sausage fest

The manfriend loves sausage.

(Sorry D, I had to write that. It makes me laugh.)

But, in all seriousness, sausages can be pretty good. They generally feature in my dinner-by-campfire fantasies (which I never actually act on. One day I’ll go camping again.) But the store-bought ones make me nervous, so I signed up for a class at a local butcher shop to learn how to make my own sausage.

The butcher shop was impeccably clean when I walked in. I felt encouraged. Then I shook the owner/butcher’s hand, and realized he was missing the tip of his index finger on the right hand. I felt somewhat less encouraged.

But he had pre-ground the meat for us, which meant I didn’t have to operate any heavy machinery. All we had to do was mix in our herbs, and fill the sausage casings with the meat.

Before we started, we discussed how sausage should be made:

·         Minimum 30% fat, because it tastes good, and also keeps the sausage moist
·         No ingredients other than meat and spices
·         With intestine rather than synthetic casing

And then we discussed how supermarkets make sausage – it turns out I was right to be nervous. The butcher told us a story about how he finished butcher school, and got a job at Safeway, where they made him use a tiny amount of meat, a large amount of fat, and a huge amount of breadcrumbs as filler (it’s much cheaper than meat).

Anyway, we hand-mixed our ground meat with herbs, and put it into a giant syringe-shaped machine. We then pulled out intestines, which were soaking in salt water to keep them supple, and found the opening to slide down onto the tip of the stuffing machine.

It’s hard enough to try to limit the phallic references in this post; trying not to think phallic thoughts while sliding about six feet of intestines onto a tube was impossible.

We then cranked the machine, which used a plunger-type apparatus to slowly push meat into the intestine. And when the meat was used up, we twisted the sausages into a fancy professional-looking triple-link fiesta that I can’t remember the proper name for.

But it looked awesome.

And tasted delicious too.

While I was writing this post, I seemed to recall reading somewhere that the name of a certain type of sausage translated to “butt sausage,” named for the appearance of the end of the sausage where it was twisted to create the link. I couldn’t remember the foreign name of the sausage though, or where I read it. While Google mostly came up with pork butt recipes for “butt sausage,” I don’t suggest Google-ing “anus sausage.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But where I was going with that was that Sri. K. Patthabi Jois (affectionately known as Guruji), the founder of Ashtanga yoga, has a quote that I love. One of the main components to Ashtanga yoga is the “root lock”, where throughout the whole practice you squeeze your perineum. And when Guruji was asked by a student how to deal with all the bad things that happen in our world, he responded with “let God take care of the world, you just worry about your anus!”

And for those whom I’ve offended by combining meat, yoga and porn references into one blog post, I’m sorry. But maybe it’s the perfect lesson – sometimes the best thing to do is stop worrying about other people and other things, and just worry about your anus.

Whether it’s your root lock, or your dinner.

photo

I won’t include a recipe because I wouldn’t expect anyone to have the necessary equipment at home, but I highly recommend checking out if any of your local butchers offer a similar class.

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