Seriously. Throughout the whole time (hours!) that Ethan, Mr Neil and I were stuffing sausages, we were wondering how we would have done this alone. I know for a fact that my sausages would have been a total disaster had I tried this by myself. For one, I didn’t have to deal (very much) with the horrible casings. Ethan procured them, packed them in salt and he rinsed them when it was time to get stuffing…
Thank goodness. They were kind of gross and smelly.
He also led the way preparing the first lot of casings to be stuffed. Me, I was making a lovely crème anglaise in the kitchen and surrounded by a lovely cloud of vanilla. Mr Neil was staining the front porch. So it looks better in photos (ahem!). Thanks Ethan.
And off we went. With three sets of hands (one to put the meat in the Kitchen Aid, one to guide the meat through the casing and one to hold the finished sausages) we were good to go after a couple of odd bod first attempts. Note: even if your first few attempts are a bit bizarrely shaped, they will still cook up looking normal.
We kind of got in our groove with the chorizo batch – also, the pork was much much easier to stuff than the chicken. The chicken (probably not as cold as it could have been) was gummy and messy and thoroughly unpleasant on my end. The pork we ended up rolling into meatball-sized chunks and that seemed to feed through the stuffer much much easier..
We made Ruhlman’s chicken, basil and tomato sausages and the chorizo sausages from Charcuterie. Stuck to the recipe, except I added a whack more red chili flakes to the chorizo. We found last month’s merguez to be a little flimsy on the spice…
Others found the chicken sausage a little salty for their liking – so did I – but I am perplexed as to where that salt came from – there’s only a tiny little bit of salt in the mix. Perhaps from the pork fat?
The chorizo stole the show – spicy (but not too overpowering) and smokey, these were noticeably less fatty than commercial chorizo (you know that pool of red fat that sometimes congregates at the bottom of the plate of chorizo? Well ours didn’t have any!).
The bottom line? I loved making sausages for the simple reason that I knew what was going into them. One animal per batch of sausage – those are my kinda snags. Did I feel great satisfaction from the lengthy process to make them (grinding one day, stuffing the next)? Of course! Would I make them again? For myself? Probably not. For a party? Maybe. With friends for a sausage party? Definitely!
Because you know what? Sausages taste better with friends (thanks Ethan for taking one for the blog this month. Normally it’s Mr Neil doing silly things ;))
The “official signup” for Charcutepalooza is over (see who signed up here) but you can still join in the fun – purchase Charcuterie either on Amazon, Amazon.ca or enjoy free worldwide shipping at The Book Depository and cook along with us!
And, you know, should you wish to purchase a meat grinding attachment for your Kitchen Aid, you can find one here. Just, you know, remember to use the blade instead of leaving it in the box. And the sausage stuffer is a bargain at under $10…
For all your Charcutepalooza needs, check out Chefs Catalog, with free standard shipping on orders of $49 and more until July 31!