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Portuguese sausage full of meaty pork chunks


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jim Hiyane likes his Portuguese sausage stuffed with big pieces of pork, and no skimping on the fat, thank you very much. “;I truly miss the ones with nice, chunky pork and fat, unlike the present brands, which are a mushy mixture of indistinguishable ingredients,”; Hiyane wrote. He's looking for a recipe similar to what was common in “;the good old days,”; but one he can make at home - “;use of ingredients available at the supermarket would be grand.”;

Offering a solution is Deirdre Todd, home consultant and culinary advisor at Macy's Ala Moana, and author of the 1998 and 2003 editions of “;Dd's Table Talk.”; The books reflect Todd's passion for recipe collecting, which began when she was in the sixth grade, covering both family favorites and restaurant recreations.

This sausage recipe is from Book 1 and covers a filling that Todd says she usually flattens into patties or rolls into logs for pan-frying. The same filling could also be used to fill sausage casings, then smoked or boiled. Todd also suggests substituting plastic wrap for casings - specific instructions are in the recipe below - and boiling the links. Afterward they can be unwrapped, sliced and fried.

For more on “;Dd's Table Talk,”; visit ddstabletalk.com. The books can be ordered for $24.95 (for the first) or $26.95 (for the second) through the Web site, or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For the computer-deprived, write GT Services, 1155 Hassinger St. No. 503, Honolulu 96822-3942. The books are also sold through barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.

PORTUGUESE SAUSAGE

2 pounds pork butt or shoulder
1/2 tablespoon salt
4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Cut 1-1/2 pounds of the pork into 1-inch cubes; cut the rest into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside smaller cubes.

Mix together larger cubes and remaining ingredients. Place in meat grinder; coarse grind to desired consistency. Transfer to bowl. Stir in remaining pork cubes. Shape into logs or patties and pan-fry. Filling can also be used to stuff sausage casings for smoking or boiling. Makes 2 pounds.

Variation: Use plastic wrap to form filling into sausage “;links.”; Place a 12-inch length of plastic wrap on work surface. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup filling on bottom edge. Roll up, twist ends tightly and tie into knots. Use toothpicks to poke about 6 holes through plastic to let oil drain while cooking. Parboil, then remove from plastic, slice and pan sear.

(If you choose this approach, note that the makers of Saran Wrap say not to use the product in the oven or on the stovetop. I've seen a number of recipes, though, that call for cooking in plastic wrap - for dishes from poached eggs to stuffed chicken breasts - so it seems many home cooks have been using the technique to no great harm. It's an at-your-own-risk kinda thing, like eating raw eggs or microwaving food in plastic containers.)

Approximate nutritional information, per 1/4 pound serving: 450 calories, 36 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 23 g protein