Not sure if you’ve noticed yet but it’s August, halfway through to be exact. Where did the summer go? Kids are going back to school and the NFL is already playing pre-season games. Having eaten up all of our sausage supply I thought it was high time to come up with a new creation and replenish the stock. The result: a hybrid of smoky Spanish chorizo and sweet Italian sausage. Just call me Dr. Franken-furter-stein.
I came up with idea of a pimenton-fennel sausage while looking over some sausage recipes to try to figure out what to do with all that Spanish paprika I brought back from our vacation, and most of the recipes ended up being for chorizo. While I love chorizo, I didn’t want to make an air-cured sausage (at least not now), so I decided to see what happened if I took the paprika part of chorizo and combined it with the fennel part of sweet Italian sausage. The result is a smoky, garlicky, sweet sausage which grills up nicely. It definitely plays with your taste buds. One minute you get some fennel and think it’s an Italian sausage, then, the next moment you get a good smack of smoky paprika.
Now that I’ve got the sausage fabrication basics down I’m getting more adventurous and comfortable on the creative side. This one is the first where I’ve tried to make my own combinations not based (well mostly not based) on any recipe. The pimento-fennel sausage turned out really well and it’s given me courage to take on some other flavor ideas I’ve got in my brain. Stay tuned to see what they are!
Spanish Paprika and Toasted Fennel Sausage
- 4 lbs pork shoulder diced
- 1.25 lbs fat back diced
- 3 ½ Tbs Spanish paprika (pimenton picante)
- 1 Tbs Cumin
- 40 gr kosher salt
- 2 Tbs toasted fennel seeds
- 2 Tbs minced garlic
- About 10 feet of hog casings
- 1 C ice water
Run water through the casings and let soak in a small bowl of water for 30 minutes or until you’re ready to stuff them.
Combine and mix the diced pork , fat, pimenton, cumin, salt, fennel seeds, and garlic. Chill until ready to grind or set in refrigerator and chill overnight.
Using the medium holed grind plate, grind the seasoned pork and fat into a mixing bowl set in ice.
When done grinding all of the meat, add the water and mix until it is absorbed and the pork gets “sticky.” If using a stand mixer it will take about 1 minute with the paddle attachment.
Make a small patty and cook to check the seasonings.
Stretch and push the hog casing onto the stuffer tube attachment, leaving an inch or two hanging off the end of the tube.
Stuff the sausage keeping one hand on the end of the tube where the casing is getting stuffed and help it along if it gets stuck.
Twist the sausage into 4-6 inch links.