The latest choice for a foodie-book from the Cook the Books Club was Heat by Bill Buford. I enjoyed reading the book when it came out and just re-read some sections which describe the work in a tuscan butchery.
Making sausage has been on my to-do list since I had read Ratio and Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman, so now was the perfect time to try. To avoid the hassle of filling the ground meat into casings, I wanted to make some cevapcici-like fingerlings and wrap them into caulk fat. Sounded like a good enough plan, but unfortunately I ran into diffculties from the get-go. First, the nozzle of the (new and not-that-cheap) hand-cranked meat grinder was so low, I couldn't use an ice bath but had to catch the meat in a glass casserole. Then the suction cup on the bottom of the meat grinder gave in, which made grinding meat really hard and very time-consuming work. Due to the slow going the fat and meat (predictably) warmed up and began to clog the die. After going through maybe 200 gram of the 1.25 kg total (I used a half-batch of the recipe given below.) I decided to form the ground meat into a fingerling, skip the wrapping in caulk fat and just fry it. The Bratwurst had a nice and hearty taste, but I didn't want to slog on going through all that meat with the half-dead grinder. So I diced some onions and minced a garlic clove to make a bolognese-style stew with the diced meat.
It has been said somewhere, that a food blogger has to take on many varied roles from dish washer to cook to fotographer to food stylist and so on. Among those many tasks also may come the role of Chief of First-Aid Operations. In that role you may want to use a quite moment to ponder one or two questions.
Do you have a First-Aid Kit of some description which has not yet seen its Use-By date?
Is said kit in a place and a state of packaging where you are very, very confident to be able to put it to its intended use with one hand tied to your back?
Adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
4 pounds pork shoulder, diced
1 pound pork backfat, diced
1.25 ounces kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped marjoram
1/2 cup white wine, chilled
caul fat (optional)
Mix together all the ingredients except the white wine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
Grind through a small die into a bowl set in ice water. Using a silicone spatula, fold in the wine until fully incorporated. Take off a small sample of the mixture, press it into patty-shape and fry it in a pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Divide the mixture into patties or fingerling shapes, wrap in caul fat if using and fry in small batches without overcrowding the pan.