According To Smoky
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world. And yes, he is a real person and not the webmaster.
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
In this column, Smoky doesn't waste any time getting into the meat of the matter. Today, we play "pattycake with Smoky" . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
OUTDOOR COOKING WITH SMOKY HALE
Creating Country Sausage
By Smoky Hale
Even in these days of prophets preaching polyunsaturated platitudes, there
are still occasions that cry out for something other than polyester
sausage. In the days of yore, when Hector and I were still pups, almost
everybody in rural America made their own sausage. Although, some folks
were, by then, using store boughten seasoning mixtures, many still seasoned
their sausage from scratch.
The sharp smells of savory sausage samples sizzling on the stove perfumed
the crisp clear air of hog killing weather. When the meat had been once
ground and seasoned in the same proportions as last year, a sample was
quickly fried to check the taste. There is no instance recorded where fine
tuning corrections to the seasoning were not made.
Even now, I do not know how to season a batch of meat that guarantees
nailing the nuances on the first try. The freshness and potency of the
individual seasonings provides too many variables. It may take several
attempts to tweak the taste to its tempting best. That is one of the
challenges of sausage making - but it is also one of the opportunities. A
missed opportunity in most commercial attempts. It is quite obvious that
nobody is fine tuning the seasonings in the vast majority of what is now
sold as sausage.
Sausage making may seem a little awesome to some, but it is really about
as simple as making biscuits. And well worth the effort for those who care
enough to serve the very best. Once you ever try, you'll wonder why you
waited so long.
The necessary tools cost less than a video movie and are guaranteed not to
bore you after you have put it through its paces more than twice. Used meat
grinders go for $10-15 at flea markets. Meat grinding attachments for
mixers are only a little more and the steel blade in a food processor chops
meat well. That's all you need for pattie sausage. A sausage stuffing
funnel makes you a full fledged sausage factory.
For beginners, we'll do a simple country pattie sausage. Next you may want
to stuff some and smoke them in your grill. Later you will want to do
Italian full of fennel, Spanish chorizos and maybe even boudin. The variety
of tastes and textures will amaze you.
Continued on Page 2
Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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