Medieval Sausages

From Le Ménagier de Paris, 1393

Pour faire saulsisses

Quant vous aurez tué vostre pourcel, prenez de la char des costelettes, premièrement de l’endroit que l’en appelle le filet[1336], et après de l’autre endroit des costelettes et de la plus belle gresse, autant de l’un comme de l’autre, en telle quantité que vouldrez faire de saulsisses; et faictes très menuement mincer et détranchier par un pasticier. Puis broyez du fenoul et un petit de sel menu, et après ce requeillez vostre fenoul broyé, et meslez très bien parmi le quart d’autant de pouldre fine; puis entremeslez très bien vostre char, vos espices et vostre fenoul, et après emplez les boyaulx, c’est assavoir les menus. (Et sachiez que les boyaulx d’un vielz porc sont meilleurs à ce, que d’un jeune, pour ce qu’ils sont plus gros.) Et après ce, les mettez quatre jours à la fumée ou plus, et quant vous les vouldrez mengier, si les mettez en eaue chaude et boulir une onde, et puis mettre sur le greil.

To make sausages (translaton from http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html#ROAST_MEATS)

To Make Sausages. When you have killed your pig, take some chops, first from the part they call the filet, and then take some chops from the other side and some of the best fat, as much of the one as of the other, enough to make as many sausages as you need; and have it finely chopped and ground by a pastry-cook. Then grind fennel and a little fine salt, and then take your ground fennel, and mix thoroughly with as much powdered spices; then mix your meat, your spices and your fennel thoroughly together, and then fill the guts, that is to say, the small gut. (And know that the guts of an old porker are better for this purpose than those of a young pig, because they are larger.) And after this, smoke them for four days or more, and when you want to eat them, put them in hot water and bring just to boiling, and then put on the grill.

Recipe

5 pounds pork shoulder, ground
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cracked fennel seed
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp galingale (ground)
1.5 tsp grains of paradise (ground)
sausage casings

I have found pork shoulders to have the right balance of fat to meat for making sausages, and it’s a very economical cut of meat. If you do not have a meat grinder, ask if your store’s meat department will grind it for you.

Combine all ingredients. Let set for at least 24 hours for the flavors to mix. Stuff your sausages as per your sausage stuffer’s instructions. You do not need to make links. Ideally, these are smoked with a mild wood chip until done. Using a stovetop smoker I have had excellent results holding the dry smoke at 185 for 30 minutes. You can also bake in the oven at 325 for 40 minutes.

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