

Cheers,

Doc-G

#28 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:11 PM

Jeniac42, I think I've figured out a few things about that KA sausage attachment. I made a big batch of Italian sausages using the proportions in Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie and seasonings (1T each of sage, oregano, fennel, and red pepper flakes). The instructions in that book are outstanding; if the rest of that Christmas present is that good, I'm going to be a happy camper. Some useful tips from R&P: cube your meat in fairly small chunks (1/2-3/4" or so) so that they feed easily; season the meat after cubing and let it sit for a good while (1-2 hours at least, a day if you'd like) before grinding; place the bowl for the ground meat in another bowl of ice. Go buy it, seriously.

So a few photos. Here's the pork in the freezer chillin':

Posted Image

I also kept all of the grinder attachments, the cup of wine, and the KA mixing bowl in there until I used them:

Posted Image

Here are the Whole Foods casings that I mentioned up thread. It's a bit pricey compared to the salt-packed ones, but they're already rinsed and ready to go:

Posted Image

KA ready to go. I hadn't used an ice water bath before, but it's a great idea :

Posted Image

I then ground the meat with the smaller grind plate:

Posted Image

Next, I mixed the meat for a minute with the paddle, then added 1c of red wine (first time for that) and mixed again to get to the "primary bind." Hadn't ever done that before, either.

Posted Image

I was getting a bit worried about the meat warming up, so I don't have any stuffing images. However, I found that switching to the larger grind plate for stuffing was a major step. I had never thought to do that before, and it seems obvious to me now. Just as important, I found that it really was crucial to apply a good deal of pressure when feeding the meat into the grinding attachment; otherwise, the consistency of the meat in the links was too fine for my taste.

The final results:

Posted Image

I think that we're going to be making calzones on Wed, giving those links a couple of days to blend.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#29 jeniac42

jeniac42
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:Adrian, MI

Posted 28 December 2005 - 05:34 PM

Thanks for the advice, Chris. I'm trying to get a copy of the R&P book but so far I have had no luck.

This weekend I might try a fresh kielbasa to use up the rest of the (now-frozen) pork butt.

Edited to add that just now I am eating some storebought summer sausage, cheddar cheese, spicy mustard, and crackers - one of my favorite ways to use sausage.

Edited by jeniac42, 28 December 2005 - 05:35 PM.

Jennie

#30 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 30 December 2005 - 09:30 AM

Last night I fried up the sausages using R&P's method, first searing them and then covering them for 6-7 minutes, all at medium. I used the instant read thermometer to get them to 150F and then they finished in a warm oven to 160F. Here they are in the pan:

Posted Image

I served them with some homemade spaghetti and a pretty simple tomato sauce (bacon, onions, garlic sauteed a long while; crushed tomatoes, sage, bay, pinch of allspice and clove), which turned out really swell.

The sausages were universally beloved -- "the best sausages I've ever had," said all of my guests. I agreed that they were great. Much of that was due, I now know, to some basic things that I'm going to repeat in the future: cutting the meat into smaller chunks (I'm going for 3/4" next time); seasoning the meat and letting it sit for a good while (overnight, next time) before grinding; keeping things cold, cold, cold; creating that "primary bind"; sauteing then covering; measuring the internal temperature for doneness; adding that ice cold liquid (I used a cotes du rhone). I also really, really like the R&P ratios. I did a bit of math to make it a bit more easy for me to figure out:

R&P's ratios, makes five pounds of sausage 1.5 k meat : 750 g fat : 40 g kosher salt : 250 ml liquid
R&P's ratios using 1 k meat as base, makes 3+ pounds of sausage 1 k meat : 500 g fat : 27 g salt : 170 ml liquid
A few things I didn't do that I'm going to do next time: understuff them for better tying (notice that one sausage has popped its string off) and frying (I burst three of them); poke a few more needle holes in them to limit bursting; grinding to a less fine consistency (I would have preferred that, though my guests might not have done so); keep the saute pan dry (the juices limited the browning).
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Charcuterie, Cookoff