One of the reasons I love teaching sausage-making classes is that I often learn something from the students.
There was a time when I assumed “banger” was just the British dialect word for sausage, and that it didn’t necessarily imply anything about the ingredients or technique any more than “sausage” would in North America. Turns out that is not quite true. One Scottish student of mine asked where he could procure the rusk necessary to make bangers. I had never heard of rusk. The word can refer to two different things: sliced bread that has been baked or toasted until crispy throughout (like a Melba toast), or crumbs that have been made from such a bread.
Every Saturday the owner of Sunworks Farm is at the Strathcona Market griddling his chicken sausages and doling samples to passers-by.
I’m usually wary of chicken sausages. They’re often dry and mealy with no structure. The main difficulty in making sausage from poultry is the very low ratio of fat to lean, nowhere near the desired 1:3 that is easily achieved with pork.
Anyways many years ago I gambled on the Sunworks chicken sausage sample and was happy to find it was one of the best I’d ever eaten. My pleasure quickly turned to curiosity and I wondered aloud how they made it so juicy. Was there … Continue reading.
In Vienna these links are called Frankfurter Würstl, named for the city Frankfurt am Main in Germany. In most of the rest of the world (including Frankfurt) they are called Wieners, which means “Viennese.” Go figure. Whatever you call them they are the ancestor of the North American hot dog.
The old world version is usually 100% pork in delicate lamb casings, lightly smoked. North American hot dogs can be pork, beef, or a combination of the two, usually in synthetic casings.
I link mine extra long, so they barely fit on a dinner plate.
To emulate the very fine texture of the commercial varieties I grind twice through a 3/16″ plate, and then do a lengthy mixing phase, roughly … Continue reading.
Pepperoni sticks are a great introduction to air-drying cured meat at home. The process is very quick and very forgiving: even if you don’t have a whiz-bang curing chamber with perfect temperature and humidity control, you can probably make these pepperoni sticks at home and be very pleased with the result. And if for some reason you are worried that the whole process has gone sideways, just hot-smoke them or cook them and they will still be delicious. This is one of the recipes we make in my More Charcuterie at Home class, which is all about curing and air-drying meats.
These are meant to emulate the pepperoni sticks you get at gas station convenience stores. The recipe was developed … Continue reading.
Sausage gravy ladled over biscuits is a classic comfort dish of the American south. While you can certainly use fresh, raw sausage in the preparation, it is also a good trick up your sleeve to deal with cooked sausages leftover from a brunch or barbecue.
Leftover sausages are often dry and a touch mealy. Just as you might flake leftover fish and mix it with mayonnaise, or shred leftover roast beef and heat it in barbecue sauce, coating leftover sausages in gravy reintroduces moisture.
One detail: to develop depth of flavour it’s a good idea to brown the crumbled sausage so that a good fond develops in the bottom of the pan. Once the butter and onions are added, use … Continue reading.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
The personal website of Edmonton chef Allan Suddaby