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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 Horwath Lab Sausage Party

A few Saturdays ago we hosted my lab's second annual sausage making party. It was tons of fun, delicious, and worth all the mopping I had to do the next day! The night before I'd gone to Livermore to see Skyler in a musical (Godspell...he was Jesus and he was AMAZING). Dyani, Batiste, and Donovan were there, too, which made it even more fun. But I stayed up way too late so I was tuckered out by the time the party started.

Last year we made 60 pounds of sausage...ALL with Will's super garlicky Hungarian recipe. So this year we decided to make a few flavors.We started at 5 by cutting all the meat into chunks and then got people started on the grinding. The blade on Will's trusty hand grinder was pretty dull so we ended up using his new Cabela's brand electric grinder and saved the hand one for stuffing only. My labmate bought pork from the meat lab on campus (animals raised, dispatched, and sold on campus by students) for every one to share, Will brought 20 pounds of his own, and I brought 18 pounds from Costco so we could make our own breakfast sausage patties after the party. In total I think we ground 42 pounds of pork!

The doggies were super good the whole time...even though I know they were seriously considering stealing some meat!The flavors we made (and stuffed into casings) were:
  • Will's family recipe (Hungarian--mainly paprika and garlic)
  • Red wine and garlic
  • Beer and chipotle dry rub mix Dave and I made a few years ago and still had in the cupboard
  • Another one that had beer....I can't remember right now!
Will was in charge of cooking the sausage that we ate that night. He used my giant cast iron skillet and basically braised it in beer. It was FREAKING AMAZING. I made the dang-yummiest gravy EVER the next morning with all the caramelized beer and meat goodness in the skillet. Dave and I saved our ground meat until the next day when we made half into a copy-cat Jimmy Dean flavor and our dad's clove breakfast flavor (both varieties as patties). Here's a picture of me and my helper making our sausage the next morning. I flash froze the individual patties and then put them into zippy bags in our deep freeze with freezer paper between them so they won't stick together.

Once all the raw meat was being processed in the grinders, I sanitized the counter so we could prepare toppings for mini pizzas. I'd made 30 balls of pizza dough ahead of time, set out a Costco sized bag of cheese, and a pot of homemade pizza sauce (just let a #10 can of tomato puree simmer with EVOO, garlic, minced onion, oregano/thyme/rosemary/pepper/salt for a while). We wanted to have people build the pizzas inside and then bake them on the baking stone inside the BBQ so the house wouldn't get smoky. But--of course--we discovered that night that the regulator is busted. Dang. (It worked just enough that I could heat a pot of water on the burner to wash the meat-covered restaurant-sized cutting boards in the tub outside.) Ug, so now we have to replace the regulator...and if that doesn't work then we'll have to shop around for a new BBQ.

Having learned just how much smoke our oven produces when baking 20+ individual pizzas over the course of a night, we took the batteries out of the hallway smoke detector. We forgot to take it out of Lucas' and it went off, but thankfully it didn't wake our sleeping babe in the next room.

I just realized we also made a batch of vegetarian sausage since not everyone is a meat eater in our lab. It was really good...and if you didn't know it was vegetarian you could have convinced me it was made with finely ground poultry instead of wheat gluten.
  • 2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp Bills Best Chik’Nish Seasoning or Spike seasoning mix
  • 2 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 to 2 tbsp fennel seed, optional
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional
  • 1 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 1/4 cups cool water*
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk together the water, garlic, olive oil and soy sauce and using a fork, gently stir into the dry ingredients. Stir just until ingredients are mixed. If dough mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon of water or as needed.
2. Scoop 1/2 cup dough mixture at a time and shape into logs. Place logs on piece of aluminum foil and roll up, twisting ends. Place sausages in steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Once sausages have cooled, remove from foil and refrigerate until ready to eat. After cooling, the sausages may feel a bit dry on the outside. Don’t worry, as they will soften and firm up considerably after chilling.

It was a very fun, full house that night indeed!

3 comments:

mu rye uh said...

sounds like a fun party!

erin said...

holy moly that is a LOT of sausage!

steph.kelley said...

I love vegetarian sausage — will defo try your recipe! Sure enjoyed the fruits of your labors for dinner last night. Thank you, SuperJulie!!