Saucisse de Toulouse
Region: France, Languedoc
Category: Sausage, Grilled Sausage, Mixed
Difficulty: Easy but special equipment needed and long cooking and/or non-working time
This recipe for saucisse fraiche du pays (fresh country sausage), known throughout France, is the saucisse de Toulouse that enriches a cassoulet. This recipe is from the sausage-maker José Crestou of St. Germain-du-Bel-Air, the next biggest village over from the hamlet where my father once owned a farmhouse in southwestern France. It is very simple and when prepared fresh does not need saltpeter or any preservative. Sometimes these sausages are spiced with nutmeg or sugar, but remember the roots of this sausage are simple and that in the sixteenth century nutmeg was affordable only by the rich and these are really nothing but country sausages. You’ll need a sausage stuffer for this recipe. You might think that an extravagance, but there’s two reasons you should have one. First, once you’ve made your own homemade sausage you won’t believe how superior they are to supermarket sausages. Second, you’ll impress your friends. Sausage stuffers are sold as attachments to KitchenAid electric mixers and in stores ranges from kitchen supply stores to Target and hundreds of on-line sources including eBay. You may like to read How to Make Fresh Sausages first or in conjunction with this recipe.
Yield: Makes 8 pounds sausage
Preparation Time: 2 days in all
6 pounds boneless pork butt, preferably, or shoulder, with its fat, cut into small cubes
2 pounds pork fatback, rind removed and fat cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons salt if using salted pork fat back, 3 to 4 tablespoons if using unsalted pork fat
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepperAbout 25 feet hog casing
1. In a large bowl toss the pork butt and fatback thoroughly with the salt and pepper. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight for the flavors to blend.
2. Coarsely grind the tossed meat by pushing it through a meat grinder, using the largest-holed blade or process in short pulses in a food processor until the mixture has a consistency somewhere between ground and chopped.
3. Open one end of the hog casing, fit it over the faucet in your kitchen sink, and place the remainder of the casing in a medium-size bowl in the sink. Turn the water on gently to wash out the casings. The casings are sold cleaned; you are merely washing away preserving salts and residue. Now you are ready to start stuffing.
4. Affix one end of the casing over the funnel attached to the sausage stuffing attachment of a stand mixer or meat grinder. Push the entirety of the casing onto the length of the funnel (it will contract and fit fine), leaving about 2 inches dangling from the end. Tie this end in a double knot.
5. Turn the grinder or mixer on and as the sausage stuffing begins to flow into the casing, it will push the casing off the funnel. Have a large bowl or platter ready to catch the sausages. Twist or tie off with kitchen twine to make links, or leave to make several very long sausages. Do not overstuff the sausage; otherwise it will burst, either then and there or during cooking. Also be careful that the sausage stuffing enters the casing continuously and evenly and that no air bubbles develop. If air bubbles do occur, it is better either to cut the sausage at that point and start a new one by tying the end off, or to prick the air bubbles with a toothpick.
6. Refrigerate the sausage for 24 to 48 hours before cooking or freezing. The sausages can be divided into portions of different or the same weights and frozen for later use in freezer bags for 2 to 4 months. To cook, place the sausages in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and just, as the water begins to bubble, reduce the heat to below a boil and poach the sausages for 10 minutes, if grilling or frying, or 40 minutes, if serving them boiled.
For grilling sausages, prepare a charcoal fire
or preheat a gas grill on low for 20 minutes.
Grill the sausages for 45 minutes, turning frequently. (If using a charcoal fire, the sausages
should be at least 6 to 8 inches away from the coals). This sausage can be used in cassoulet
or for making
saucisse à la
languedocienne. The sausage is rolled up into a spiral and
secured with two long skewers or spits.
It is cooked in a large covered skillet in pork or goose fat with garlic
and herbs and served with a tomato, parsley, and caper sauce.