Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sausage and Cooking

Yay, we got to cook! We worked in teams of four today - but we were the group of five. Which meant we made two sausages. In addition to gyros. We made the Merguez (lamb) and Italian (pork - spicy).
The Merguez is lamb, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, roasted and pureed red pepper, black pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, and ice water.
The Italian is pork butt, fennel seds, black pepper, red pepper flakes, white wine, minced garlic, parmesan, parsley, and salt. And it is a lot of red pepper.
I gathered the Merguez ingredients, and then T. and Tennessee mixed them. You need to make sure the everything is cold and it all combines well. It is well mixed when it is stringy. The fat keeps the sausage from being dry.
Instead of using the cleaned intestines to mold the sausages, we used food-grade plastic wrap - don't try this at home, kids: this stuff can be put in an oven up to 500 degrees, it's not just any old plastic wrap. you put the meat on the wrap in a log shape less than 2 inches in diameter, roll the wrap around, and then roll it in one direction along the table until it is tight and smooth. Then wrap the roll in aluminum foil. Put into the oven, bake until done.
Our team had the best flavored sausages and gyro meat. We did a great job - it's okay for me not to be humble since it was a team thing...
Chef C - our teacher for intro to baking - made us pitas. They were so good. I'm looking forward to having him - he comes into our class a lot, and he seems really nice and chats with us. I've already talked to him about how I have to miss the first Friday of his class for my sister's wedding, which means I'll have to make up a practical, which should be interesting how I'm going to do that since I'll be back to working full time at that point...

Lessons learned:
Sausage is kind of fun to make. It was really hectic today, trying to get it all cooked in time, but I at least found out my thermometer that I bought definitely works. Good to know.


Steph said...

Sorry I am so behind on your blog! I love the idea of homemade sausage. So does this mean that you have your own grinders in the kitchen with you?

T said...

We had one grinder, but Chef actually did a lot of the grinding himself. It was just easier for him to do it while we all created the seasoning. He explained the machines, but I would assume unless you are going to work in a kitchen that frequently makes it's own sausages, it isn't really that necessary to practice this skill.