I thought that I would take a break from my recent canard-centric posts (Everything But the Quack: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) and do something about one of my favorite culinary endeavors which is homemaking sausage. I got hold of a nice, cheap, 8 pound pork shoulder (bone in, skin on), woot! I also just happened to have a couple nice hunks of fatty salt pork.
To me these ingredients spell out sausage making time. Homemaking sausage is an inexpensive way of turning some less expensive cuts of meat into delicious tubes of succulence. I probably only paid 8-9 bucks for the pork shoulder and another 3 for the salt pork, the rest of the ingredients were pantry items that I had already. You can probably get 3 feet worth of good sausage out of this amount of meat.
I got some nice natural casings from the Syracuse Casing Co. located a couple hours west of me. They are about an inch in diameter, bigger than a hot dog, but not overhuge.
I was able to get about 5-6 pounds of nice pork chunks off after boning and skinning the shoulder.
This was ready to be ground along with the salt pork/fat cubes. How am I going to grind this you ask? Well, let me introduce you to my friend Lurlene.
Ain't she pretty? Lurlene is truly the work horse of my kitchen. No piece of pseudo-foodie, yuppie, kitchen ornamentation or piece of counter-jewelry is she. I literally use this beautiful red machine on a near daily basis. I am an avid whole wheat baker, and I just don't trust ground meat from stores, even my trusty butcher, and I rarely buy bread products (except for naan and pitas). So I do a lot of dough kneading and meat grinding myself. Here is Lurlene in action.
This is invariably the point in the evening when my pretty, pregnant wife ambles into the kitchen for some cookies or cheese. I am usually either jamming meat cubes into the grinder or rinsing the salt off of a nice, long piece of intestines. I can never understand why she does not find the ritual of sausage making as primal and spiritual as I do. Here is the ground up meat.
Into this I threw about a cup of good red wine (drinking stuff), a handful of salt, lots of cracked black pepper, 5 crushed cloves of garlic, a handful of demerera sugar, and about a cup of ground pistachios. I think you will find that these ingredients complement the pork very well. The mixture makes enough wurst to choke a Bavarian goat herd.
As I had to jet off to the city for work for a few days, I chose to freeze these bad boys. I am going dedicate a post (after my next and last installment of Everything But the Quack) to uses of the sausage, as well as uses for the lovely pork bone and skin that were left over (I'm thinking a bean dish and cracklins).
I am finishing this post up in my hotel room in the city. Here is the view from my 12th floor hotel room looking out over Queens. I'm right next to JFK Airport. Have a good night!