September 25, 2020
Pork and Chorizo Sausage with a Quick Sauerkraut
Jenna and Mia, Season 3
42 down…57 to go!
Never again. Never, ever, ever again.
The lengths I went through for this dish were ridiculous. First of all, I always check Central Market first, because they usually have what I need. However, when I searched for some of my ingredients online, the website said, “no items found.” I should have called them. If I had, this would be a way shorter, less-traumatic story.
Instead, I called over ten local butchers looking for ground pork butt, ground pork chorizo, and pork fat. Every place said they either didn’t have any of the meats or only had one. Finally, I found a shop which said they had the butt and the chorizo. I found online that butter or olive oil could be substituted for the fat, so that was my new plan.
A couple of hours had gone by before I was ready to go run errands so I called again, just to be sure they hadn’t sold out. They confirmed they still had the meats I needed, so I headed that way. As soon as I walked in, I said, “Hi, I called twice about picking up some ground pork butt and ground pork chorizo.” The man looked confused, and replied, “We don’t carry chorizo.” I was beyond irritated, but chocked it up to a communication barrier. I left empty-handed and defeated.
A silver lining: On my way home, I needed to stop at another new grocery store to pick up semolina flour for the homemade pasta dishes I recently made (see my earlier blog posts, Not Your Pappardelle, parts 1-3). I had been to at least 6 grocery stores who claimed to carry it on their apps/websites, but when I arrived, they were all out of stock. So I called Win Co and confirmed with two different employees they had it in stock. Arrived. Filled up my bag (they only sold it in bulk). Went to check out and discovered this grocery store doesn’t accept credit cards, only cash and debit (whyyy?!?). Unfortunately, all I had on me was my credit card. I think the cashier could tell I was trying to avoid a melt down, so she kindly offered to pay for my flour with her debit card. I offered to reimburse her via Venmo, Paypal, Cash App, Facebook, anything — and she didn’t have a single one. She helped me purely out of the kindness of her heart, and honestly, I could have cried.
I decided to take a breather, and try again in a couple days. When I picked it back up, I gave Central Market a call and the meat department manager said he could fill my order. Praise the Lord. Now that I had all the ingredients, my next task was to figure out the meat grinder attachment on my Nurxiovo stand mixer. First attempt: failed. I have no idea what I did wrong but I had the most difficult time grinding the pork fat. Then the machine got jammed, but I couldn’t take it apart until my sweetheart came home to help me unscrew the pieces with his big muscles haha.
The next day, we were finally able to attach the sausage maker onto my mixer. I watched some youtube videos before starting to ensure I fully grasped the task ahead. It was then when I found out, bottom line, that making sausage is just plain, hard work. I had to climb up on a step stool for leverage and use all my force to pack the grinder, and even then it was a painstakingly slow process. It took about 45 minutes before I tapped out with only a little bit of meat left in the machine. My hands and wrists were in pain, but I had just enough sausage for the recipe.
Thinking the difficult part was over after finishing the grinding process, I realized I may not have spun the casing enough between each link. This meant my links would run together or wouldn’t hold when I cut them apart. At this point, I was over it. Then, in preparation to make the sauerkraut, a mason jar of homemade apple butter fell out of my cabinet while I was reaching for apple cider vinegar and glass shattered all over my kitchen. This forced me to turn off all the burners on the stove and spend 10ish minutes cleaning up shards of glass off the counter and floor. Yippee.
Once the mess was taken care of, I made the quick sauerkraut with red onions and red cabbage, which I knew was unique even though I had never made or tasted sauerkraut. Thank goodness that really was quick, easy, and quite delicious.
After boiling the sausage links, pan searing them for 2 minutes on each side, and letting them rest for 10 minutes, I finally dug in. I decided to serve it with a side of whole grain mustard. Pairing a scoop of sauerkraut with a slice of sausage dipped in mustard made for a delicious afternoon snack.
Honestly, having to make all those calls to grocery stores, driving out of my way for ingredients, buying hog casings and sausage attachments on amazon, and spending hours rinsing, grinding, and stuffing… wasn’t really worth the effort to me. But I will say, I didn’t give up or “sauer-quit,” as I like to put it, and for that I am proud of myself. Sometimes, you will run into one brick wall after another. But if you keep pushing through, you deserve to be celebrate the victory… and a beer haha. I went with a German one just to fit the occasion. Cheers, y’all.
All my love,
Dani, a big tid
P.S. Have you ever made homemade sausage links? Did you find it to be worth it? If so, tell me why!
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I shared your pain, well some it, on this one. What a whip. Proud of you for powering thru love