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Maybe This Food Thread Will Go To The Top When You Post In It
  • That other food thread doesn’t bump when you post in it, so I’m gonna start this one.

    Have any of you dudes ever made sausage (Jim? Greg?) I took my first crack at it tonight and it went pretty well. I ground a pork shoulder with some sundried tomatoes, rosemary, and a bunch of garlic. The links came out a little uneven, wide in some spots and narrow in others, but that should improve after a couple trials and I get my technique down. It’s surprisingly easy to do, and I’ve got loads of recipe ideas. Grillouts are about to get even better.

  • Nice! I don’t use casings or anything, but I love making tsukune, which is like a Japanese chicken sausage thing. Here are two recipes that I adapt according to my mood:



    Ben and I have decided that the best way includes the ground up shiitake mushrooms, ginger, shredded carrots and 7 spice powder. And it is tastier if you chop the meat instead of using a food processor.

  • Never made sausage, but have been thinking about it for years! This is inspiring!

  • I want to get a hand grinder, mostly for things like cranberry relish, but when I get one my thoughts will def run toward sausage.

  • I got a hand grinder not long ago, ostensibly for making magic hamburgers. Included were sausage-making peripherals, and I fully intended to make lots of sausage, but I’ve yet to remember to seek out casing.

    Word to the wise, either get a good clamp-on unit, or have a spot in mind for bolting it down. An unsecured meat grinder is a frustrating thing.

  • Yeah, my hand grinder clamps on, but my counter was too thick for it to fit, so I clamped it to a cutting board and put some shelf liner stuff underneath the cutting board to try to prevent sliding. It worked okay, but I’ve got some bigger clamps I’m gonna use to clamp the board to the counter next time. I got my grinder with sausage making in mind, but I’m pretty pumped to make burgers with it too, and now tsukune as well because that shit looks awesome.

    I cooked up a couple of my sausages last night and they were pretty good! (I had tried a little before stuffing it into casings also). The rosemary was just perfect. I could have gotten away with some more sundried tomato and wouldn’t have minded more black pepper, but still good. With some spicy brown mustard and feta on top, the whole thing was pretty great.

  • I have been making sausage for nearly a year now. Couple of items of advice that are probably not uncommon (I mean you’ve heard it before I’m sure but they’re important), DO keep the meat cold to the point of being partly frozen as you are grinding it (also I put the grinder in the freezer for a while before using it to help maintain the low temperature), DO try really hard to get as much of the sinew out of the meat as you can before grinding it (and even if you do, you’re still probably going to have to pull the die and clean it a few times in the process of grinding the meat), DON’T be afraid to add some pork fat even if the piece of meat you’re using looks fatty enough (if you can’t get fatback, I’ve used pork belly successfully).

    I have a sausage recipe I adapted from a Rick Bayless recipe for Cochinita Pibil that I think you’d dig, Josh.

    2 TBSP achiote seeds, ground to powder

    2 tsp Mexican oregano

    1 tsp black pepper

    1 tsp white pepper

    2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground

    pinch of clove

    2 tsp cinnamon

    3 TBSP kosher salt

    6 cloves garlic

    5 lbs well marbled fatty pork butt (or 4 lbs + a pound of fatback or belly fat)

    1 C bitter orange juice (ice cold)

    10’ pork casings, soaked overnight

    Cut up pork into 3/4 inch cubes. Mix with all dry ingredients + 1/2 C bitter orange juice and refrigerate overnight.

    Spread out on cookie sheet and put in freezer until the meat is quite firm

    Grind 3/4 of the meat through the small die. Grind the remainder through the large die.

    Mix in the remaining 1/2 C bitter orange juice to make tacky sausage texture. Stuff into casings. Twist into 6” links.

    serve with pickled red onions and grilled pineapple habanero salsa

  • I have been cooking a lot because I don’t know they put something in the water here that makes me feel all domestic. There’s really good take-out to be had, but I’ve enjoyed making various soups and vegetable concoctions. Also, my guy eats the exact same thing every day for lunch—the exact same thing—and knows about two dinners. So I enjoy expanding his palate a bit. On Saturday, we’re going to have a decadent brunch—I know this because it involves french toast and the bread is going a bit stale as we speak (as you are probably aware, that is a good thing for french toast). Do you know how hard it is to find Challah and creme fraiche (sorry, don’t know how to type the special characters) in this town? I went on a search. Gotta do it right if you’ve decided in advance to be decadent. Will report back on how delicious the french toast was, and how much of it we ate (prediction: me: a little, him: the rest [I usually make enough for four people]).

  • Jim, that recipe looks great. Do you always soak the casings overnight? I just soaked mine for a little over an hour and it seemed to work alright.

    I’ve kinda been inspired by this local meat shop that does all sorts of crazy sausages, they do a reuben sausage with kraut and cheese blended into a corned beef sausage, and a spicy cherry sausage, and a dutch apple with chunks of apple ground in, there’s one with potato and onions in there, and so on. I wanna get weird with grinding STUFF into the sausages.

  • The longer you soak them the more flexible they get, is how I understand it. I’ve done an hour-long soak before but did notice that the casings seemed a little more prone to breaking. I guess if you’re careful about not overfilling them it might not be an issue.

    I made cajun boudin once, and that had a whole bunch of stuff in it (onions and peppers and chicken livers and rice & etc), but I ran out of casing partway through and rolled the rest into balls and deep fried them. The deep fried boudin balls were WAY WAY better than the boudin in casings. I do really like the idea of apples in sausage though, I think that would be great.

    My other piece of sausage making advice is that the combo of pork fat and garlic and salt is magical

  • JimTheBeerGuy said:

    My other piece of sausage making advice is that the combo of pork fat and garlic and salt is magical

    Advice not just for sausage making, but for life.

  • In other news, this new pizza joint opened up in town this week and as one of their sides they have sweet potato tots! I tried some last night and OH MAN.

  • One of my favourite types of sausage is pork and apple, which has big chunks of apple in it. It’s a commercial one, but well worth it.

    In other food news, quinoa is my new favourite thing. I made the equivalent of a pilaf last night with mushrooms and tomatoes and sage, served with steamed veg (mostly of the squash-y kind) and salsa. I reckon I’m going to eat a lot more of it in the near future.

  • Been stuck at home all day writing biology lab reports.

    But now? Now I am eating penne with ricotta, broccoletti, and sausage from one of my favorite italian to-go places.

    And now I have to go back to writing lab reports.

  • “broccoletti”? (I’m guessing it’s the stalky young broccoli that we call broccolini…) Sounds yummy though.

  • My lady was talking the other day about how much she likes duck, and I discovered that the frozen ducks at my local supermarket aren’t too expensive, so I roasted a duck for us the other day.

    Yesterday, I shredded the leftover meat for later use in a quiche or something, consolidated the skin for duck gribenes, threw the bones and such in the freeezer for stock later, and rendered a bunch of the fat for frying things in! I also have the liver in the freezer, and am thinking about trying to make paté for the first time ever.


  • Clare said:

    In other food news, quinoa is my new favourite thing. I made the equivalent of a pilaf last night with mushrooms and tomatoes and sage, served with steamed veg (mostly of the squash-y kind) and salsa. I reckon I’m going to eat a lot more of it in the near future.

    Kirsten goes crazy for quinoa. I usually make it with some cucumbers stewed in vinegar and garlic for a while, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and/or rocket, and halloumi.

    I got this giant bale of kale (or Tuscan Cabbage, as they call it here) at the green grocer late last week for $2.99, and I’m currently trying to figure out how to implement it in every dish I made. I added some (sauteed) to a breakfast burrito yesterday (and it was good).

  • Could actually feel my salivary glands kick into overdrive while reading that sausage recipe

  • Oh yeah, kale!!! Try making chips. Super-low oven with lemon juice olive oil and salt.

  • kale chips are in my rotation (had ‘em Friday night). I think I’m gonna do a kale stir fry tonight or maybe some cheesy polenta topped with sauteed kale.

  • Hah. Well, there is no pleasing you! Green juice? Green smoothies? Soupy things with beans and/or chicken? sauteed with onions and walnuts is my fave.

  • I think you’ve got the rest of my week planned out…

  • Well I just finished up batches 2 and 3 of sausage. One of them is a redux version of my first batch, which was sundried tomatoes, rosemary, and a bunch of garlic. I also threw some diced jalapenos into this one. The other is a more breakfasty sausage with diced Granny Smith apples, sage, nutmeg, and molasses. Probably just wrap a big buttery pancake around one of those babies and dip it in maple syrup.

  • Also, my links came out WAY better this time, way more evenly filled rather than thick in some spots and thin in the others. I also soaked the casings overnight this time, and I definitely like that better, they were much easier to work with, so thanks for that tip, Jim.

  • Where do you typically buy casing?

  • A lot of butcher/butcher supply shops and/or specialty meat shops shops seem to have it, although so far it’s been a crapshoot as to whether or not they have casings that they can sell to the layfolk or if they just have a supply to suit their own needs. Call around, butchers tend to be friendly dudes, someone will hook you up.

  • You using pink salt or no? Are you using the kitchenaid?

  • No pink salt (yet). No kitchenaid either, wish I owned one. I use a good old fashioned manual crank #10 grinder.


    Apparently Wiener & Still Champion is looking to open a location in the south loop. I dunno if you’ll still be working around here by the time Gus gets that worked out but if so it will be much easier for us to arrange 1000+ calorie lunches of fried things and sandwiches

  • Fuuuuuck, I tell you what: I won’t work here for but another 2 weeks, but Id’ meet you for lunch plenty. I actually just ate a dippin’ dog and some pickle chips at Wiener this weekend. I regretted not getting the gravy patty burger conceptually, but the dippin’ dog is just so fucking good.

  • Hey you guys who are making sausages, may I recommend eating them in this.

    I made it the other day with sausage, ham, parsnips, and red potatoes. Deelicious! Be sure to get a good riesling and some juniper berries (or, gin works too!) if you want to do it right.

  • I often want to make frittata but rarely have leftover potatoes, but yesterday I had leftover lemon pepper wedges so I put them into a frittata with tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, olives, feta, mixed herbs, cheese and fresh parsley. Also the egg was mixed with cream. I ate it with tamarillo and plum chutney and it was mighty fine.

  • All the best frittata egg is mixed with cream.

  • I want to be working on big cooking projects, but instead I’m taking EXTRA TAX CERTIFICATION TESTS. The Fresh Hell that is Every December.

  • Why do I fucking procrastinate on these things? I’m doing, like, 11 of them before Thanksgiving next year.


  • Anyway, in a non-duck related matter — any folks make your own wild yeast start? What % hydration do you use? And how long do you train it before your first levain? Asking for a friend. Oh wait, this isn’t a meth recipe. Asking for myself!

  • Lollll at the meth recipe guy again.

    Did you make gribenes, too? I want to eat those.

  • I haven’t made ‘em yet, no! The skin is still in my freezer.

    I think I may make a roast beef tonight; I just remembered the other day that I have a mandoline that I never use enough, so that’ll be a good thing to thin-slice!

  • Hey, any of you dudes do any cold-smoking? If so, what’s your setup like? From looking at the internet it seems like you can jerry-rig some stuff pretty easily.

  • Made a roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots today, fed it to a couple of new friends from Syria — they were loving on the gravy. Intercultural mixing! Yeah!

  • Every time I make roast beef, I wish I had one of those motorized cutting-wheels like they have at delis, and this roast beef is now exception.

    Anyway, I’m currently having slices of it covered in this really bitchin’ four-year-old garlic-cheddar I got as a Christmas present!

  • Friend of mine got a little deli slicer for not a whole lot of dosh online. Says it’s one of his best purchases.

    I did a 4lb dry-aged ribeye roast last weekend. Rubbed down with smoked salt and things in Penzey’s jars, of which I received many for xmas.

  • Here I’ve owned 2 crock pots for all this time now, and it only occurred to me last week that I should have one of those babies constantly loaded up with cocktail sausages.

  • some culinary victories from this weekend: homemade gnocchi with fresh purple beans, garlic, and red sauce AND a panko-crusted Yarra valley river trout sandwich. And then Kirsten made a rhubarb cobbler. The southern hemisphere summer agricultural bounty keeps rolling in…

  • Makin’ non-dairy trigona with a filling made from:

    -leftover roast beef
    -leftover duck
    -caramelized onions
    -Daiya cheese

    And instead of butter to coat the phyllo dough, I think I’m gonna use a combination of duck-fat and bacon-fat.



  • Dinner at my friends’ house tonight. They are Southerners, and they made country-fried pork chops, with mashed potatoes and spinach. So delicious, and now all of my clothes smell like fried.

  • Mary’s started making this just totally awesome tofu bahn mi w/ sriracha mayo and goddamn if it’s not the best thing ever