23 July, 2007

Mambo Italiano

Are love and sausage severable? I don't think so. Today I was reading the first pages of Pampille's Table, a translation of Marthe Daudet's Les Bons Plats de France, by Shirley King, where Daudet, in 1919, wrote:

"...A good recipe does not guarantee a perfect dish. There is a certain something called la tour de main - a special touch - that contributes at least half the success of any dish....But even this special touch is not enough unless a little love is also an ingredient."

Generally speaking, I don't give into hokey excesses, I don't have any kitten callendars in the house exclaiming "Hang in there!", but in that moment, After reading those words, I looked up, over the municipal pool, where Henry and Emmet were paddleing around in their swim classes, and I thought: Food does taste better when it is made with a little bit of love. Food does taste better when it is made with care.

So how do you make sausage with love? Start out with recipe you like and and ingredients that have been loved. I have made the receipe from Charcuterie several times and I like it, and as for the loved ingredients, let's look in the garden:




Italian Sausage

(adapted from recipe in Charcuterie)

4 lbs (1840 g) Pork Shoulder cubed

33g Salt

20g Sugar

20g Paprika

13g fennel seed

7g coriander

5g black peppercorns

7g crushed red pepper

10g fresh Oregano

23g fresh Basil

125ml cold water

50ml red wine vinegar, chilled

Toast the fennel seed and coriander in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant. Put toasted spices in spice grinder along with the peppercorns and grind fine. Chop up the basil and oregano and squeeze out any excess moisture. Combine all ingredients, except water and vinegar, and mix it with the cubed pork. Grind the mixture through the small plate of a meat grinder. Using the paddle attachment, or a really big spoon, stir ground mixture adding the combined cold water and vinegar. Stir until it starts to come together, about a minute. Stuff into hog casings and let it rest in in the fridge uncovered.

Now if you want that authentico look of salsicca Italiano, go a metro, don't twist them into links, grill the sausage then cut it into desired portions. Serve with grilled peppers or

with baba ganoush and sweet and sour coleslaw.



rachel said...

Andy that looks so great. I did not see the coriander when we were there. I am jealous. So do you prefer cutting the sausage into links or do you only do that when you are not going to eat it in one sitting?

mac said...

Thanks for writing. The coriander was mixed in with the cilantro. Wait a minute, coridander is cilatntro! I am always amazed by that discovery,I never thought much cilantro (it tasted like soap)until I read about it. Now that I have gotten to know Coriander/cilantro it tastes different.
As far as my preferences for linking, I think that it is easier to grill twisted links than to tackle a long single link.
That said, I remember the pork shop up on Metropolitan sold sausage not by link but by length. Heck, just about every little Italian sausage joint does it that way. So I guess by not linking them I was tryin to be a little "ol Skool." Rememeber the sausages that they stuffed in sheep casings and then sold them in skewered coils? I remember Brian calling them God's eyes? I haven't seen those in Chicagoland, maybe I work on those for next week.

jim said...

This is a thing of Beauty! And Bounty! Bravo!!!