This is definitely the most asked-about sausage style in my sausage-making classes. It is a hugely popular style in Alberta thanks to producers like Stawnichy’s. It goes by a confusing plethora of names – ham sausage, Ukrainian sausage, Mundare sausage, and for many people this is simply “kielbasa” even though that is a much, much broader family. So to clarify, the sausage I’m talking about in this post has the following characteristics:
- the interior is the rosy colour of ham (ie. it contains curing salt)
- the interior of the sausage is typically studded with larger chunks of ham-like lean pork
- the sausage is smoked and can be served hot or cold
I believe this style almost … Continue reading.
I make absolutely no claim to the authenticity of this chorizo sausage recipe. It contains the flavours I use when making my gringo version of Mexican food, namely cumin, chili, garlic, and oregano.
While I’m sure it would be tasty on a bun, I usually cook with this sausage un-cased or loose. It’s great in tacos and quesadillas, but I absolutely love applications where the beautiful, spicy, vibrant red fat can be used. For instance if you fry the loose chorizo in a pan, then cook onions and peppers in the fat that is released, then make a frittata, as pictured at left.
- 1 kg pork shoulder
- 16 g kosher salt
- 5.5 g hot smoked paprika (I use
… Continue reading.
Nürnberger Rost-bratwurst: the little sausages with the big name. “Nürnberger” means from Nuremburg. “Rost” means roasted, as they are usually grilled over an open fire (often charred quite a bit actually). And “Bratwurst” of course is a style of fresh sausage.
Their most obvious trait is their diminutive size: they are usually slender and about three inches long. For this reason one typically consumes many in one sitting. Actually in Nürnberg they are always served in multiples of three, say, three of them on a bun (called Drei im Weggla) or six on a plate, with mustard and sauerkraut.
Exact recipes vary widely, but Nürnberger Rostbratwurst are flavoured with typical Bavarian sausage spices like mace, marjoram, white pepper, and lemon … Continue reading.
For a few years I’ve been making pastrami simply by making this corned beef, then after the cure is finished, coating the meat with crushed coriander and black pepper, then hot-smoking to temperature. This is a method that has served me well, but I’ve been reading quite a bit about the Jewish delis of New York, most notably David Sax’s book Save the Deli. In his description of how the pastrami is made at Katz’s, there were two surprises to me.
First, he says that they don’t actually use brisket, but “navel”. This is definitely not part of standard Canadian meat-cutting nomenclature, but it’s described as being adjacent to the brisket, which made me wonder if it … Continue reading.
A really great sausage is not as common as you might think.
I have a vested interest in saying this because I’m in the sausage-making business, but it’s the truth. A lot of the sausages that I eat have dry, mealy, sometimes even crumbly textures.
The primary goal of my sausage-making classes is to teach people that these are not matters of personal taste, but objective flaws in a sausage, plain and simple. A sausage should have the well-bound fat content that makes it decadently moist in your mouth. If there is any sense of abrasion on your tongue from dry, crumbly meat, the sausage was not properly made.
I’ve identified what I believe are the three most common roots … Continue reading.
I have Greek food on the brain. The current infatuation has many diverse origins. For starters this summer is the ten year anniversary of an epic trip through southern Greece, and I have been reading old food notes from the journey. Also I’ll be doing a class on Greek mezze for Metro Continuing Education this fall. With all this in mind last week I made a Greek lamb sausage.
In 2008 I spent five weeks in Greece, eating in tavernas two or three times a day. I don’t think I ever had a sausage like this. In other words this sausage is not traditional, but it is very much inspired by Greek loukaniko, a pork sausage flavoured with orange … Continue reading.
Chili is one of the great North American dishes, and one that is especially relevant and useful in modern life, as it is a hearty one-pot meal that can be put together and left to cook in a crock pot or low oven for several hours.
I’ll argue that the only two essential ingredients in chili are meat and beans. When I was growing up that meat was always, always ground beef, though I have to say I really like using shredded or cubed braised beef like brisket or chuck. For beans you are not beholden to the canned red kidney beans of my childhood: any and all pulses are great. These days my kitchen always has dried pinto and … Continue reading.
This is the information I provide students in my Charcuterie at Home class, which I run a few times a year for Metro Continuing Education.
What is charcuterie?
- Charcuterie is a French word, from char for flesh or meat, and cuit for
- Originally this was a medieval guild that was allowed to prepare certain cooked
meat dishes like pâté and terrine.
- These days it broadly refers to cured meat, whether bacon, ham, salami,
prosciutto, or even duck confit and jerky. It also encompasses other meat preparations like fresh sausages.
- Most charcuterie techniques – salt-curing, smoking, and air-drying – were
developed as a way to preserve meat.
- Even though we now have ways to pasteurize, refrigerate, and freeze
… Continue reading.
Goualsh is a beef stew originally from Hungary but eaten all over Central Europe. It is the kind of preparation that Europeans will fight to the death over. Matters like whether it is properly called a stew or a soup, whether it contains tomatoes, or potatoes, or what starch it is served with (if any) often become violent. It is estimated that 12 Europeans are killed every year in goulash-related arguments.
The following is an original recipe, inspired by the goulash made at Seewirtshaus in Semmering, Austria. When I worked there they made a goulash similar to this using Maiboc (May deer) and served it with Serviettenknödel. Many would take exception to my use of tomato paste and … Continue reading.
The defining element of Irish stew is the use of lamb neck, or scrag.
Traditionally it is made more like a casserole than a stew. Actually it bares an uncanny resemblance to boulangère potatoes. Lamb, potato rounds, and other vegetables are layered in a casserole, then covered with stock or water and baked in an oven.
Lamb neck is a very tough cut of meat. I sear and braise the necks to tenderize, then use the shredded meat and cooking liquid to make the stew.
Once the necks are very tender to the tip of a paring knife, I remove them from the liquid and let cool briefly. While the necks are still warm I fold back the meat … Continue reading.