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Homemade Sausage – Sausage and Peppers Pasta

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I recently had a request on the Moonlit Kitchen Facebook page for instructions on how to make homemade sausage. It just so happens that one of my earliest posts was on homemade sausage, but I didn’t have any measurements on the ingredients. This recipe is an Italian sausage with a Spanish flair. It works as a light Spanish chorizo or a mild Italian sausage. I also include a basic recipe for sausage and peppers pasta. It makes for one good use of the sausage, though I found that I liked it better in Italian Wedding soup, where the taste of the sausage was more pronounced (this is a really good sausage, don’t cover it up!). Note – To make sausage, you need a meat grinder and if you want to stuff them in casings, you will need the stuffer.

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Spanish Chorizo

8lb – Boneless pork shoulder, chilled to near freezing

1lb – Pork fat (or 2lbs bacon), chilled to near freezing

1 Tbsp. – Cumin

1 Tbsp. – Paprika

1 Tbsp. – Black peppercorns

1/2 Tbsp. – Red pepper flakes

1/2 Tbsp. – Allspice

1 tsp. – Anise

1 tsp. – Caraway seeds

1/2 cup – Red wine (I used Burgundy)

1/4 cup – Kosher salt

1/4 cup – Sugar

1/2 cup – Flat leaf parsley, minced

1/8 tsp. – Pink Salt (Curing nitrites), optional

~5 Feet – Natural pork casings

 

Begin by dicing the pork shoulder and fat into 1 inch cubes. It’s important the the pork be very cold (and kept that way throughout the process) because it makes it easier to cut and is crucial for getting a good grind later on.

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Next add the spices to a mortar and pestle.

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Grind until smooth. Add the pink salt, which is a nitrite salt that will allow the meat to cure. This is valuable if you plan on letting the sausage age for a better flavor.

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Add the salt, sugar, flat leaf parsley, spice mix, and wine to the meat and fat.

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Mix thoroughly and return to the freezer until half frozen. Now for the fun part! Set the sausage grinder on a coarse grind and press about a 1/2 cup of meat through the grinder. Return the rest of the meat to the freezer. Heat a skillet and fry the sausage that you’ve made. I always do this to test for salt and sugar. If it needs more then add it a bit at a time, mix the unground sausage and repeat the process until you get it the way you like it.

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If you don’t plan on casing the sausage, let it rest overnight and then enjoy. If you plan on casing it, soak the casings in warm water. I like to use natural casings (they are thinner and taste better) but you can use collagen casings as well. Remove the grind blade and fit the stuffer. Grease generously. Find the end of the casings and work it up over the end of the nozzle. Work all but 5-6 inches of casings onto the nozzle. Tie a knot in the end.

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Start the grinder and slowly stuff the sausage. Using a fork or toothpick to puncture the sides of the sausage. This will help press air out of the casing. Make sure to force as much sausage into the casing as possible. Let rest overnight or cure in a curing fridge until it loses 40% of it’s weight.

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Sausage and Pepper Pasta

2 Tbsp. – Olive oil

1 – Large onion, diced

6 cloves – Fresh garlic, minced

1 cup – Red wine

28 oz – Stewed tomatoes

6 oz – Tomato paste

2 Tbsp. – Basil

1 Tbsp. – Oregano

1/2 Tbsp. – Marjoram

2 cups – Crimini mushrooms, halved

1 cup – Red and Yellow pepper, coarsely chopped

1 lb – Spanish Chorizo or Mild Italian sausage

4 cups – Fresh tagliatelle pasta (I use my homemade recipe here)

Salt, pepper, and fresh Pecorino cheese

 

This is a basic marinara sauce that has sausage, mushrooms, and peppers added at the end.

Preheat the oven at 425 degrees. Add a pan with the sausage and roast for 20 minutes or until well cooked. Let rest.

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Heat a Dutch oven or large pot on medium heat. Add oil and sauté the onion and garlic until clear. Raise the heat to high and add the wine. Simmer until reduced by half. Lower heat medium-low and add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover and cook for ten minutes. Add the basil oregano, and marjoram. Stir in well, cover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

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Add the mushrooms, peppers, and sliced sausage, stir well and cook for 5 additional minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Cook the pasta until ‘Al dente’. Serve sauce on top of pasta. Top with Pecorino cheese.

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[Draft] Beef Chili Recipe

Why is this still a “draft”. Two reasons: 1) I have yet to take pictures that I’m happy about and 2) I need to go through and re-measure the ingredient amounts. Make sure to taste everything to fix any issues that still might be buried in here. (oh, other than that, this is a great recipe!)

*See, this top pic isn’t mine. I need better pics for this post!

 

I love making chili. Every year I threaten to take this recipe to the state fair. The secret…start with a whole roast! I basically render down a big roast beef to make an pulled beef chili. I also don’t use chili powder, but instead use a chili paste made from dried chilis. I have family that lives in southern San Diego and whenever I visit, I like to skip across the border for an afternoon and walk the open air markets in Tijuana. There is a great one a few blocks from the border and I tend to be the only gringo there. I love to take in the sites and smells, and bargain with the different vendors over the great supplies of bulk produce and spices. I always come back with bags of dried chilis, cocoa beans, banana leaves, and more! I use the chilis to make a smoky, spicy chili paste. I pretty much have some in my fridge at all times and use it for enchiladas, tamales, posole, tortilla soup, salsa base, and of course, chili.

Meat 1

Browning the roast

Meat 2

Leave it on one side without touching for long enough for it to brown, then flip

Meat 3

Deglazing the pan

Meat 4

Into the crock pot everything goes

Meat 5

Top with chili paste

Meat 6

Stewing veggies

Meat 7

Add the beans towards the end

Beef Chili

4-5 lb – Beef roast (chuck or blade will do)

1/2 cup – Chili paste (recipe below)

2 large – Onions, diced

2 – Poblano chilis, deseeded, deveined, and diced

1 – Jalapeno, deseeded, deveined, and diced

1 cup – Red wine

3 cups – Beef stock

3 cups – Stewed tomatoes, diced (about a 10 ounce can)

1/4 cup – brown sugar

2 Tbsp. – Molasses

1 tsp. – Fresh ground cumin

1/2 tsp. – Fresh ground coriander

2 – Bay leaves

2 Tbsp. – Fresh thyme, minced

6 cups – Pinto beans (or I like a mixture of pinto, red, black, and kidney beans), cooked, liquid reserved

Apple Cider vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

1 bunch – Fresh cilantro, minced

2 cups – Sour cream (crema agria)

1 cup – Cotija cheese, crumbled

 

To cook the beans

1) (Skip steps 1-2 if using canned beans) Rinse the 3-4 cups of dry beans, then place in a large bowl. Add water until covered by about 2 inches of water (the bean will predominately sink to the bottom). Soak overnight.

2)  Add beans and liquid to a large pressure cooker. Add an additional 4 cups of water and 1 tsp. of vinegar. Cover and cook under pressure for 45 minutes or until tender. Reserve liquid.

 

Chili

1) Heat a large pan or Dutch oven on medium high heat.

2) Generously salt and pepper the roast. Add a Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and brown the beef, about 2-3 minutes on each side until well brown.

3) Place the roast in a crock pot or set aside. Deglaze the pan by adding red wine and cooking on high heat until the liquid reduces by half.

4) If using a crock pot, pour onions, peppers, and tomatoes on top of the roast (otherwise, kill the heat and add these things to your original pot). Pour reduced wine liquid and broth over the top of everything.

5) Add sugar, molasses, spices, and bay leaves. Set crock pot to high (or cover Dutch oven and place in a 325 degree oven) and braise for 4-5 hours. I like to flip the roast once in the middle.

6) Once the roast is falling apart (fully rendered), remove from heat and let cool completely.

7) Heat a large pot. Add everything but the roast to the pot from the braising pan (or crock pot). Add beans, vinegar. Bring to a simmer, let simmer for 10-20 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. If you want it spicier, add a pinch of cayenne at a time until to reach your liking.

8) When you are ready to serve, cube the cooled roast into 1 inch cubes and gently stir into the chili. Be careful not to overstir from this point on, if you want any form of definition of the beef in the chili. Otherwise it will all mix in until you just see strands of pulled beef mixed in.

9) Serve, topped with sour cream (crema agria), cilantro, and cotija cheese.

 

Chili Paste

6-10 – Dried ancho, guajillo, california, and piquin chilis (I mess with this mixture all of the time. More spice, add piquin. More smoke, add guajillo. You can just use what you can find in the grocery store)

2 cloves – Fresh garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp. – Oregano

1 tsp. – Cinnamon (Mexican cinnamon is better)

1 tsp. – Salt

 

1) Rinse the chilis then soak in near boiling water for 10-20 minutes or until very soft. Reserve the liquid.

2) Carefully remove the stems, veins, and seeds.

3) Add chilis to a blender, along with remaining ingredients and 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid.

4) Blend until smooth and thick. If it is too thick to mix in the blender, add more soaking liquid.

5) Place in a clean glass jar. Keeps for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.