Monday, August 06, 2012

Fresh country sausage

Here's the recipe for fresh country sausage. It's based on Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's recipe for Fresh Master Sausage in Charcutery: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by (Norton & Company: New York, 2005) (found on (page 117).

I worked out a flavor profile that appealed to me. Cumin and coriander are among my favorite spices, along with chile peppers, cilantro, garlic and thyme. These herbs and spices, along with the wine, give the sausage a pleasant taste. The wine (I used pinot noir) adds flavor and brings all the ingredients together.


"It's very important to keep your meat as cold as possible during the sausage making process," cautions Ruhlman and Polcyn. "Sausage that gets too warm can 'break,' meaning the fat and the protein will separate from each other when cooked." Instead of enjoying a firm, juicy sausage, where the fat evenly coats each bit of meat, you'll be eating something that's dry and crumbly.

Keep the pork and chicken in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients. Also place the wine in the cooler. Cold ingredients reduce the chance that your sausage will break. And, "always grind the meat and the fat into a bowl set in ice."

3-1/2 pounds pork shoulder butt, diced
1-1/2 pounds chicken or turkey thigh meat, diced
1-1/2 ounces kosher salt (about 3 tablespoons)
2 jalapeno chiles, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup good red wine, chilled

Mix pork, chicken, salt, chiles, cilantro, thyme, garlic, cumin, coriander and pepper together in large bowl until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to blend flavors.

Grind mixture through small die (1/8-inch) into a bowl set in ice. Transfer mixture to mixer bowl (5-quart or larger). Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add wine while mixing on low speed; Increase speed to medium and mix 1 minute more, or until liquid is incorporated and meats looks sticky.

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