Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Sausage

We have started a tradition here in the Fredell household, following our love of pig: the Christmas sausage. Actually, we are not original. In Sweden, the traditional Julbord (Christmas Table) contains many different kinds of sausages and in the good old days, these would have been made by hand. So last year, we started making our own, figuring that we love sausage, it will be fun to do our own, and what the hell, why not at Christmas?! I spoke to my sister-in-law today, to wish each other Merry Christmas, and informed her that Peter and I were elbow deep in pork and she commented that we were not alone. Apparently, it is another Christmas tradition that the King and Queen of Sweden make sausage. Their sausage is proudly displayed on TV on Christmas day. So, we are in good company. This year, our sausage is flavored with orange, fennel, and garlic. Although it is for dinner tonight, we have already tested our creation, and I can tell you it is really good.

I know that everyone might not be up for sausage making, but, really, making the meat stuffing part is simple. If you don't want to stuff all those intestines, for which you need some special equipment, I think using the stuffing to make meatloaf would be equally delicious, or even meatballs! This recipe makes about 30 or so regular size sausages, so if you want to just do a meatloaf, cut the recipe down to 1/4 th or so.

5 pounds cheapest cut of pork (we used shoulder)
1 small packet of bacon
1 pound pork fat (you can ask your butcher for this)
zest of 3 oranges
1 to 2 heads of garlic, peeled
2 large onions
1 fennel bulb
3 to 4 tablespoons fennel seed
some olive oil
pig intestine for casings (you will probably have to order this from your butcher)

Dice the onion, and fennel bulb. Finely dice the garlic. Saute on medium heat the onion, fennel, and garlic in some olive oil until soft, but not browned. Take the pork and bacon and cut into chunks. Use either a meatgrinder or food processor to grind into mince. If you are using the food processor, be careful not to grind it too finely. You want it chuncky like hamburger meat, not a smooth puree.

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