My First Beef Sausage!

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I made some beef sausage last night.  I should have asked or read or followed somebody.  I had beef.  I had casings.  I had the drive.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the casings.  Brent passed by on his way to pick up Lucy, “Brent,” I say, “what do I do with this shit?”  “You soak them,” he says, like he has made sausage.  I actually don’t know.  Maybe he has made sausage.  Hopefully this won’t come up when we’re on The Newlywed Game ( T.V. game show ).

My first sausage:

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It was a bit fatter than I was expecting.  Things got a little heated and I had to stop.  I was doing it wrong.  Brent came back in from picking up Lucy from school.  “Here’s my sausage!” I say, “I think I did it wrong.”  “Stop.  I know where you went wrong,” he says in an even tone.  Evidently, I needed to roll the intestinal condom on the hoob-a-joob completely, then let the sausage unfold into slinky sausage magic.

I got the hang of it.  A bit tough juggling the raw meat, toddler, casing, sausage spooge and glass of wine, but I managed.  No toddler was used in the making of this sausage.  She screamed and cheered and wondered what the heck I was doing.

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We cooked it up for a taste.

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It was a bit crumbly at the fat end.  I might need to add an egg or something.  The skinny end ( we have a nickname for this, but I’ll hold it in ) was not as crumbly.

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A little Dijon and it tasted not bad.  There is a lot of work ahead arriving at the perfect beef sausage, but this one was edible and almost enjoyable.

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Two out of four Curtis children approved.  Zélie loved it and wanted more.  Though, maybe she would do anything to avoid going to bed.  A sausage good enough to delay bedtime.

Lucy:

  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you …. Dad? what’s the friendly word for criticism?
  • Brent: Feedback
  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you feedback.  It needs sauce.

Otto detested it.  He’s sick, so perhaps another go.

Minty:

  • Minty: Mom, I don’t like this sausage.
  • Me: Okay, Mint Mint.  Don’t eat it.  No worries.
  • [ sigh ] [ pause ] [ sigh ]
  • Mom, what’s for dinner?
  • Me: [ inner growl ]
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Beef Curry

DSC_1319 I made four kilos of beef curry.  It took most of the day to cook, but a little part of the day to prepare.  It warmed the kitchen while cozying you up inside with a fantastic aroma.  I used a recipe given to me by a friend and fellow beef eater.  It’s Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan Beef Curry.  I’ve made it so many times that I have a few variations to reduce labor, pots, pans and availability of ingredients.

First, some beef.  I used the “beef bourguignon” cuts from our meat box.  I cut the chunks a bit smaller as I have young kids with cute, little teeth.  It’s easier for them this way.

DSC_1104 I marinate over night in all the spices and the ginger.  For a 1 kilo batch, the spices are:

  • Sri Lankan Curry powder, 5 tsp
  • ground cumin, 2 tsp
  • ground coriander, 2tsp
  • chili powder
  • cloves, 8
  • fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp
  • cardamom pods, 4
  • cinnamon sticks – crumbled, 2
  • tumeric powder, 1tsp

Everyone gets acquainted in the fridge.

DSC_1152 When I’m ready to cook, I chop a pile of onions and a load of garlic.  That goes in “Big Red,” our big pot that rules them all.  The onions and garlic bubble gently in butter waiting for the meat.

DSC_1150 In a butter-lard fat mix, the beef gets colored.

DSC_1154 I don’t brown it.  There will be enough flavor with everything else joining the beef curry party.

DSC_1158 The meat goes in Big Red with the onions and garlic.

DSC_1159Then the tomato paste, a little can ( not the little, little can. The tall, little can ).  Add some pepper.

DSC_1162 Then some water.  It looks watery, but don’t worry.  After some patience, it will turn all curry like.

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On this day, award winning food blogger Anneli Faiers from Delicieux was around picking up some beef and met Big Red.  She gave him a stir and a sniff.

DSC_1175 This is her “hungry face.”  I think the curry was progressing nicely.

DSC_1169 A few hours later, beef curry magic.  I cooled it down and stuck it in the fridge for further infusion.  Curry the next day always seems to taste better.

DSC_1199 Some chutney, some Substance P perhaps some creme fraiche … lovely.  I thought my four kilo beef blast would last and I could pull some out of the freezer when I felt like an easy “chuck it in the pot” day.  It went.  All of it.  I managed to freeze a bit for later, but later came so soon.  It’s beef day today, maybe I’ll pull out Big Red and do it all again.

Preparing For Beef Curry, Sri Lankan Curry Powder

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Out there in the world they sell curry powder blends ( My favorite being “Tandoori Ass.” ).  While there may be some good ones, my feeling is that these powders do not add much value to a dish.  After one bite,  I’m left with the feeling that I’ve lost my money on some overpriced turmeric.  My first experience with building a spice blend for Indian dishes was when my husband made a chickpea dish from Madhur Jaffrey’s little golden cookbook.  That dish was so panty-droppingly good, I called it “The Dish of Love.”  From that moment on, we make curry powder from the basic spices ( most of which begin with the letter ‘c’ ).

I made 4 kilos of beef curry the other week.  I use a recipe given to me by one of our beef loving customers.  But before you even think of going there, you need to whip up a batch of Sri Lankan Curry Powder.  It’s very simple.  Add the spices in a cast iron skillet and brown.  Then blend it.  The only trick is to not burn it while browning.  Cumin is the usual culprit, so you can add that in later as the rest of the goodies begin browning.

Sri Lankan curry powder recipes don’t vary much, I settled in on the one our friend gave me from Peter Kuruvita’s beef curry.  It does the job. And it goes a little something like this:

  • 50g coriander seeds
  • 25g cumin seeds
  • 25g fennel seeds
  • Three cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 dried chilis

DSC_1385 Brown the spices until they smell like love.

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Pour into a big bowl and grind in a “spice” grinder.  I use a coffee grinder.  I grind in batches.

Starts like this.

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Ends like this.

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I usually do a double grind to make sure I didn’t miss anybody.

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Now you are set for beef curry a-go-go.  This blog post took longer than making that lovely curry powder.  I only wish I could insert a “scratch-n-sniff” button.

Rose Veal Tendron

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It’s veal day today.  Our boxes are locked and loaded for customers.  When we return from the butcher with a carcass freshly packaged that we’ve carefully raised on the farm, the fry pan goes on and we taste.  We tasted the T-Bone first because … well … it’s a perk of tuning our product.  And because T-bone tastes good.  Veal tastes good.

All I captured of the T-Bone was this empty plate.  We ate the meat.  The dog got the bone.

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Next up was the Tendron A Griller.  Tendron is veal poitrine.  Pointrine is belly or chest.  Tendron is called “Tenderoni” in this household.  Mostly, okay all-ly, by me.  Call it my eighties upbringing.  Call my enthusiastic dedication to the hot boy band New Edition.  Whatever it is, the word “Tendron” is written and all I see is “Tenderoni.”  She’s my only love.

I fry it in a moderate pan loaded with lard.
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It looks like a chunk of meat in the package, but when you take it out, you see it is more of a strip.

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After a fry, I pepper it then cooks me some eggs.  Great for breakfast or lunch.  I had some local Saint Mont that rounded everything out.  … I had it for lunch, though in the country, red wine in coffee for breakfast is not unheard of.  I’ve not quite earned my stripes for that.

 

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The usual suspects were right by my side helping me along with the taste test.  Nothing motivates our fluffy sedentary animals like some fresh veal fried in a pan.

 

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And if you find a tenderoni that is right for you, make it official, give her your love.  Once you had a ‘roni you will never give it up.