YIELD: 18-20 sausage links, depending on casing
4 lbs. pork butt/shoulder, prepared free of bones, cartilage, veins etc.
1 lb. pork belly with skin
½ lb. buckwheat groats (grain/water ratio of 1:2)
4 oz. whole millet (grain/water ratio about 1:3.5)
3 bunches of fresh marjoram, about a cup of coarse chopped leaves, save stems for broth
fresh ground black pepper
1 small bulb fresh garlic, minced
salt, about ½ oz. by weight per lb. of sausage
medium natural casings
oil, as needed for oven roasting
For cooking broth:
Water, to fill large stockpot halfway
1 cup white wine
peppercorns, to taste
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery or 1 celeriac root
2 large onions, cut in half
2 bay leaves
juniper berry, to taste (if available)
salt, to taste
1. Prep, clean and cut the meat in fairly equal size pieces. Place meat in a pot, add vegetables, wine, and cover with water. Bring everything to boil. Turn heat down just enough to keep it simmering. Skim off the foam from the surface over a period of ten minutes or until no more foam appears on the surface. Add the spices and simmer everything until just soft, about one and a half hours.
2. Meanwhile, cook each type of grain individually in plenty of slightly salted water until just soft but still on point. Strain and let cool.
3. Wash and prepare the casings; keep in water to prevent them from drying out.
4. Take the meat out of broth, place on a tray and cool. Save the cooked onions separately and let them cool also. Strain and cool broth to use for cooking prepared sausage later.
5. Clean and sanitize all surfaces before you start the filling process. Prepare deep pans/bowls with ice to keep all materials cold before and after filling. Cool grinder and stuffer piston.
6. Sort through meat and separate the belly pieces from shoulder. Start grinding your meat first using a large-hole grinding disc. Put the ground meat in refrigerator. Using a fine disc, grind all your pork belly with the skin and then put that in the refrigerator. Use the same fine disk to grind the cooked onions you had set aside earlier.
7. In a large sauté pan slightly caramelize the onions and fresh garlic. Finish with the chopped Marjoram at the end to bloom its aroma. Spread on a tray and cool.
8. Place all the ingredients (pork meat, pork belly, millet, buckwheat and seasonings) into a large bowl. Add about 2 cups of the cold cooking broth. Mix well but quickly. Try not to turn it into paste. The meat should stay coarse but still have the finer ingredients well incorporated.
9. Form a small patty and cook it in a small pan. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Add more garlic or marjoram if you like. Traditionally you are looking for a well-seasoned meat taste with being able to taste the buckwheat and the distinctive marjoram. Do not overpower with garlic or marjoram or pepper.
10. Put the sausage mixture back in the refrigerator. Start sliding your wet casings onto the sausage stuffing tube. Place the sausage in the piston and place a deep pan with ice water by the outlet. This depends on how much you are making. If you prepare only a fraction of this recipe you probably don’t need the ice since you will be done quickly. If you prepare this recipe, or even larger amounts, use ice. The goal is not to warm up the sausage since it is not safe to handle food too long at room temperature.
11. Bring broth up to a simmer in a heavy, wide pot.
12. Carefully start filling the casings letting the sausage slide into the ice water. Once the casing is filled, twist individual links. If you like to keep it in a rolled up rope then you have to cut them at the desired size and tie them at the ends. Tie the twisted link rope at the ends also.
13. Place you sausage in the simmering broth and cook until an internal temperature of 165 is reached. Cool in plenty of new ice water to shock the cooking process. If you did the links then cut them and package them for storage. Freeze sausage and use it as needed.
Photo and recipe: Chef Andreas Ortner, University of Mary Washington