[Photograph: Sydney Oland]
Note: You must use a scale for this sausage. There is no way to accurately estimate the amount of salt needed otherwise. This recipe can be made with pre-ground pork as well. Mix ingredients as directed in step one, allow to rest at least 8 hours, then skip the grinding step and proceed as directed in Step 4.
About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)
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Special equipment: meat grinder, standing mixer with paddle attachment
serves Makes 2 pounds of sausage, active time 30 minutes, total time 12 hours
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 pounds pork shoulder with at least 20% fat, cut into rough 1-inch chunks (or 2 pounds ground pork, see note above)
- .6 ounces kosher salt (see note above)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Heat mustard seeds over high heat in a dry skillet until they begin to smell toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and process until fine.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
If using pre-ground pork, skip to step 4. If using chunked pork, place feed shaft, screw, blade, and 1/4-inch plate of a meat grinder in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Grind sausage meat according to manufacturer’s directions into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. If finer texture is desired, chill meat in freezer for 15 minutes before grinding again.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sausage meat on medium high speed until it becomes tacky and sticky, about one minute. Alternatively, knead by hand for three to four minutes. Transfer to a zipper-lock bag and seal. Sausage will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Form into patties for breakfast sandwiches, or use your imagination to incorporate it into lots of delicious brunch dishes.