Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Toulouse sausage?

With Halloween approaching we should probably turn our attention to something of serious concern: the return of the undead. Now, if movies and computer games have taught us anything (and they have), it's that if the undead appear the problem can be solved by hiding out in a shopping mall and stockpiling firearms. However, that's a typically American response to the problem. I think Simon Pegg and Nick Frost had it right - just go to the pub and enjoy a pint.

We'll meet here in the event of an undead apocalypse

What has this got to do with charcuterie? Nothing really, other than a slightly tenuous link that Halloween is approaching and tradition dictates that some of the undead, and your loved ones, can be repelled by garlic. Unless of course we're talking about Twilight vampires, in which case I'd be tempted to reach for that shotgun...



Egg meets air rifle pellet (I just liked the photo)

I wanted to make a garlicy sausage that would melt the face off of any undead (or trick-or-treaters) that dare approach me on Halloween. I'd always thought that this kind of sausage was a Toulouse but, searching for a recipe online (and in my Jane Grigson book), it seems Toulouse sausage contains pork, fat, salt, sugar and pepper: that's it. I decided that the best thing to do was just free-style it. One kilo of diced pork loin steaks (I'm finding it's less faff to use steaks than trim up a pork shoulder myself) and 300g of fatback was minced with some salt, pepper, thyme, 5 cloves of garlic and a splash of red wine. I made a mistake on the casings and used beef runners rather than pork casings. I only realised once my glamorous assistant and I had started stuffing them...

The fruits of our labours
They were very tasty with some mash and onion gravy. The garlicy breath ensuing from their consuption can cut through mild steel. Bring it on trick-or-treaters.

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