Alton Brown taught us that stuffing is evil. He awkwardly and half-heartedly rescinded the blanket prohibition against putting bread inside your bird with a well-if-you-really-must episode that involved a pre-roasting turn in the microwave and then a cloth bag and then in to the cavity. That doesn’t sound fun to me, does it sound fun to you? (more…)
On the third-most important Sunday of the football calendar (conference championships next weekend and the Super Bowl in three) I made my way to Oakville for a very appropriate cooking collaboration: Sausage Fest 2010. One of my earliest posts was about grinding beef for hamburgers and I have made homemade sausages before but this time Alex and I were going all out. Some might even say overboard. But they’re wrong.
If you come from a sausage-making tradition and have been participating in multi-generational sausage parties for years you probably don’t need to hear much more from me on the matter–except perhaps that pork shoulder is on sale and can be had for as little as seventy-nine cents a pound in some places–otherwise some research is in order. Online, the best place to start is a remarkable website called Hunter Angler Gardener Cook created by a gentleman named Hank Shaw. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that most of the sausages he makes feature deer, bear, and squirrel–the process is the same for grocery store pork. He wrote this dead-simple guide to making sausages on Simply Recipes, an advanced guide on his own site, and for those who prefer books here is his sausage and charcuterie library.
Every guide to making sausages stresses the need to keep everything involved as cold as possible. All the equipment should be refrigerated, the meat should be chilled for an hour in the freezer and added fat can even be frozen solid. As described in Hank Shaw’s excellent guide the goal is to keep the fat as a separate phase that doesn’t melt or smear. (more…)