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Chris Amirault

Saucisson Sec

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Saucisson Sec

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This recipe is a combination of Ruhlman and Grigson that uses an entire 7 pound boned whole pork shoulder (which is typical of what I get from Coleman at Whole Foods). As Ruhlman notes, this sausage absolutely relies on the quality of the meat, so spend and get the best you're able to get.

I've learned the value of butchering the shoulder into lean, fat, and spongy, bloody waste. The whole boned shoulders that I've used usually break down into the ratios given below, which are at a higher percentage of lean to fat than Ruhlman suggests, closer to Grigson's 4:1. If you can't get the fat to that percentage, I strongly urge that you add some additional very cold fat.

A note on seasoning. My first killer batch followed Grigson's garlic sausage recipe (p 136 if you have it) and used 1 T quatre épices and 3 T cognac as the brandy. The current version substituted thyme for the quatre épices and apple brandy (Laird's bottled in bond) for the cognac, and it's the best yet. You're trying to enhance and not overpower the pork, remember, so keep it subtle.

I urge everyone new to sausage making and curing to review this list of sausage basics before starting. I won't be reiterating those strategies, but they are critical.

1 whole pork shoulder, boned (~7 pounds or ~3 kilograms)

60 g kosher salt

15 g coarsely ground black pepper

2 g cayenne

25 g sugar

10 g Insta Cure #2 or DC Curing Salt #2

25 g garlic, minced finely

1 T quatre épices OR thyme (OR... see note above)

3 T brandy

Break the shoulder into strips of lean meat, strips or pieces of firm fat, and waste. Discard waste and chill meat and fat thoroughly.

Combine all other ingredients except for the brandy and mix well.

In a large bowl and working quickly, combine meat and fat with your hands. Sprinkle 1/3 of the seasoning mix and combine well; sprinkle 1/3 more and combine; sprinkle the rest and combine. Let chill thoroughly; it can sit overnight if you want to break up the prep over two days.

Following temperature guidelines obsessively, grind once through a coarse plate, chill thoroughly, mix over bowl of ice, and stuff into casings. Hang for 3-4 weeks or longer, until your sausage has become firm.

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