Do you ever believe in omens? Where all the signs are pointing you in a direction?
For a number of reasons, I have a feeling that 2014 will my year of the sausage.
1. One of the stocking stuffers from my mother this past Christmas was a cookbook on how to make home made sausages. And she very kindly went through the book in advance and tagged the recipes using game (knowing the SO’s taste and supplies of venison).
2. Five days later, the SO gave me a gift certificate for my choice of cooking courses at a local cooking school. One of the courses was Sausage Making 101.
3. A good friend of the SO’s has an electric meat grinder (with all the accoutrements for making & stuffing sausages) and is heading off overseas for a while so it is on ready loan.
See where I’m going with this?
So a few nights ago, we ended up learning how to make beautiful wine-infused sausage. Our particular experiment used Riesling but we walked away with a few choice Baco Noir sausages as well to enjoy. The process is much simpler than I expected with only four ingredients: very high quality pork, salt, pepper and wine. The key, apparently, is keeping the meat as cold as possible throughout the process and having the right equipment.
I will admit that I did chicken out when it came to the casings – I just left the handling part of the SO while I operated the meat grinder. Although we didn’t win the prize amongst the four ‘teams’ making sausages during the class (apparently we still need to work on our form), the results were delicious and nothing like commercial sausages you pick up at your local grocery store.
Now, I am a traditionalist so my immediate instinct is to rush out and buy a old-fashioned hand cranked meat grinder. I never want to let an opportunity to add to my kitchen gadget collection go by, but I think we’ll give it a go first with the loaner electric version and see how we fare.
If there are any sausage makers out there, I would welcome recipes or tips!
PS: If you live in the Toronto area and are interested in finding out how to make your own sausages, I would highly recommend the course we took from Angelo Bean (Artisan Sausage Maker). By sheer coincidence, I took one of his pasta making courses several years ago and loved it so it was a pleasure to take another course with him – and he personally serenaded us, with guitar, while we enjoyed tasting the results of our labours at the end of the class.