Victoria Wise wants you to expand you mind, and your idea of what sausage is. Sure, you can make little links in casing – but you can also make free form sausage and sausages with a multitude of casings and use the sausage in a multitude of recipes. Her book, Sausage: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Homemade Sausage (Ten Speed 2010) is full of master sausage recipes and creative ways to use them.
Following Apicius‘ lead as I scouted the world for sausage dishes and delved in their history, I have enlarged my originally limited notion of casings as animal intestines to include wraps and containers of many kinds… I have also come to embrace the notion of sausages with no casing at all…(p. xi)
Her recipes are the results of her work at Pig-by-the-Tail, her Berkeley charcuterie opened in 1973. The book is divided into chapters that cover the main ingredient: Pork, Beef, Lamb, Poultry, Seafood, and Vegetable. Her pork chapter includes traditional American Breakfast Sausages (p. 10) with marjoram, thyme, sage, and ginger. She features them in Rustic Cornmeal Pancakes Dappled with American Breakfast Sausage and Slicked with Maple Syrup (p. 11) in which the sausage is cooked inside the pancakes. Toulouse Sausage (p. 32) gets used for Toulouse Sausage-Stuffed Duck Legs with White Beans (p. 35) in a kind of faux cassoulet. The Tuscan Sausage (p. 41) with sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese appears in Minestrone Soup with Tuscan Sausage and Arugula Pesto (p. 47).
Victoria does not stay in the West, but explores Asian sausages as well, like Southeast Asian Pork and Lemongrass Sausage (p. 59) that she uses in Southeast Asian Pork and Lemongrass Meatball Kebabs Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (p. 60). In the beef chapter, that includes hamburgers; she also includes a South African Sausage with Collard Greens, Ethiopian Spiced Butter, and Cashew Rice (p. 69).
Victoria’s recipes are inventive and well-spiced. Follow her led and expand your mind and taste buds with Sausage
Southeast Asian Pork and Lemongrass Sausage
Makes 1 pound
14 ounces ground pock
2 ounces salt pork, fat only, minced
2 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
½ teaspoon finely chopped dried small red chile, such as cayenne or japones
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
Combine all ingredients except the salt in a medium bowl, and knead with your hands until thoroughly blended. Cook and taste a small sample, then add salt to taste. Leave in bulk and shape as direct in individual recipes or stuff into sheep casing. The sausage can be used right away. (The uncooked sausage will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, it does not freeze well.)
Sauté or grill or cook as directed in individual recipes.
(Adapted from Sausge)