Sunday, August 27, 2006


My booboo finger is still quite unable to knit -- bending it really hurts, so I'm still not knitting. So you'll have to hear about sausage -- one of my other obsessions!

When we got back from New York I wanted to try to make a nobblewurst sausage like that they serve at Katz's on 2nd Avenue -- full of garlic, moist, full-flavored beef.

So I made a nice beef sausage, using a moderate amount of suet, plenty of chuck I ground coursely with the fat, cayenne, curing salts, lots of black pepper, and a whole head of garlic. I'm still not good at the stuffing and twisting part, but it all tastes good.

I let the sausage mature at room temperature (cool -- in front of the air conditioner) for 3 days, then moved it to the refrigerator. I think this might have a different effect in winter, when the room can be cool but more humid. The air conditioner drys out the casing, which I think makes a difference. If I have to do it again in the summer, I'll probably mist the sausages down once a day.

Anyway, Friday evening I poached the sausage, then crisped it on the grill and served it with the best sauerkraut I've ever had. I made the saurekraut Julia Child's way -- soaked it in water, squeezed it dry, sauted some onions, carrot, and (beef) bacon in oil, then added the saurkraut and chicken broth au fleur -- until almost covered -- and let it braise for a couple of hours. Man, it was good. I served it for my friends Ben and Nancy and their two boys.

Today we were at Costco, and I was looking at the chicken sausage, which is delicious, but is $13.85 for 3 pounds. Right across the aisle was boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, 6 pounds for $15. So I decided to make my own.

When we got home I put up a small (2 pound) batch of chicken and apple sausage, trying out a trick I had picked up using ice cubes to keep the sausage moise instead of additional fat. Not only is it beautiful, but it was among the best sausage I've ever had. (Tho you can see the unfortunate air bubbles. Oi!) It was so good, I decided to makie it for Rosh Hashanah dinner. (The apple thing makes it work.) I'm thinking with a gratin of vegetable maybe and a waldorf salad? Suggestions, anyone?


anapestic said...

My suggestion is that you post the recipe for the sausage.

Aidan said...

Well, I didn't really use a recipe for the chicken sausage. But here is what I did. I diced a medium yellow onion, pealed, cored, and diced 3 small granny smith apples, and sauted them in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil with somke salt and pepper until the were golden brown. Then I refrigerated them.

I took 1 pounf of chicken thighs and rough chopped them. I put them in the food processor along with 1 1/2 tablespoon (approx.) of salt, 2 teasppons (approx) of sage, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, and processed until almost smooth. Then I added about 1/2 cup crushed ice and ran the processor until it was very a smooth paste. That went into a bowl and was chilled.

Next I took a second pound of chicken thighs, rough chopped them and processed them until the were course -- something that would approximate a 1/4 inch dice. (I hate hand dicing raw chicken.) This I combined with the chilled forecmeat, the onions and apples, and added a minced little parsley. Chill again while you wipe down the counters and get everything set up for stuffing.

Stuff into casings -- collagen or natural, and refrigerate. Then poach or pan fry slowly (my favorite) until cooked through.

Jannah said...

i am a pervert i am but those sausages look damn sexy.


Ted said...

And could you please post the recipe for Julia Child's sauerkraut?

What's "chicken broth au fleur"?

Aidan said...


For you, anything.

Drain about 1 1/2 quarts of saurkraut. Cover with cold water, let soak 5 minutes, then drain. Squeeze handfulls of the saurkraut to get all of the liquid out. Set aside.

Heat an ovensafe pan -- I used a dutch oven -- over medium heat until hot, then add 3 T. of vegetable oil...or schmaltz if you have it. Add 1 large diced onion and 2 large carrots, sliced just under 1/4 inch thick. Sautee for one minute, then reduce the heat just a little bit and add 1/3 pound of bacon. (I didn't even defrost. I just took a cleaver and cut off an inch, then another, then another.) Add the bacon to the skillet and stir until all of the slices have separated. Then cover and allow onions to sweat and the bacon to render its fat -- about 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1 bay leaf, a goodly amount of black pepper. Add the (dry) saurkraut, then pour over 1 cup of white wine -- Riesling is most authentic -- and chicken broth au fleur. Au fleur is a term which means "to the bud" -- and means almost to the top of the solids. (I know it's pretentious, but my beloved Julia, z''l, said au fleur, so au fleur it is.

Check for seasonings -- you'll be surprised to know you might need to add salt!

Bring the liquid up to the simmer, cover tightly, then place in a 250 degree oven for at least 1 1/2 hours. Serve with poached or pan fried sausages and plain boiled potatos.


Ted said...

Thanks Aiden!

I'll bet the sausage recipes would also be great if shaped into patties, rather than trying to get them into casings?

How's your lace coming, BTW?

Aidan said...

Oh, Ted. Don't mention lace.

I injured my right index finger, sustaining some rather painful damage. It is immobilized, and I am not able to knit. (Not that I haven't tried. Knitting with the splint is like knitting with a catcher's mit.)

I'm quite anxious and unsettled without my knitting. Having, even on good days, a tenuous grasp on sanity, life sans knitting has its trials.

Oh -- patties would be good. But be sure to put down a nice layer of oil, or they will stick.

mc78 said...

So when do the local knitters get to come over and taste come gourmet?

mc78 said...

When do the local knitters get to drop by for some gourmet?

Ted said...

I was in a small grocery store earlier this week, and saw containers labelled "schmalz" in a refrigerator case.

"Schmaltz?" I said. "You've got schmaltz?"

"Yeh," the clerk said. "But it's just rendered pork fat.", I thought it was goose fat. Or chicken? Or ...?

Hope you're back knitting soon.