02 April, 2007

Sausage Mania

Tasso Ham
Cold Smoked Andouille
Cold Smoked Kielbasa
Smoked Venison Sausage

Ah, spring has arrived. Here in the Southland the breeze brings up wisps of humidity and clouds with rain. The daffodils trumpet up to greet Spring's haphazard arrival, and young men's fancy turns to sausage.

Last week we had quite the mania here at the hermitage, when in one day we made three different kinds of sausages and some ham. It all started when I asked the the neighbor if he would be interested in making his crowd pleasing gumbo with Andouille sausage that I would make. He said yes and while we were at it maybe we could make some kielbasa with some of the beef he had on hand. Sure why not? Another neighbor heard we were making sausage and he called because he had some venison in his fridge and wondered if we could so anything with it. Sure, let's get on with it.

Tasso Ham.

I had seen the recipe in Charcuterie, and had always wanted to try it. It is a very easy preparation. We sliced five pounds of pork shoulder into five steaks then rubbed them in a mixture of salt, sugar and pink salt. We covered and refrigerated the pieces to cure for four hours. After the cure, we rubbed on a mixture of white pepper, cayenne, dried marjoram and allspice.

Then onto the smoker to cook to 150 F, about one hour.

Looks kinda like Shake-n-Bake, huh? I didn't have the time this week to get into the etymology of Tasso (or anything else for that matter) but the cookbook said it is mostly used as a component of other recipes like gumbo, jambalaya or stewed with greens. I found it very good sliced cold.

Cold Smoked Andouille Sausage.

The first sausage of the day was the Cajun champ Andouille. The roots of this sausage start and stop in the Sportsman's Paradise. There is French sausage named Andouille, but they are of no relation. The French version is made up of chopped up spiced chitterlings stuffed into, well, chitterlings. As for the name, Grigson in her book, Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery, provides this footnote: Andouille is from the Late Latin adjective, inductibilis, 'that may be drawn over something.'"

Ok. we are going to make the Cajun version, so that we can get some gumbo from the neighbor.

Again we got the recipe from Charcuterie, Five pounds of pork, 1 pound of onion and your assorted Cajun spices. Let's get stuffing.

Wait a sec, did I show you the new casings?

Yes, I finished off my first hank (a hank is the unit of measure in which casings are sold, its about seven miles of casing, not really, but the package did last me a year). Yeah so I sent the Bonne Femme out out to score some more and she came back with something a little bit different.

Each length is threaded onto plastic. before I had sort through the package to get the casings then thread them on to the stuffing tube. Now...

How much easier can sausage making get?

After stuffing and twisting the links, the Andouille goes into the fridge for a couple of days.

On the second day we cold smoke the sausages for six hours. Now the Andouille is ready to gumbo.

Cold Smoked Kielbasa.

There is no place more Polish than Chicago. What other city closes down for Pulaski Day? And nothing says Polish sausage like Kielbasa. Wait, keilbasa is Polish for sausage.

Our ingredients are beef, pork, pork fat and garlic. the spices are paprika, pepper, marjoram, coriander and nutmeg. We got the recipe from Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book. Grind stuff, twist, let it hang.

The kielbasa cold-smoked with the Andouille, then I roasted it to 150F.

These turned out pretty good.

Venison Sausage.

Sausage was invented because prehistoric man had too much venison in the freezer. The recipe we used from Charcuterie, called for half venison, half pork, and it wasn't too heavily spiced. We hot smoked it at the same time as the tasso ham. It turned out real nice.

So ten pounds of sausage, five pounds of ham, two men, one day. Not bad for our little kitchen sink operation.

Oh yeah, and I got my gumbo.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did you get your grass so FREGGAN green??? x] its amaziing! No it's STELLAR, :)