Get ready for lots of pictures of MEAT.
More specifically, pork shoulder. Because we’re making a fatty here today – a log of sausage with stuff wrapped into it – and to do that, you need sausage, andouille in this case (recipe follows). And for that, you need pork.
Lots and lots of pork.
Which you grind, after freezing it for about half an hour so it firms up a bit.
Actually, which your neighbor grinds, because she is the sausage-making expert and you’re just a monkey with a camera.
And you spice it up: a shit-ton of garlic, black pepper, cayenne, thyme and salt. Then, another neighbor mixes the spices into the freezing cold, sticky ground pork by hand, even though you could have just thrown the paddle attachment on the KitchenAid.
You have very accommodating neighbors.
So you end up with this. In the meantime, your spouse has sauteed some thinly sliced potatoes and smoked some jalapenos.
IT’S FATTY MAKING TIME!
To ensure a uniform, easy-to-roll fatty, have your spouse scoop a quantity of sausage into a gallon-size zip-top bag and flatten it out to a uniform thickness. If you don’t have a spouse, locate a boy/girlfriend or a third accommodating neighbor. To be neutral, we’ll just call this person “party the third.”
Party the Third will then slice the side seams of the bag open, so you end up with a square of meat on a long sheet of plastic. Now, you’re ready for Party the Third to scatter the stuffing over the meat. Here we have the sauteed potatoes; a second fatty also had the smoked jalapenos.
Then Party the Third begins to roll, using the plastic bag to ensure a nice tight log.
Rolling, rolling, rolling,
Keep that fatty rolling.
And then you end up with: meat log.
Have Party the Third seal the seam and pinch the ends closed, and then smoke that bad boy for about 2 hours at 225-250 degrees. (The book’s instructions for this particular sausage indicated 4-5 hours at 180, but it was already 11pm when the meat hit the grill, so we altered that a little.)
Then you watch the Liege-Bastogne-Liege bike race and take a nap while Party the Third mans the smoker and wakes you up when it’s time to eat.
The smoke ring! The spicy, garlicky sausage! The perfect spiral of filling! Rapture.
I might warn you against eating this at 1:30 in the morning and then going right to bed, unless you want the kind of breath that will keep strangers away from you the next day. But I do encourage you: smoke a fatty this summer.
6 pounds ground pork (5 pounds meat to 1 pound fat)
1/2 c. minced garlic
1/4 c. freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. coarse salt
2 tbsp. cayenne
1 tbsp thyme
Combine all ingredients well. Shape into sausage of your choice – logs, patties, links (if you have the stuffing mechanism and casings).
Smoking is the ideal cooking method, but you can also just make patties and grill or fry ’em up.