[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Sausage from the Past
14 November 2010

[Ready to cook sausage]

I promised a friend that I'd make about sixteen pounds of sausage for a medieval event next weekend. Whenever I need medieval sausage, I usually go with some variation on one of these two recipes.

The basic process is fairly simple: take meat, grind it with spices, mix in a bit of liquid until a primary bind is achieved. Optionally stuff in casings. For basic guidance, I highly recommend Charcuterie by Michael Rulhman and Brian Polcyn, and I use roughly their suggested proportions of salt and liquid below. I tend to have a heavy hand with the spicing, from personal preference.

Polonian Sawsedge
The source for this recipe is Hugh Plat's Delightes for Ladies printed in 1609. (Although this recipe isn't on the site linked above.) It reads:
12. To make a Polonian sawsedge.
"Take the fillers of a hog: chope them very small with a handfull of red Sage: season it hot with ginger and pepper, and then put it into a great sheep's gut: then let it lie three nights in brine: then boile it, and hang it up in a chimney where fire usually kept: and these sawsedges will last a whole yeere. They are good for sallades, or to garnish boiled meats, or to make on rellish a cup of wine."

This time around, the sausage was made like this:

[Picture of a slab of pig] Take 2 kg of pork shoulder and cut it up into pieces that will go through your meat-grinder. Put the cut-up pig in the fridge and prepare the spices.

The spice mix for this sausage is:

[Picture of pre-grind Mise-en-place] Once the spices are prepped, mix them with the meat and grind. (Usually I try to mix the meat with the spices the night before, but scheduling did not permit that this time.) When ground, add 210 gm of cold water and mix for a few moments on medium speed until the sausage is a bit furry looking and tends to hang together. Since this sausage won't be stuffed, it's done. (Taste a bit, just to make sure it's about right. Cook it first, of course.)

Alert readers will not that I did not brine the sausage, choosing instead to just add salt. I have brined the sausage in the past with good results. Since I have no chimney, these sausages will not be smoked either. They are still quite tasty.

Quasi-Lucanicae (or Psuedo-Lucanicae, if you prefer)
The source for this recipe is Apicius, dating to late Antiquity. Apicius by Christopher Grocok and Sally Grainger is the scholarly, critical edition. If you'd like some adapted recipes, then Cooking Apicius by Sally Grainger might be a better choice. If you'd just like to make sausage, read on!

The original recipe is as follows:

Lucanicas similiter ut supra scriptum est. teritur piper cuminum satureia ruta petroselinu condimentum bacae lauri liquamen et admiscetur pulpa bene tunsa ita ut denuo bene cum ipso subtrito fricetur. cum liquamine admixto pipere integro et abundanti pinguedine et nucleis inicies in intestinum perquam tenuatim perductum et sic ad fumum suspenditur.

I have made many variations of this recipe before, including the semi-infamous glires falses or Meat Mice. This time around, they look like this:

Take 1.6 kg of pork shoulder and cut into pieces that fit into your meat-grinder. Put in the fridge and prepare the spices.

The spices are:

[Ground and ready to stuff] Once the spices are prepped, grind with the meat. When ground add 180 gm water and mix until the sausage is slightly furry looking and hangs together a bit.

Stuff the sausage into casings. As always, cook up a bit and taste it to check the spicing.

Alert and Latinate readers will note the lack of liquamen. Mea culpa. I don't tend to keep liquamen or a good substitute handy, and so I simply use salt and water. I've also skipped savory, rue, bay berries and pine nuts. I couldn't find fresh savory on short notice, or I would have thrown some in. The pine nuts add a nice textural note, but are damned expensive. The rue and bay berries I always skip, but I threw in some juniper berries instead.

© 2010 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite