Sunday, May 15, 2011


So when I was in the midst of my recent Agonizing Reappraisal of Things, I was thinking that maybe I should write off making sausage and cheese. About sausage, Brian kept suggesting I use it like a seasoning and just eat a little bit of it at a time. And about cheese, Helen said, “I eat so little cheese anyway right now, I want to eat really nice stuff when I do.” And I started thinking that maybe I don’t have to give these things up entirely.

This month’s Charcutepalooza Challenge was to grind and make Chorizo, since it’s spicy
and flavorful, I also thought that I might be able to get away with making a less fatty
version. I know, that lovely fat is what gives sausages their succulent flavor and mouth
feel, and I know all about becoming one with a pork belly, but those test results are still
fresh in my mind, and I really don’t ever want to have to get intimate with gout! Brian did discourage me from using turkey, making such a nasty face about the idea, that I decided on being a little less gung-ho about it and going with a mix of  1.5 lbs pork shoulder to 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow has you blend the chiles in a slurry, which is an authentic Mexican technique, and also good for slathering on meat that you slow cook and pull apart for tacos. But I opted out of that technique this time as I tend to make a serious mess with a blender. I loosely followed Rhulman and Polcyn’s recipe, since I often find discrepancy between his US and metric measure, and I haven’t been able to figure out which should be the default.

Ever since I lived in New Mexico, I’ve kept a variety of dried chile peppers in my cabinet, to toast lightly and grind as needed. Each type has a distinct flavor, and for this I used a mix of 1.5 ancho chile to 1 each chipoltle, pasilla, and guajuillo chiles.

You have to love sausage to think that this looks delicious!

With it I made Aunt Betty’s Tamale Pie, next post. 

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