Family’s coming for Memorial Day weekend so it’s kitchen time big time! I’ve decided to plan breakfast outside on the deck and I’m hoping that we can fire up the grill for the sausage. So I broke out my neglected copy of Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman for a Breakfast Sausage recipe.
The process starts with butchering five pounds or more pork shoulder which is tedious, no way around it. But it does yield five pounds of sausage, so it goes a long way. I trim all the fat off that I can because I want lean sausage. Leaving the natural fat from the shoulder gives a juicier sausage and saves time so just bust through it if you’re not trying to make a leaner version.
I let the cubed meat chill in the freezer while I minced garlic and grated ginger. I have this grater that has the perfect size rasp on it. A microplane is too fine and the larger holes are too big. I love ginger but I was skeptical about ginger and sage for a breakfast sausage for the average appetite.
But the ginger is brilliant in it.
I doubled the amount of garlic called for in the recipe. Then I tossed the meat with the aromats, kept it in the fridge and put the grinder attachments in the freezer like I did with the bologna. Once everything was thoroughly chilled I ran it through the grinder in two batches and was ready to paddle it in the mixing bowl.
Whenever I use the paddle attachment for my mixer I flash back to culinary school and my pastry chef instructor Somchet, pronounced Saahmshet. For about a year my friend thought I was saying ‘some chef’ every time I referred to Somchet, as though there was a vast menagerie of anonymous chefs circulating l’Academie de Cuisine. But my fave misunderstanding stemmed from Somchet’s Thai accent. She would get in front of the class to do her demonstration and any time she used the paddle attachment she held it up and said ‘you get your paahdoww…’ So one of my classmates came to believe it was a French term.
So grab your ‘padeaux!’ Hook it up to your mixer and use it to mix the pork mixture with water until everything is evenly distributed and has a sticky consistency. Now you can cook it off as loose sausage, stuff casings, or do this – I rolled mine up into logs with plastic wrap.
Then I froze them and cut some discs off and cooked ’em. The first grill test left them a little tough, but we’re going to lower the temp and see if results are better. From frozen I could saute them in a pan with four minutes per side and they came out great. The seasoning is peeeerfect.