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Maple Pork Sausage

By Chef Jamie Harling

This is the same sausage I used to make with my dad and grandfather a couple of times a year in the basement of my grandparents’ house, back when I was growing up.

Jamie Harling

Jamie Harling

It is one of my earliest food-related memories—and one of my most significant memories of my grandfather. The lineage of the recipe is pretty impressive. My grandfather—Pops, as we called him—had a good friend, Hans Lutzelschwab, with whom he hunted and fished. Lutz was Swiss; a retired chef. Once, he had actually been the game chef at Buckingham Palace. He was always making some kind of sausage or other out of the duck and pheasant and other game he shot with Pops. As Dad remembers it, Pops’ duck sausage was never quite as good as Lutz’s—but he sure tried. He played around with the salt and fat and spices for years until he arrived at the mix I still use today, the garnish changing with the seasons.

– Jamie Harling

INGREDIENTS

N.B. All measurements provided in grams because good sausage-making hinges on precision.

  • 2.25 kg (about 6 lb) boneless fatty pork shoulder, cubed
  • 40 g (about 2 tbsp) kosher salt
  • 30 g (2 cloves) garlic, minced
  • 15 g (about 2 tbsp) minced chervil
  • 15 g (about 2 tbsp) minced sage
  • 15 g (about 2 tbsp) minced thyme
  • 10 g (about 2 tbsp) chilli flakes
  • 7 g (about 1 tbsp) ground black pepper
  • 7 g (about 2 tsp) sugar
  • 125 mL (about ½ cup) maple syrup, chilled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Hog casings, soaked in room temperature water for 30 minutes
METHOD

Yield:
12 to 18 links

In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, salt, garlic, chervil, sage, thyme, chilli flakes, pepper and sugar, and mix well. Transfer to a large Ziploc bag, seal, and refrigerate overnight. Just before grinding, place meat in freezer for 20 minutes. Then remove mixture from the bag and pass through a meat grinder fitted with a medium die into a mixing bowl set atop a larger mixing bowl filled with ice. Repeat. After the mixture has been ground twice, transfer it to the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed while slowly adding the maple syrup and 125 mL of cold water. Mix until emulsified. Heat oil in a small skillet on high, add a small sample of the sausage mixture, sear on each side, and taste for seasoning. Correct if necessary. Meanwhile, chill the cylinder of a sausage maker. Transfer meat to the cylinder, thread casing onto the stuffing tube and proceed with stuffing the sausages. Pinch off casing at desired link length, and rotate sausages three times in opposite directions every second link. Rest sausages in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking.

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