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Allan Suddaby Presents Artisanal Sausage: Kielbasa, Spicy Italian, Merguez

Allan Suddaby is a guy to watch!

If you look carefully, you will see Beavie conducting the evening from on top of the sous vide machine!

Oh, what a night it was! I was so mesmerized by Allan, the knowledge and information he was providing, and his technique that I found myself switching roles from hostess and sous chef to full fledged participant. I have made sausage before and I learned a great deal!Each of these artisan sausages was scrumptious! Vanja’s favourite was the Kielbasa. Mine was the Spicy Italian, but the Merguez was also sensational: the flavour of the seasonings in it blew me away.

Find the cooking school schedule and future classes here.

Allan is a young man that has changed career paths early in his life. After acquiring his degree in engineering, he decided that his passion was in food. He is just completing his third year at NAIT and works at Jack’s Grill (a highly esteemed Edmonton restaurant) at the same time. He also explores his deeply reflective thoughts about food and shares his food adventures through his blog: Button Soup.

And, I will say no more. I will let the photo essay to follow coupled with the extensive notes and recipes Allan provided to say it all.

Sausage-Making at Home: Allan Suddaby for Taste Tripping, February 12, 2011

Outline

  1. What are sausages?
  2. Ingredients
  3. Processes
  4. Types of sausages
  5. Resources

1. What are sausages?

  • ground meat, usually in a casing
  • sausages that aren’t in casings: “œpatties”, crepinette

1.a. We grind meat to tenderize it:

  • composition of meat: fibres surrounded by connective tissue
  • highly exercised muscles are high in connective tissue
  • examples:
    • pork: shoulder, hock, neck, cheek
    • beef: chuck, brisket, shortrib, shank
    • lamb: shoulder, shank
    • poultry: thighs

1.b. Methods of tenderizing meat high in connective tissue:

  • long cooking at low-temperature, with moisture (stewing, braising) coverts a connective tissue called collagen into gelatin
  • mechanical tenderization
    • needling steaks
    • chopping: beef hash, steak tartare
    • grinding

1.c. Economics

  • when fabricating choice cuts such as chops and roasts, lots of meat and fat are trimmed away
  • the pieces are too small, inconsistent, and fatty to be cooked individually or stewed
  • grinding and mixing produces a delicious, cohesive dish, saving what would otherwise be wasted

1.d.  Pleasure!

  • the unique gastronomic pleasures of eating a sausage
    • the “œsnap” of the casing
    • the unctuous textured mouthfeel
    • the luxurious, savoury, flavourful interior

2. Basic Ingredients: Meat, Fat, Salt, and Casings

  • fat
    • important source of flavour
    • rich, moist mouthfeel
    • traditionally, sausages were much higher in fat than today
    • for the modern palate, ideal ratio fat : meat is 1:3
    • pork shoulder naturally contains this ratio
    • when using other, leaner cuts of meat, we add pure fat to achieve the proper ratio
      • almost always pork fatback (back fat) as it is a creamy fat
      • other fats, such as suet are sometimes used
      • cream and eggs: boudin blanc, some bratwurst
  • salt
    • enhances flavour
    • aids in protein extraction, which will help the sausage bind in the mixing phase
    • salt : meat/fat ““ 1:60
  • casings
    • usually “œhog casings”: inner lining of small intestine, exhaustively cleaned
    • lots of other natural casings: hog middles, hog bungs, lamb casings, beef rounds, beef bungs, bladders, stomachs
    • packed in dry salt, or brined, or frozen
    • average stuffed diameter (in mm) given on bag
    • artificial casings: collagen and cellulose

3. Basic Process

  • prep
    • remove any sinew or silverskin from meat
    • dice meat, fat
    • soak casings
      • at least thirty minutes
      • flush, reserve some liquid
      • can be re-salted if needed
  • grinding
    • importance of chilling ingredients and equipment
      • maintains emulsion
    • grinder parts: housing or body, worm, blade, plate, collar
    • clean extrusion
      • prevent smear (meat coming out of the grinder in a mushy mess) by
        • removing silverskin, sinew
        • chilling meat and fat thoroughly
        • keeping blades sharp, clean
    • progressive grinding for fine, even texture
    • grinding fat and meat through different-sized plates for rustic textures
  • taste, adjust seasoning if necessary (fry a sample, and taste it)
  • mixing
    • add small amount of cold liquid: ice water, vinegar, wine
    • develops a protein called myosin which helps meat bind together
  • stuffing
    • importance of tension
    • linking

4. Types of Sausage

  • fresh
    • must be cooked or hot-smoked
    • may contain nitrite to enhance colour (pink salt)
  • cold-smoked (eg. hot dogs, jagerwurst, thuringer, some kielbasa)
    • must contain nitrite
    • usually poached afterwards
  • fermented (eg. salami, summer sausage)
    • sugar and active bacterial culture are added
    • bacteria eats sugar and produces lactic acid, giving sausage a tangy flavour
    • a product called “œFermento” can add the flavour of traditional fermented sausage without actually fermenting them
  • dried (eg. salami, saucisson sec)
    • must contain nitrate
    • must be treated to prevent trichinosis
      • consult reference for proper freezing times and temperatures
    • does not need to be cooked!

5. Resources

 

  • fantastic primer and reference: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman.
  • intermediate-level techniques, drying set-ups, obscure recipes: Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli.
  • lots of interesting recipes: Bruce Aidells’ Complete Sausage Book, by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly
  • websites
  • equipment, casings, curing salts
    • Halford’s Hide
      • 8629 ““ 126 Avenue, 780-474-4989
    • Butchers and Packers Supplies
    • Local Butchers and Farmer’s Markets

Each person took home over a kilo of artisan sausage (some of each) to enjoy at home with family and friends. I cannot wait to hear about their personal sausage making adventures – and yours! Have you ever made artisan sausage? Would you?

 

 

Kielbasa Recipe adapted from Charcuterie

Yield: 2.25kg sausage, about twenty 15cm links

Ingredients:

  • 2kg boneless shoulder butt, diced
  • 250g pork back fat, diced
  • 40g kosher salt
  • 72g minced garlic
  • 18g coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • 10g ground black pepper
  • 125mL ice water
  • 3m hog casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30min and rinsed

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the water and toss to distribute the seasonings; chill until ready to grind
  2. Grind the mixture through the small die into a bowl set in ice
  3. Add the water to the meat mixture and mix with the paddle attachment until the liquids are incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance (about 1 minute on medium speed)
  4. Sautéa small portion of the sausage: taste, and adjust the seasoning, if necessary
  5. Stuff the sausage into the hog casings and twist into 15cm links; refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook
  6. Gently sautéor roast the sausage to an internal temperature of 65°C

Spicy Italian Recipe from Charcuterie

Yield: 2.25kg sausage, about twenty 15cm links

Ingredients:

 

  • 2kg boneless pork shoulder butt, diced
  • 225g pork back fat, diced
  • 40g kosher salt
  • 32g granulated sugar
  • 16g fennel seeds, toasted
  • 8g coriander seeds, toasted
  • 24g sweet paprika
  • 1g cayenne pepper
  • 24g fresh oregano leaves
  • 24g fresh basil leaves
  • 12g hot red pepper flakes
  • 6g coarsely ground black pepper
  • 185mL ice water
  • 60mL red wine vinegar, chilled
  • 3m hog casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30min and rinsed

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the water and vinegar, and toss to distribute the seasonings; chill until ready to grind
  2. Grind the mixture through the small die into a bowl set in ice
  3. Add the water and vinegar to the meat mixture and mix with the paddle attachment until the liquids are incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance (about 1 minute on medium speed)
  4. Sautéa small portion of the sausage, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary
  5. Stuff the sausage into the hog casings and twist into 15cm links; refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook
  6. Gently sautéor roast the sausage to an internal temperature of 65°C

 

Merguez Recipe from Charcuterie

Yield: 2.25kg sausage, about twenty four 25cm links

Ingredients:

  • 2kg boneless lamb shoulder, diced
  • 450g back fat, diced
  • 40g kosher salt
  • 5g sugar
  • 2g hot red pepper flakes
  • 18g minced garlic
  • 175g diced roasted red peppers
  • 5g freshly ground black pepper
  • 16g paprika
  • 16g fresh oregano
  • 60mL dry red wine, chilled
  • 60mL ice water
  • 6m sheep casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30min and rinsed

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the water and wine, and toss to distribute the seasonings; chill until ready to grind
  2. Grind the mixture through the small die into a bowl set in ice
  3. Add the water and wine to the meat mixture and mix with the paddle attachment until the liquids are incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance (about 1 minute on medium speed)
  4. Sautéa small portion of the sausage, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary
  5. Stuff the sausage into the lamb casings and twist into 25cm links; refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook
  6. Gently sautéor roast the sausage to an internal temperature of 65°C

See Allan’s post on this here.

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About Valerie Lugonja

Educator, Writer, Gardener and Traveler who believes in buying and eating locally, and most importantly cooking at home!

Join The Conversation!

  1. Lots of good knowledge and photos from what surely was a fun and delicious day! I make sausages and although there’s some hard work involved, the labour is always rewarded with tasty homemade sausages.

    If I may add, unseason, mix, taste-test (fry off a small meatball) and then adjust seasoning again. Overseasoning can only be corrected by adding more meat to make your mixture less salty.

    • Thanks, Peter!
      That is exactly what we did. The taste testing of the fried patty was the best part as each recipe was completely different than the last and extremely delicious. We all expected goodness, but were still wide-eyed and speechless with every tasting!
      :)
      Valerie

  2. I always love your photos! You can really see that everyone is really enjoying themselves, and that’s what good food is all about in my book.
    *kisses* HH

    • HH: They are dark and it was night – after my first day at DSLR bootcamp – and I was so tired. My camera was put on auto and I just did the best I could in photos hop to do exactly that: share the joy of the evening.
      :)
      Valerie

  3. Oh Valerie, my heart is pitter-pattering after reading this. I’ve always wanted to make sausage, but have never gotten around to trying it! What amazing photos and recipes. Very inspiring!

  4. Valerie I love your pictures and I think was a really fun time!! huggs, gloria

  5. This is on my list of things that I would love to do one day…make my own sausage. I do make sausage patties but have never ventured into casings.

  6. You know there’s a very famous saying in my field, the two things you should never watch being made – law and sausage

  7. Easy? Easier said than done ;-)) If I would gather enough courage, then I shall give this a try.

  8. Homemade sausage is awesome for sure, love the step by step photos and thanks for sharing the recipes!

  9. Beautiful work and so much fun! The photo tutorial is fantastic and really helpful. Great class, Valerie!

  10. My son-in-law likes to make sausages and I can see that it would be a fun group activity! I love the fact that you know exactly was in in the sausages too ;) I need to get a meat grinder attachment for my KA!

  11. Your pictures captured it all, Valerie. Look at the smiles on every one of those faces! Now that’s what cooking and learning to cook is all about. Oh the joys and power of food. The sausages look beautiful and I’m sure everyone learned so much. I remember Allan being at your taste tripping party, but unfortunately did not get to really talk to him. He seems like a man of much knowledge. Being able to switch career paths after finishing a degree, now that’s passion! Good for him for following his heart! Thank you for sharing yet another terrific and successful class with us. What an adventure this must be for you as well. glad to see Beavie staying far away from trouble this class ;-)

  12. I can’t believe you made your own Merguez! We can buy it in a lot of places here in Belgium. Of course I have my favorite place…

    I’ve never thought about making it though. My hat’s off to you. BRAVA!

    P.S. I have a couple of merguez recipes on my blog. You’ve seen one of them. The other one is a pasta. But it’s also great on the Barbeque. It’s my favorite sausage now.

  13. I cant believe that you made your own sausages.They look utterly professional and good.Such sessions are always fun where you meet lots of like minded people and food enthusiasts.Looks like you had one amazing group activity.I love all the photos.

  14. Val, as always, great post. I am always amazed at the beauty of making sausage. What a great evening to be part of, and learn so many new things. I would have certainly enjoyed participating in the evenings events.

  15. Ah, fresh sausage. Alan’s outline is fantastic!

  16. What fun! I am impressed with all the young people who are interested in attending.

  17. Another wonderful class, in the pictures you can clearly see how Allan captivates the class. What fun everyone had learning a great way to make homemade sausage, I have made homemade patties, but have never had the chance to try my hand with the casing, Thank you for the outline and wonderful resources..good luck with your next class…take care
    sweetlife

  18. Oh my goodness – you are a true gourmande and you are sharing all this incredible knowledge. Making sausge at home is a dream come true right tehre next to homemade psta for me and I would have LOVED to attend this class, Val.

    I love the enrgy and the spirit of your classes.

    Chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  19. I never know what to expect here Valerie and certainly, I was not thinking “sausages” today :D I love artisan sausages but goodness they can cost a bomb, here at least. I am in love with the merquez recipe – but my sausage attachment for my mixer is completely rusted over. My bad. I never had the courage to use it. Fantastic tutorial! Maybe I’ll make Merquez patties too ;)

    • Denise!
      That is the beauty of making your own. I was actually SICKENED when I saw what they cost to buy, thus the concentrated effort to make my own (first time last summer) and then to teach others how. It is so easy. Yes, basic equipment is needed, but is not expensive at all, and can be shared amongst sausage making friends which makes it very affordable! You can get new blades! And these days, so much more accessible than it used to be!
      :)
      Valerie
      PS: I know – this is a very eclectic site, isn’t it? Kind of a blueprint of my life!

  20. What an awesome day, the photos really show the process (& the fun), I’ve only made sausage a couple of times with the gals of our family…, its always so much fun. Thank you SO MUCH for these wonderful recipes too.., its so nice to have some variety.

  21. I have always adored merguez but thought I would have to wait to stop over in France to have some! I wouldbe a happy camper if I could make them myself! Loved this post, the class sounds awesome, very informative and will try making the merguez soon, I hope!

  22. So much fun! I could see the joy in your faces…and your sausage looked too good! I’ve never thought about making my own. Now I just need to find a similarly delightful class to attend! Thank you for sharing with me tonight! I hope you have a great weekend, my dear.

  23. Awesome post again Val. I am envious of your quality and quantity of posting. Reading your posts makes me get off my procrastinating ass and write! Thanks :)

  24. Wow what fun this looks like…great step by step tutorial here.
    My kids would love something like this :)

  25. I’ve made homemade sausage before and yes it is totally delicious stuff! I love how you can infuse it with so many different flavors. Thanks for all of these tips! Great post.

  26. What a fun class!

  27. Wow…this is pretty much how the assembly goes on at my inlaws!
    The only difference is that they don’t look like they’re having half the good times as your class did.

    Great photos Valerie…almost makes us hear the rumble and laughter ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  28. Awesome! I have always wanted to make my own sausage but am a little intimidated. You make it look like so much fun :)

  29. Valerie, this event looks awesome. We love sausages over here & I would like to learn how to make my own. The hands on class you went to is the perfect way to inspire new kitchen techniques. Love the photo round-up – must have taken a loooong time to edit :) I keep thinking I am gonna make some homemade sausage patties – though I will miss the “snap” of the casing :)

    • Thank you SO much Marla!
      This is my own cooking school! I started it in January! There is a link to the classes in the badge at the side and in the menu bar at the top of my site, and also at the end of most posts. Everyone went away with big smiles.
      :)
      Valerie

  30. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a food blog with so many photos and so much detailed instruction. Brilliant, and it’s definitely inspired me to get to making sausages at long last. Good luck with the cooking school too: I keep getting asked to do cooking lessons in the real world as well as on my blog, and you all look like you’re having so much fun I’m going to seriously consider it. Thanks for a great site and a very informative read.

  31. Oh, sorry, also meant to say that for those of us in the UK, kosher salt can be hard to find – I substitute Maldon salt

  32. Although life here in Japan is wonderful, I regret tearing my husband away from his sausage making equipment and smoker just as his hobby was blooming from a passing interest into a obsessive passion. I cannot wait to get back to it and those delicious links again. This is a wonderful peek into an art form that I think deserves more attention, Valerie. Thank you.

    • Kelly!
      So wonderful to hear from you! Your adventure in Japan is so.. so… so… foreign. I love reading what you are eating, though rarely have a clue what you are talking about food wise as most of the ingredients I haven’t heard of. I ahve to get back to your site again! I haven’t been there in TOO long.
      :)
      Valerie

  33. I am so jealous that you got to attend such a wonderful class! I attended a sausage making class once – not as detailed as yours… I think I learned more reading your post!

    • Hi, Trissa!
      Thank you for the lovely comment. I just wanted to let you know I didn’t attend the class. I offered it. It was in my home and is part of my Winter Series. My new business is a Culinary Tour Travel and Cooking Class business and I am having a blast offering and teaching these classes.
      :)
      valerie

  34. Awesome post, Valerie! So awesome, actually. I’m not a meat eater. That being said though, as someone who doesn’t eat meat I have a hard time understanding how people who do don’t make their own sausages and such. They are so wonderful when tailored to one’s own taste and the ease of making such a thing is always surprising. Plus, there is an ‘ick’ factor to buying sausage from someone else. When it’s done this way, one can include their favorite cuts and parts while also purchasing from a upstanding farm, etc…
    Anyway, I don’t want to write a novel, but this is old school and wonderful…!

  35. im very impressed by the kitchen. any chef would love this kitchen

  36. Well well Valerie I can remember my dad making sausage when I was just a little girl. They were very good too. Growing up on the farm in those days , you had to do it yourself IF you wanted it.He had a good taste too for good food– I think you might take after him. :)

    • MOm (Helen)
      Did Grandpa make fresh sausage or did he smoke some or dry cure some? Who helped him? Would he make enough for the winter? What kinds? Did you like any of it?
      X)

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