You can fry this sausage in patties, stuff it into casings or use it as an ingredient in other recipes. Use it in stuffings and in biscuits, smoked in links for gumbos and as a breakfast meat.
If you are stuffing the sausage into casings, you might want to enlist the help of a friend; the extra set of hands will be appreciated.
Yield: 3 pounds (about twenty 2.5-ounce links)
- 3 pounds fatty pork (may substitute 2 pounds lean pork plus 1 pound pork fat)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage (may substitute 3 or 4 fresh leaves)
- 1 teaspoon quatre epices spice blend (may substitute 2 whole white peppercorns, 1 whole clove, small pinch ground ginger and small pinch ground cinnamon)
- 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs such as herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, leaves-only (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thmye, leaves only (may substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 6 to 8 feet hog casings, cleaned
If your meat grinder/standing mixer comes with coarse- and fine- grind attachments, grind the meat first using the coarse disk. If some of the stringier fat clogs the grinder, remove it, discard and continue griding. Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the casings, in a spice mill or blender and process until evenly ground. Add to the meat and mix well.
In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, test-cook a little piece of the sausage and taste for seasoning and flavor. If the result is too fatty, add some more lean meat.
Put the seasoned forcemeat through the fine grinder. If stuffing into casings, attach the horn-shaped sausage stuffer into the grinder, with the casings tied at one end and fitted over the end of the funnel. On the lowest speed, working as you go, tie off or twist the stuffed saussages into 4-inch links. You can also fill the casings by hand, using a pastry bag. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze if not using immediately.
*NOTE: Casings, available from your butcher, are sold fresh or frozen, packed in salt. To clean them, run water through them several times until they are free of salt.
Adapted from "Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking," by John Martin Taylor (Houghton Miffin, 2000).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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