Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 2: Sausagemania!!!

Here we go with my sausage extravaganza!
 One of the last batches of Moroccan lamb sausage.  Good lord sausage making can be troublesome.  My funnel was eaten by my machine.  It was a crappy plastic Kitchenmaid funnel that just couldn't stand up to vintage power!  Halfway through day two sausage started oozing out of the front of the machine.  Thank goodness for Ming Wo who sells an aluminum version.  Of course then the sheep casing wouldn't fit so I had to switch to pork casing.  I'll be keeping the pork-cased lamb sausage for myself because my Rastafarian brother-in-law and Moslem niece can't eat them.  Poor me I know.
 15 feet of pork casing on my new funnel.
 Whoa look at that long sausage... 
And it is all linked up!  This is all for my parents for christmas.  I know what lucky parents they are!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A sausage for all seasons

I'm too tired to post my sausagemania day 2 pictures.  Must sleep.  But here are some shots of the flavoring agents I used in my sausages.
Freshly toasted and ground fennel seed.  For my mom's flavour I have fennel seed, fennel bulb (roasted) and pine nuts.  She loves liquorice.
 Mmmmm, rosemary, pistachio and honey.  That is for my brother the poet.
 Almonds for my dad's flavour.  Almonds, smoked paprika, red chili peppers and maple syrup.
Homemade preserved lemon.  The lamb sausage for my brunch has coriander, cinnamon, preserved lemon, garlic, and black pepper.  There is way to much black pepper but ya live and ya learn.  I like it spicy so I'm not worried about that but others might find it a titch overwhelming...

Day 1: Sausage Extravaganza!

Here is the result of seven hours of sausage-making fun!
 Lamb shoulder #1.  Let me admit right now I didn't really think about the anatomy of the lamb shoulder when I asked the butcher to keep the bone in (so I could practice my butchery skills).  Quite a bit more complicated than I had remembered from class.
 This is two lamb shoulders deboned and chopped, ready for grinding.
 A big pork shoulder for the pork sausage, also bone-in.
 Pork deboned and chopped.  The pork was a lot harder to hand grind.  The meat was quite soft.
 Threading the sheep casing onto my funnel.  Definitely a good tip from my butcher was to keep it wet.  While it is quite tough it did break once when I let it get too dry.
 The start of the lamb sausage.
Half of the lamb sausage done! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tell people you are interested in butchery...

and they ask you to butcher a freakin' moose.  Yowza!

I was on my way up to my butchers to order a lamb shoulder and a pork shoulder for my sausage making extravaganza when I ran into a friend.  We were lamenting the shopping season and I told him how I was gifting sausage this year and how I had taken a couple of butchery classes.

His next comment?  Cool, maybe you could butcher up the next moose I hunt.  (not verbatim but close)

My reply?  Sure!  That sounds awesome!  (then I invited myself hunting as well, but seriously what the freak was I thinking?  I can't butcher a moose)

He also hunts deer so here is hoping that we start with that...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A vintage meat grinder

So I decided to buy a meat grinder after taking my butchery class.

My inspiration: Every year I do a Christmas Eve Brunch.  It is quite a to-do and I get very excited about the menu.  This year I decided to capitalize on some of the new food products I learned to make including preserved lemons, yoghurt, and now charcuterie/butchery.  I decided to make lamb sausages with a variety of sauces and I needed a meat grinder.  I started to look online at Canadian Tire but the reviews were not very positive.  The machines seemed to break down quickly.  I changed tack and looked on Craigslist for an older meat grinder.


A woman in North Vancouver was selling a vintage meat grinder made in the 1950's in England.  It is a Spong No. 5 and off I went to grab it for a knock-down deal - $15!!!  
Now it is time for some grinding!
 Working like a hot damn!
That would be some pork that you are seeing work its way through my lovely new grinder!  And could I just say that it is delicious.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Butchering class

 Half of a pig.  Just waiting to be cut up!

This is a butchering class I took recently at the Dirty Apron.  This is what started me off seriously on my new fanatical interest in butchering.

 Sebastian cutting the ribs in half!
 Cutting the back end off!
 The whole hog!  Look at that lovely pile of fat at the bottom left.  I think that is the fat from the kidneys?  I can't quite remember.
 Oh yeah baby!
 The tail.  For some reason I kept imagining using it for a unicorn's horn.  That would be funny and gross at the same time.
 A nicely tied up pork roast.
Look at those beautiful sausages.  That would be the handiwork of yours truly.  Not too shabby though I didn't win the taste contest.