We had a saying when I was in the news business: “News is like sausage. Better not to see how it is made.”
However, Miss Kim Council and I are going to show you exactly how sausage is made right now. We have a plan. A not very well-formed plan, but a plan nonetheless. We are going to operate some form of food truck that involves sausage and macaroni and cheese. Unfortunately, we faced the slight stumbling block that we had never made sausage.
So yesterday was the day. Three pounds of pork butt. Check. Mighty Kitchen Aid mixer with handy sausage grinding attachment. Check. Bloody Marys. Check.
Just look at the concentration Kim is exhibiting as she rams those pork cubes through the grinder. Some people train years for this moment and don’t display such determination. For inspiration, we used a Bruce Aidells breakfast sausage recipe, which I will give you in a moment. However, we noodled with it quite a bit and we will not reveal the TOP SECRET recipe we created and which we will use to make a fortune with our yet-to-be-acquired food truck.
Bolstered, perhaps, by our moderate vodka consumption, we ran through the three pounds of butt (that just doesn’t sound right, I know) in a matter of minutes. Then it was on to fine tuning the exact proportions of our secret spices, otherwise known as tossing in a bit of this and a bit of that. We would add a few things and fry up a test patty. Then we’d add a few more things and fry up another test patty. And then we got pretty excited because we realized the sausage tasted really good! Especially with a Bloody Mary.
So we are now officially sausage makers. Sort of. We know how to use the grinder and we have created our first TOP SECRET recipe. But we are resting on our laurels only temporarily as there is much to be done in the brave new world of sausage making. Casings. We still have to confront the casing. This will present a new set of challenges and probably require us to move to a more disciplined mode of operation: the Martini.
Bruce Aidells Breakfast Sausage
(Note: Aidells calls for using a food processor which, of course, takes away half the fun but makes it easier for most home cooks who aren’t foolish enough to get the grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid.)
1 1/2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast — trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage — or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme — or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce — (such as Tabasco)
1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
Place half of pork in food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Place pork in a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining pork. Add water and remaining ingredients except cooking spray. Knead mixture until well blended. Cover and refrigerate mixture 8 hours or overnight.
Divide mixture into 16 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half the patties; cook 6 minutes. Turn patties over; cook 5 minutes or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining patties.