This month’s charchutepalooza challenge was to stuff sausage into casings. Last month’s challenge was to grind meat to make into bulk sausage, so we had already practiced this step. Grinding is easy as long as you keep everything cold (equipment and meat). I didn’t expect stuffing to be difficult at all. I practiced stuffing at the cochon & charcuterie workshop that I attended in March, and even managed to make this perfect little saucisse:
This time around things were a lot different. I didn’t have the help of extra hands, and instead of professional kitchen equipment I was using the KitchenAid grinding and stuffing attachments. This challenge was hard work! To make matters worse, I was making sausage late on a weeknight, so I was trying to rush through it.
In short, after 5 hours of directing my frustration at my KitchenAid attachments, I ended up with 16 gorgeous sausage links. By now it was already 11:30pm. You would think that at this point I would refrigerate the sausages and go to sleep. No, no. I had to taste the fruits of my labor! And after tasting, I decided that the hard work had been worth it.
My cheddar, sage, and sherry sausages were succulent, savory, tender, and moist. I never expected for my first sausages to come out this good. I also love the fact that I made the sausages with ingredients already in my kitchen. I only shopped for two ingredients: the pork shoulder and the casings. I was planning on making the fresh garlic sausage recipe from Charcuterie, so that is what I based my recipe on. Then I saw that I had extra sharp white cheddar cheese and thought that it would go well with sage and sherry, which I also had on hand.
Cheddar Sage & Sherry Pork Sausages
4 pounds fatty pork shoulder, diced
32 grams kosher salt
8 grams pepper, coarsely ground
10 grams fennel seeds, toasted
3 grams red pepper flakes
5 grams mustard powder
10 grams ground coriander
30 grams fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
25 grams garlic, minced
¼ cup sherry, cold
½ cup white wine, cold
6 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, crumbled
10 feet hog casings, soaked and rinsed
1. Mix the pork, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, mustard powder, ground coriander, sage, and garlic. Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 30 minutes.
2. Grind through small die of your grinder in a bowl set over ice.
3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the ground mixture for 1 minute. Slowly add in the sherry and wine. Mix for 1 minute, add in the cheese and mix until the cheese is incorporated and the mixture looks stick.
4. Stuff into casings and twist into 6 inch links. For tips on stuffing check out my post on stuffing here.
Of course, sausage goes well with pasta. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to make a pasta dish using my homemade sausage. This simple dish of pasta with mushrooms and cream is the perfect vessel for any savory pork sausage.
Pappardelle with Mushroom Cream Sauce and Sausage
6 garlic cloves
8 ounces pork sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cut in half
2 tablespoons sherry
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup heavy cream
4 ounces pappardelle
2 tablespoons chives or Italian parsley, chopped
1. Place peeled garlic cloves in a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle with olive oil. Bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Start cooking the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Cook the pasta about 2 minutes short of the recommended cooking time.
3. In a large skillet, sauté the sausage in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium low heat until browned and cooked through. Remove sausage from the pan and set aside. Add in the mushrooms and cook until browned. Remove mushrooms from the skillet and set aside. Add in the sherry and wine and deglaze the pan. Add in the cream and the roasted garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by half and thickened. Try to dissolve the roasted garlic into the sauce by mashing it with a fork.
4. Cut the sausage links into bite sized pieces. Add the sausage and mushrooms back into the skillet with the sauce. Add in the cooked pasta and let simmer in the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Garnish with chives or parsley. Serves 2.