Before I talk about what the heck this sausage is all about, I need to start with the first step of the process: Certified Pork. Certified Pork has many names and what it means is basically, through freezing, all possible Trichinae larvae that MAY be present have been killed by a thorough process. The Federal regulations on this process are pretty tedious and detailed but any and all sources will agree on a few of the principals:
Freeze Pork in blocks that measure no thicker than 6" in any direction and freeze for:
20-30 days at 5F
10-20 days and -10F
6-12 days at -20F.
I used the freezer at work which maintains a pretty constant -10 degrees and kept the meat frozen for 21 days, just to be sure. At this point the Pork could be eaten raw with little or no worry!
Now, for a word on the recipe. A gentlemen I worked with in Milwaukee scribbled this recipe down for me after he brought in some of the sausage for the guys at the shop to try. This was actually the first cured meat I had ever eaten, other than bacon, and I was astounded at the dark, piquant flavor.
Basically... the way he wrote it down was pretty spotty, so after a few different tries I feel like I've nailed down the ingredients to fit my palate. Here we go!
|Thoroughly mix all of the seasonings, making sure there are no clumps - Mace tends to clump. For those of you that are interested in this sort of thing, the seasonings have a combined weight of ~2 1/8 ounces.|
|Pour about half the seasonings onto the meat, mix a little and pour the rest on.|
|What I absolutely loved about this recipe is how fast the salt and sodium nitrate started working! Almost instantly the color of the meat started to change!|
|This hank (one casing) was exceptionally healthy and was able to fit all 5# with ease - I was able to finish a different batch of sausage and still had some leftover casing.|
|This was taken right around the 32 hour mark - as you can see the sausages are dry and a reddish hue is beginning to develop. This red hue is what you're going for.|
|Right at 48 hours after being hung, you can see the links have taken on a reddish-hue.|