Saturday, September 15, 2018

An Old Nerd Grabs A Handful Of Piig Intestines

Fodder for dozens of dick jokes.
Those of you who’ve followed my exploits on the Internet for years, or just spent any time around me, are probably surprised that I haven’t stuffed my own sausage before. But I hadn’t, until a few weeks ago.

Oh, I’ve ground meats before. Many a time. Had a meat grinder on my Kitchenaid for years because store-bought ground lamb is or was at the time usually gross, so I ground my own. But I finally got around to ordering some knockoff sausage stuffer attachments over the Internet, and found a local butcher who could supply me with pig guts.

Working with pig guts isn’t as bad as you’d think. The ones I got, at least. They came stretched over a plastic strip and I just soaked them overnight in a big-ass Tupperware full of cold water in the fridge to get out the salt cure. A long soak means you don’t have to rinse, at least according to my butcher, and it definitely worked.

The trickiest part is getting the casing on the sausage horn, which, as that phrase implies, is a lot like putting on the world’s largest condom and just stacking it up. Unlike a condom, you need both ends to be open, though, and it’s super easy to get the folds of the casing over each other in a way that stretches some of it like a membrane over the end of the horn. That took some working out.

Luckily, actually stuffing the sausage proved way easier than I thought. Most of what I’d seen on TV used more commercial sausage stuffers, so the sausage fills fast. The Kitchenaid does not fill sausage fast. It fills it slooooooowly. Painfully slowly. But that’s good because it gives you time to manage the casing and get the right diameter you want by holding the casing in place while the sausage stretches it out, then letting out slack when you reach the thickness you want.

I learned some hard lessons about linking after the sausage was done, though. The hard lesson being go very slowly and carefully as you pinch the sausage to free up enough slack to twist the link, because otherwise, blowout city.

The actual sausage? An adaptation of a Cajun habanero sausage made with roasted numex orange suave peppers from the previous post. The plan was to smoke them, but then my smoker broke. So I tried to smoke them on the grill, got the heat wrong, and essentially baked them for 20 minutes. THey still came out good, although they’re a bit on the coarse and dry side. My next batch I think needs a finer grind and more fat.

Still, it was the kind of success that really encouraged doing it again, because the hitches and mistakes were all the kind of thing that are easily avoided witht he slightest bit of practice. Plus, the smoker’s going to be fixed soon. Next step? Merguez, probably.

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