We just returned from what is becoming an annual thawing out trip to Antigua. This year our plane took off in a snowstorm which as you can imagine made us very happy when we got the beach. What made us even happier though was returning to Chicago to find spring had sprung! And because of the balmy temperatures everything was melting thus freeing our grill from a snow pile. Perfect time for checking to see if it still worked and cook one of my newest tubular meat creations; Jerk Spice pork sausage.
I’d love to say this was inspired by our trip to Antigua but it’s not. When making the Cubano a couple of weeks ago I stopped in our local Savory Spice Shop for a large haul of various spices. While browsing the shop I saw a jar of Jamaican Jerk Seasoning and thought ‘hmmm…jerk pork…pork sausage…jerk spice pork sausage!’ No brainer. Not only that but it would be pretty simple to make, just season the pork with the spices, grind, and stuff.
They had two different kinds of jerk seasoning in the shop, a hot one and a mild one. I chose the mild one for the initial sausage trial, mostly because I didn’t want to make them too spicy. Over the course of making sausages the past few years I’ve come up with a rule of thumb on how much seasoning you need to add in order to taste the flavors: 1 Tablespoon per pound. If the hot version was too spicy, 5 Tbs for 5 lbs might be too much heat and ruin the sausages. So I played it safe.
While there isn’t much heat to the sausage (too safe!) there is a very good flavor to the jerk pork sausage. The dominant flavors in it are nutmeg and allspice with some garlic and onion, but it is a little bit on the mild side. I’m going to adjust my rule of thumb for when using a spice blend instead of individual ingredients. The 1 Tbs per pound worked very well with my my onion brat but fell a little short here. Next time I make these I’ll get some of the hot jerk seasoning and make a half and half mix, maybe even up the amount to 6 or 7 Tbs in order to get a little more zip. This is what I get for trying to make and follow rules in sausage making!
Regardless, they tasted delicious and more importantly I was able to grill them in our back yard on a beautiful sunny spring day. Great way to say goodbye to winter!
Jerk Pork Sausage (should yield 20 sausages at six inches long)
- 4 lbs pork shoulder diced
- 1 lb fat back diced
- 5 Tbs Jamaican Jerk Seasonings
- 40 gr kosher salt
- About 10 feet of hog casings
- 1 C ice water
Combine and mix the diced pork, fat, and spices. Chill until ready to grind or set in refrigerator and chill overnight.
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.
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 5-6 inch links.