“The less the people know about how sausage and laws are made, the better they sleep at night.” – Otto von Bismarck
One of life’s great culinary joys is grilling meat at a tailgating event before a football game. You have the day off work, and you are eating and drinking with your friends and family, about to watch a great game. What could be better? And while the concept of barbecued meat exists in many regions of the world, the act of grilling burgers and sausages (or hot dogs) before the big game, seems a uniquely American activity. But I am saddened by the fact that, too often, tailgaters buy pre-made, processed hot dogs at the grocery store, and grill them up as if they were any good.
Making your own sausage for a tailgate immediately increases the level of fun and deliciousness a hundred times. Fresh, hand-made sausage in natural casing is about as close to pure heaven that the meat-loving sports fan can get, so if you pride yourself on hosting the best tailgating parties in the park, then take the time to make these sausages.
Sure, you might need to buy a stuffer (and a grinder if you want to), but trust me that the investment will pay off in years of great food and great fun. Your friends, family, and probably strangers will thank you. This recipe makes 10 kilograms of sausage, which is enough for a great tailgating party.
* Electric or manual meat grinder. Optionally, you can have your butcher grind the pork for you in advance. Grinding it yourself makes it all the more homemade and special though.
* Manual sausage stuffer. These can be found relatively cheap.
* 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of fresh pork from the back leg, with about a 20% fat to meat ratio. Lean pork does not work well in sausage. Any good butcher can do this for you. If you want to grind it yourself, ask the butcher to cut it into cubes for you. If not, ask him to grind it once.
* One large bunch of fresh hog intestine casing. This will probably come salted. Ask your butcher where to find it: he will probably have it himself.
* 1 cup of salt.
* 1 1/2 cups of freshly-ground black peppercorns.
* 1 1/2 cups of freshly-ground coriander seeds.
* 1 tablespoon of freshly-ground, dried red chili peppers.
* About 20 cloves of fresh, minced garlic.
* 1-2 cups of water.
* Soak the casing in cold water for a few minutes, then remove the water, refill it, and do this about three times to get rid of the excess salt on the casing.
1. Mix the salt, pepper, coriander, chili peppers, and garlic in a bowl and set it aside.
2. If you are grinding your own pork, make sure it is very cold (but not frozen), and grind it once.
3. Mix the seasonings thoroughly into the ground pork, continuing to make sure that the pork stays very cold, but not frozen.
4. Add the water to the meat and mix it in thoroughly.
5. Making sure the meat is cold and the casing good and moist, stuff the meat into the casing using the stuffing machine. Be careful and slow, and when each segment (link) reaches about six inches or so, pinch the casing to create another link.
5. Once the pork is stuffed into the casing, twist the individual links so as to seal them off from one another. You can weigh them for uniformity, but you do not really need to: just eyeball them.
6. Refrigerate the sausage overnight to allow the flavors to mingle.
7. When you are ready to cook them, just grill them like you would any other meat, and enjoy these savory, delicious sausages with maybe a little English stone-ground mustard.
This is not a quick and easy recipe, I readily admit. However, if you take it slowly, and really put some care and love into your sausages, they will easily be the best food at the tailgate. Your friends and family will rave and beg you to continue to make them at every game.