How Does The Sausage Get Made?
Field & Stream|December 2019 - January 2020
How Does The Sausage Get Made?
Here’s how: With whatever you have in the freezer and with a bit of kitchen help from your buddies. Ok—maybe it’s a bit trickier, but not much. Plus, we have the answers to some common game-prep questions

CHIMICHURRI HONKER SAUSAGE

INGREDIENTS

5 lb. skinless goose (or duck) breast

3 lb. beef fat10 garlic cloves, minced5 Tbsp. salt

3 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. chile flakes3 cups shallot, minced1 cup olive oil

2 bunches parsley, finely chopped

1 cup red wine vinegar, chilledHog casings, soaked in water

DIRECTIONS

1. Cut the breast meat and beef fat into 2-inch cubes. Place the meat in a bowl, add the garlic, salt, pepper, and chile flakes, and mix. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

2. Before you grind the meat, place all of the metal components of your meat grinder and a large bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

3. Grind the meat through a medium die into the chilled bowl. Next, add the shallots, olive oil, parsley, and red wine vinegar to the ground meat, and mix the ingredients thoroughly with your hands.

4. Emulsify the sausage: Add about 2 cups of ice water, a bit at a time, to the ground meat, and mix vigorously with your hands. Depending on the coarseness of the grind and the protein, this process can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, and your hands will ache from the cold. You’ll know the mixture has emulsified when the meat takes on a tacky texture and begins to stick to the sides of the bowl. Cook a small patty of the sausage, then adjust the seasoning as needed. Let the meat rest, covered, for an hour in the refrigerator. Place the metal grinder components back in the freezer.

5. Stuff the meat into the casings, forming 4- to 5-inch links. Prick any air bubbles in the sausage with the point of a paring knife. Place the sausages on a sheet pan and let them sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight. At this point, you can snip the casing between each link, and the sausage can be cooked or frozen.

OK, my honkers are linked. How should I cook them?

I like to prepare this sausage in a riff on a choripan, an Argentine street sandwich that I tried on a hunting trip in South America last year. Grill the sausages over coals, then serve them in toasted buns topped with scrambled eggs and Dijon mustard.

Do I have to keep my grinder cold?

Yes, you do. And here are the reasons why

Really, though—do I have to keep the grinder cold?

Yes! Quit being so lazy.

OK. Why is it so important to do this?

So you don’t get sick, that’s why. There’s a lot of friction that goes on during the grinding process, and that friction causes heat, and bacteria thrive in warm environments. Chilling the metal parts of your grinder—or the entire grinder if you prefer the old-school crank models—will help keep the meat cold, and bacteria-free, during the grinding process.

Got it. What if I have to grind the meat twice, through the medium and fine die—should I rechill the parts in between?

Not necessarily, but be prepared to transition right into the second grind so the grinder parts stay cold.

All this talk about bacteria has me worried. I’m not going to give everyone at camp food poisoning, am I?

No. Just keep the grinder cold while you use it, and clean it after you use it, and you won’t have a problem. In other words: As long as you’re not lazy, you’ll be fine. —J.P.B.

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December 2019 - January 2020