Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sausage from Scratch

Whether a long drive or out of the country food trip no tailgate is complete without a sausage pit stop. For thousand of years, man has been making sausages-- originally to preserve meat. It has continuously evolved adapting as the human need changes. Today, sausage has become an art and a good source of fortune!

Whether a long drive or out of the country food trip no tailgate is complete without a sausage pit stop. For thousands of years, man has been making sausages--originally to preserve meat. It has continuously evolved adapting as the human need changes. Today, sausage has become an art and a good source of fortune!

Types of Sausage:

Cooked Sausage
Made from fresh meat and then completely cooked. This sausage is usually eaten immediately after cooking or refrigerated and re-heated later

Cooked Smoked Sausage
This type of sausage is very similar to cooked sausage, except it is first cooked and then smoked. This type of sausage can be eaten hot or cold and stored in chiller.

Fresh Sausage
This type use meats that have not been cured. You would keep this in the freezer until you want to use it and then fully cook before eating.

Fresh Smoked Sausage
Simply take your fresh sausage and smoke it. After smoking you refrigerate and then cook before eating.

Dry Sausage
Dry sausage is the most complicated of all sausages to make. The drying process must be carefully controlled. When you have produced the dry sausage it can be eaten and will keep for long periods of time when refrigerated.

Regional taste, curing techniques, and availability of spices led to creating thousands of sausage varieties. Here's a quick sausage trip around the world:

  • Sujuk(Turkey)- Made of ground beef mixed with cumin, sumac, garlic, salt and red pepper.
  • Bockwurst(Germany)- Traditionally made from ground veal and pork mixed with salt, pepper and paprika then smoked.
  • Kabanos(Poland)- Made of pork. Commonly dry in texture and smoky flavour.
  • Mustamkkara(Finland)-A type of Finnish blood sausage traditionally served with lingoberry jam. Made from mixing pork meat, fat and blood with crushed rye and flour.
  • Longaniza(Argentina)-Flavoured with anise seeds. Has a mild sweet and salty taste.
  • Chorizo(Spain)- Made from pork and port fat mixed with smoked paprika.
  • Merguez(North Africa)- Made with lamb, beef or a mixture of both flavoured with sumac, paprika, cayenne pepper or harissa. Traditionally eaten grilled with couscous.
  • Boerewors (South Africa) - Made from coarsely chopped beef mixed with coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and all spice. It is preserved with salt and vinegar.
  • Lap Cheong(China) - Dried pork sausage that has a sweet taste
  • Sai Oua(Thailand)- Made from minced pork, herbs and chilli paste
  • And of course our Longaniza, Just as Philippines is made up of thousands of islands, so is the variety of longganisa available in each region. Usually made from pork, it is preserved with prague powder and are sold fresh. There are basically two types of Longanisa, the deredaco- garlicky(Batangas,Vigan Lucban) and the Hamonado-Sweet (Pamanga)

Why would anyone want to make their own homemade sausage ? Simply because it is fun and easy ! When you make your own sausage you can control every ingredient and use the finest meats. This insures a high standard in the sausage you consume and you know there are no added chemicals !

The basic steps in Sausage Making:
1. Grinding Meat
2. Adding your spices and flavourings
3. Stuffing the casings (optional)
4. Storing, cooking, smoking (or combination)

Hamondao Sausage

1 kg Ground Pork(20%fat)
1/4 c Brown Sugar(packed)
1 tblspn Worcestershire Sauce
3 tblspn Soy Sauce
1 tblspn Garlic, minced
1/2 tspn Black Pepper, ground
1 1/2 tspn Fine Salt
Casing (Optional)


Combine all ingredients, mix well and let stand for 30-45 mins.

Tie one end of sausage, casing, and slowly fill the casing with the pork mixture until the end of casing. Twist and tie with kitchen twine in 3-4 inches intervals to form a link of sausages.

If making skinless longganisa, add 3 tblspn or constarch to pork mixture. Roll a small amount of mixture in a 5 x 3 inches wax paper. Keep in freezer until needed.

Longa Wrap

4 Tortilla wraps or Pita Bread
12 pcs Lucban Longanisa or your preferred local sausage (skin removed), fried
2 pcs Red Onion(medium), sliced
1 pc Avocado, diced
3 pcs Tomatoes, diced
1 cIceberg Lettuce, shredded
Slices of Kesong Puti (optional)


Heat tortilla wraps on a skillet or pan. Spread wraps on plate, add longganisa, red onion, avocado, tomatoes and lettuce (and kesong puti). Roll the filling in tortilla wraps.

Italian Sausage

1 kg Ground Pork (20% fat)
1 tspn Black Pepper
3 tspn Salt
1/2 tspn Sugar
2 tspn Fennel Seed, ground
1/2 tspn Coriander, ground
1/2 tspn Caraway, ground
100 ml Cold Water
Casing (optional)


Mix all ingredients including water. Stuff into casings and tie into 4-5" links.

If making patties, add 3 tblspn of cornstarch or flour then roll and shape into round patties.

Sausage Pasta

225g Penne Pasta, cooked
1 tblspn Olive oil
1 pc White Onion, medium
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 c Diced Tomatoes (canned)
2 tspn Basil (dried)
2 tspn Oregano(dried)
2 tspn Thyme(dried)
300 g Italian Sausage (shaped into small meat balls-about 1.5 inch diameter)
Parmesan Cheese


Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add diced tomatoes and herbs. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add italian sausage balls. Simmer until sausage are cooked.

Toss in sauce to cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese.

Food Notes:

  1. When trying new recipes for sausage, make up different small batches for each recipe. Fry them up and decide which one you like best before making large amount.
  2. Don't use a mix that is too lean- without enough fat, your sausage will be dry when cooked and will fall apart when cut or sliced.
  3. When cooking sausage, pricking them will let all the moisture and flavour out. 
  4. Cook sausage over moderate heat. If you cook them at too high temperature, their skins will burst.
  5. Published, Cook Magazine (Philippines) April 2012