The Pig :: Day Three

“I love sausage, but don’t care to see how it’s made.”

Today, you’ll see how it’s made.

Although the recipes came from various sources, the ingredients are simple and similar:

  • ground pork
  • spices
  • herbs
  • often onions and garlic
  • liquid — usually wine

Breakfast sausage (sage and onions) from Better Than Store Bought by Helen Willyard and Elizabeth Coichie
Saucisson (black and white pepper sausage for dry curing) from La Technique by Jacques Pepin
Pork Liver Terrine Pate Campagnola from Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli
Boudin blanc (emulsified sausage) from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn
Cotechino (classic Italian with Anise and boiled pork skin) from Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli
Crepinettes, each of the fresh sausage mixtures made into patties and wrapped in caul fat

The meat was all cut up yesterday and divided into portions for the various sausages.

prep for Pate Campagnole

Each team put together its recipe ingredients — this particular prep is for the Pate Campagnole — you can tell by the use of liver.

The meat is ground with a cast iron grinder attachment for the commercial mixer.


The ground meat, herbs, spices, etc. are mixed.


Here, we visit the terrine. Loaf pans are lined with caul fat and the ground meat mixture pressed into the pans.

pate underway

The pans are placed in a water bath and baked.

loaf pans in a hot water bath

Note that the caul fat on the right is pinkish. This came from the second pig. It wasn’t stuck clean the first time and had to be stuck again, thus the internal organs sat in blood for longer than a few seconds.

The cased sausage is being twisted into links.

Moving on to link sausage. Once the meat is ground and the recipe mixed, the primary tool for link sausage is the stuffer. At home, you might have a stuffer attachment that goes on the end of your grinder. That’s ok if you make a few sausages a year, but for serious stuffing, a purpose made stuffer is required. It is vertical, works easily with a hand crank that you rotate to move the gears that control the piston that presses the sausage through the nozzle. It doesn’t re-grind, the way a stuffer attachment on the end of your grinder would. I saw one exactly like this one behind the meat counter at Whole Food where they were making sausage.

From there, we move to the Boudin Blanc, an emulsified sausage (a hot dog is an emulsified sausage). The liquid for Boudin Blanc is milk and eggs. The recipe calls for half pork shoulder and half boneless, skinless chicken breast. No chickens were hanging around, but we have plenty of pork tenderloin, so we used that instead (“the other white meat”).

starting to stuff the boudin blanc

Our meat is ground, just like regular sausage, but then combined with spices in a food processor and while running, the eggs and then the milk are poured in through the feed tube. As you might imagine, the mixture is pretty loose. Since this is a cooked sausage, we need to perform a Quenelle test to check for seasoning.

Quenelle test

We take our meat mixture and make a mini-sausage with plastic wrap, poach that in 170° water to an internal temperature of 160°F.

doesn’t look like much, but…

That’s yummy.

starting to stuff

The Boudin Blanc in its casing is loose enough that it is hard to twist and maintain its integrity as links, so Eric-the-stuffer decided on the spot to make a spiral instead of links

Eric is pricking the sausage casing so air can escape when cooking.

We cooked it in a pan of water in the same manner we cooked the Quenelle.

boudin cooks

That came out pretty, eh?

To demonstrate the crepinettes technique, we took each of the fresh sausage mixtures, made them into patties and wrapped in caul fat.

sausages and crepinettes cooking

the brawn terrine

The Brawn Terrine was turned out. It would have been nice to have another half-day in the cooler to set up properly, but for demonstration purposes it worked out fine. Too bad we couldn’t slice it.

sliced brawn cylinders

We could slice the brawn we made in cylinders. That was breaded and fried for lunch.

Monday lunch

Brawn, Boudine Blanc, breaded and fried Brawn, Crepinettes


My Monday lunch

Clockwise from potato:
baked potato, braised cabbage, brawn terrine, bread n butter (why is butter never soft?), breaded brawn slice, crepinette (sausage meat), boudin blanc, fusilli and greens salad.

Nice pig, nice lunch.

3 thoughts on “The Pig :: Day Three

  1. Lots of questions about how the sausage teams and recipes were selected. Did you have a favorite? Was it all eaten that day? My experience with sausage in general is pretty limited. This was a fascinating read. Thanks.


  2. Pam,
    Team selection: At lunch the day before we counted one through six around the room… the ones were a team, the twos a team, etc. I was on Team Five and we made Boudin Blanc, which I think was my favorite, although I didn’t taste them all.
    Not all eaten… We’re talkin two pigs here. We made well over 80 pounds of sausage, not all of it cased. MOFGA uses the meat to feed the various workshops it puts on. A lumberjack workshop was recently held, and those guys can eat. The students took some of the meat home, as did the staff.
    Eric has been leading the workshop for several years and has a few go-to recipes, but adds new ones as new books come out. The newest book is In The Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf’s Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pates, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods by Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller, although we didn’t use any of their recipes for this session.


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