Sausage on my mind

Marcia tackled gumbo pretty well this week, if you ask me. But I’m diving into sausage a little more next week. So if you’ve bought some from that guy at the Columbia Area Career Center, let me know what you think of it. I’ll be referencing four types in my column next week and could use additional thoughts.

Scott

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Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

7 thoughts

  1. Have you ever made your own? The venison sausage we made this fall has been fantastic. We’ve even experimented with cleaning and saving our own casings. If you haven’t yet read through the sausage section in Charcuterie, it has some really useful background information, including the best ways to cook it. We’ve used his advice to slow-cook sausage rather than high-heat, and it’s been coming out extremely well.

  2. I have not made my own, Eric. I assume you guys use a grinder, which I don’t have. I could probably lightly freeze and throw in the food processor. Or just chop finely by hand. Wouldn’t be the same, but would probably still work pretty well.

  3. Scott – grinders, especially the hand cranked ones – are dirt cheap – just get a good one that won’t rust.

    SO worth making your own sausage. I don’t bother with casings, because I end up chopping it up for most of my recipes. But the ability to get the seasonings and fat proportions just right is a real thrill.

    Eric – I’ve been doing the slow cooking for many many foods and I agree it makes a huge difference. I even tried the *paperbagovermyface* Rachael Ray method – two tablespoons of olive oil and 1 cup of wine in a skillet and let the sausages simmer on the stove top until the liquid is all absorbed – they crisp up at the last minute and are just wonderful!

  4. Weber Meat Market in JC sells grinders…I’ll get one one of these days. And agreed, I’d skip the casing step myself, using most of my sausage in soups and ragus where – as you note, Maria – you break it up anyway.

  5. If you really want to be hard-core, do it the way the French did it in the centuries before mechanical grinders; tenderize the hell out of it with a mallet, then force it through a sieve. Not that I’ve tried.

    If you do get a grinder (well worth it), make sure it has a stuffer attachment. Hand-stuffing is a pain in the hands, as it’s crucial to keep the meat really cold through the process, and when I hand-stuffed 4 lbs of venison sausage I literally lost feeling in my fingers by the end. You definitely don’t have to stuff, but it’s neat to see how it works and very convenient to have the links ready to go, for proper serving with kraut and other Teutonic goodies.

    We also tried the Julia Child method of wrapping the sausage meat in cheesecloth and freezing it that way. We haven’t thawed that one yet, but I assume it will be good. It’s in a good-sized log that will make really nice slices.

    I think we’ll be making another batch later this winter, we could try to coordinate a visit if you want to take part?

  6. We actually have a grinder on our Kitchen-Aid Mixer, It does a pretty good job. You can also get a stuffer, but we don’t have that.

    As for the other guy at CCC, and the sausage, I can say the andouille was a little more smoky than I liked. I do not remember it being that way the last time I got it. It kind of overwhelmed the other flavor. I think if it was served with other stuff, like in a gumbo or something, it would have been better. We just had it cooked and sliced last night.

    The boudain was very good but a little spicier than I am used to. We enjoyed that though. They also do not put liver in theirs; most people in Louisiana do. I am not a big liver fan usually, but I generally like it in boudain. We had it slowly cooked with red peppers and onions. It was the best of the evening’s selections.

    I have not tried the Italian sausage I bought, yet.

    I do commend CCC and Chef Harlin for the attempts and will continue to buy and support those efforts. (The last andouille I bought was really good.) I think the flavors in this one were good as well, but just did not come through the smoke as much.

  7. Jeff, I think the andouille was a little heavy on the smoke as well…my column coming out Wed says as much. But in soup, as you note, it’d be great.

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