|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 434g||556%|
|Saturated Fat 154g||771%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||14%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 8mg||40%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This classic French sausage is a great entry point for the novice to charcuterie. The technique is straightforward, the seasonings simple, and the curing can be done in a relatively forgiving environment, like a basement or garage, not requiring specialized equipment.
As with all cured meats, though, some specialized ingredients are involved, like dextrose, curing salt (also known as Insta Cure or Prague powder), and casings. Curing salt contains sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, which stave off the development of the bacteria that cause botulism, and is therefore essential to the safety of this recipe.
A stand mixer with a meat grinding attachment will work fine for this recipe. Remember to keep everything very cold at all times. The meat should always be cold enough that it hurts your hands to handle too long. If it begins to warm, get everything in the coldest part of the refrigerator or even the freezer for a few minutes, repeating as necessary.
As the sausage hangs, the meat ferments. White mold will form on the outside of the casing. This is normal and desirable. After about three weeks, you'll have a firm salami-like sausage with balanced flavor and a sour tang from fermentation. Simply slice and enjoy with some crisp French bread and cornichon pickles. The French also enjoy it with very sharp Dijon mustard.
The recipe comes from The New Charcuterie Cookbook, by chef Jamie Bissonnette.
4 1/2 pounds (2 kilograms) pork meat
1/2 pound (225 grams) fatback
1 1/2 ounces (40 grams) kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 ounce (10 grams) coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 ounce (15 grams) dextrose
1/4 ounce (6 grams) curing salt no. 2
2/3 ounce (18 grams) garlic, minced to a paste
1/4 cup (59 milliliters) dry white wine
8 feet hog casing, or sheep casing, soaked in tepid water for 2 hours before use
Gather the ingredients.
Set up meat grinder. Grind pork meat and fatback using a large plate (3/4 inch/1.9 cm) into a mixing bowl.
Use a paddle or spoon to mix in all of the other ingredients.
Keep casing wet in a bowl of water while you work with it. Slide casing onto funnel but don’t make a knot. Put mixture in stuffer and pack it down.
Begin extruding. As mixture comes out, pull casing back over nozzle and tie a knot.
Extrude one full coil, about 48 inches (1.3 m) long, and tie it off.
Crimp with fingers to separate sausages into 12-inch (30-cm) lengths. Twist casing once one way, then other between each sausage link. Repeat this along the entire coil.
Once sausage is cased, use a sterile needle to prick any air pockets. Prick each sausage 4 or 5 times. Repeat casing process to use remaining sausage.
Hang sausages to cure 18 to 20 days at 60 F to 75 F.
Once cured, sausages can be refrigerated, wrapped, for up to 6 months.
Curing Meat Warning
Curing meat requires specific expertise and failure to cure meat properly may result in sickness or death. If you have no experience in this area, we advise you to consult an expert to teach you proper techniques and applications.
Great Resources on Curing Meat
Since curing meat requires such a specific skill set, otherwise, it can lead to illness or worse, we highly recommend consulting with an expert to teach you proper techniques. We found that the following four publications are super helpful guides and go in-depth about just such processes, procedures, and techniques:
- Charcuterie: The Art of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn
- Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by Stanley Marianski
- The River Cottage Smoking & Curing Handbook by Steven Lamb
- USDA’s Processing Procedures: Dried Meats