I’m naming this post in honor of my housemate, Martin. Martin is a sixty-something man who tells puns. Constantly. And one of his oft-repeated puns got used this week as I began the process of grinding 12 pounds of pork shoulder and making it into chorizo. As I ground the meat, he loudly proclaimed “I never sausage a thing!” This pun will only really make sense to you if you say it aloud.
I’m something of a foodie, but I’m particularly proud of this culinary accomplishment. The pork shoulder that has since become chorizo was once a pig I knew. I was directly involved with every step of the process from pig to product. Now, it would have been WAY cooler if I had actually raised the pig, but Minneapolis doesn’t really go for livestock. Nevertheless, there is a harsh simplicity to selecting a pig, having it butchered, cutting it into segments, and then proceeding to make things like pulled pork or roast out of it. But it is even more satisfying to turn that pork into sausage.
Sausages have, before today, one of those magical sorts of foods of mysterious origins. When one buys sausage from a store, it is hard to know exactly what went into it.
Now I know exactly what went into my sausage. Here’s the recipe:
12 lbs coarse ground pork shoulder
1/2 cup smoked paprika
3/4 cup crushed chili peppers
4 t cinnamon
2 T cumin
6 medium onions, finely chopped
6 t dried oregano
3 T garlic powder
5 T salt
2 T cayenne
- Hand-trim fat from the outside of meat to your desired fat preference.
- Grind the meat with a fine grinding plate (I used the meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer for this).
- Thoroughly incorporate the seasoning.
- Stuff the mix into sausage casings. I used the KitchenAid sausage stuffer attachment. You can also just form the mix into sausage patties.
Since I tend to hang out in radical circles, let me address concerns that may come from vegan friends. I understand the reasons for veganism. While I respect the ethical and medical reasons, I personally believe a locavore diet is the ethical ideal. My goal is to live off of food that comes from within 200 miles of where I live. Increasingly, I’d like that food to come from my community’s efforts to raise its own food. As I continue to move in that direction, I’ve decided to cut processed grains and sugars out of my diet. Industrial agriculture is, to me, a greater social evil than eating non-human animals.