Homemade Linguica and a Giveaway!

I am 1/4 Portuguese and grew up eating homemade linguica and the most amazing sweet bread ever.  No not calf brains, but the sweet, buttery bread that the Portuguese are so well known for.  

Every year there is a celebration called the Festa or Holy Ghost Festa (festival).  It’s a Portuguese tradition where the story goes that the Queen of Portugal gave her crown to a peasant girl.  Every year Portuguese communities around the world have a Festa and not only is it a grand parade of queens and past queens but there’s also a feast.  Friday nights dinner usually consist of homemade Linguica and beans with salads and wine.  Sunday is all about church and a huge parade and ends with Alcatra (boiled spiced beef), Sopa (the broth from the beef with cabbage and large hunks of french bread floating), salads and sweet bread.  Lots and lots of sweet bread.
So it’s only natural that I have a love of sausages (and bread).  I have never tried to make my own linguica, until now.  Being a part of the Charcutepalooza challenge has given me some guts in the kitchen when it comes to meats and having the Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking & Curing cookbook has changed my view on making homemade sausages forever.  Also, for a small investment of $84 for the attachments for my Kitchenaid mixer I have been able to make several batches of fresh sausage.  I guess I always thought it was a lot tougher to do than it is.  Sit back and relax and take a pictorial ride on just how simple it is to make your own sausage at home.  Check out the recipe at the end for the most amazing Linguica ever.  
p.s. I called my 91 year old grandmother to let her know I made Linguica for the first time and she was probably the most proud of me that she’s ever been.  Ok, maybe not, but close.
Now for some fun and my very first giveaway!!  How would you like to win these awesome rose shaped colanders from Zak Designs?  They are totally adorable and I wish I could win them myself!  The set includes the orchid and raspberry colanders as pictured above left.  They are the perfect size for washing off a batch of fresh picked berries.  The orchid colander is a 2 quart size and the raspberry colander is 24 oz.  They are dishwasher safe and made of 100% melamine.  You know you want them.  :)
The rules are super simple:
  • Head over to Zak Designs and check out the super cute housewares and come back and tell me what you like best in a comment below. 
    • You must leave a comment to enter
  • Giveaway is open to US addresses only
  • Winner will be determined using www.random.org

For additional entries – leave an individual comment for each below….

  • “liked” Zak on Facebook
  • “followed” Zak on Twitter
  • “liked” Farmgirl Gourmet on Facebook
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Contest ends Wednesday July 6, 2011 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. HAS ENDED!  GO SEE IF YOU’RE THE WINNER AT:


http://farmgirlgourmet.blogspot.com/2011/07/rose-colander-winner.html

Let’s make some sausage now….

Because I made 2 batches of sausage on this day, I only did 2 lbs of pork butt (shoulder) which made about 6 links of linguica.  In this bowl is fresh garlic, salt, white and black pepper, lots of paprika, liquid smoke, red wine, fresh oregano, sugar and chipotle chili powder.  Mix it all together with the cubed pork and it’s time to stuff.

I use natural hog casing, but if you’re squeamish about touching hog intestines then you can use synthetic casings with similar results.  This is 10 feet, enough for 5 lbs of sausage.  It needs to soak for a bit and then you’ll need to run water inside of the casing to rinse it out.  I usually add enough water to make a 4 inch long balloon and then run it the entire way down the casing.  It’s a delicate process as you don’t want to make knots.

Attach the large grinding plate and fire up the mixer.

Lesson learned – don’t over-stuff the chamber with meat.  This results in a not-very-fun sausage making experience.  Let the machine work for you.

See how large the grind is?  This is a good thing to give you texture in your sausage.  Too small and it will look like hot dogs.

Cut off the desired amount of casing and slip it over the sausage tube insert.  Some say to grease the tube, but I’ve found it works better without.  Make sure to tie a knot in the end of the casing.

Start filling the casing with the sausage mixture.  You can twist your links as you go, but I’ve found it’s a little easier to wait until the end.  Just don’t stuff the casing too tightly or it will burst when you twist.  Think balloon…too full and POW!

This process is made much easier with the addition of more than 2 hands.  My darling daughter has become my sausage making sidekick and has perfected the right amount of meat mixture to add to the stuffer to prevent air pockets in the sausages.  She’s such a rock star.  Twist your links and go fire up the smoker.

Smoke the sausages for about 1 1/2 hours.  Flipping them once halfway through.
That’s it.  Can you believe how easy it is?  While I was making Linguica I also made a batch of Italian sausage using the other half of the pork butt (shoulder).  The whole process for both sausages was about 40 minutes start to finish, not including the smoking of the linguica of course.  In the end, you get to determine how much fat goes into making these and you know that no other preservatives were added.  Just fresh tasty sausage.  I hope you give them a try.  You might be hooked just like me.
Homemade Linguica

Ingredients
2 lbs pork butt, cubed
1 1/2 tbsp Hungarian paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1/3 cup red wine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
Instructions
1 Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
2 Stuff into hog casings (or synthetic casing).  Twist into links.
3 Prepare smoker according to manufactures suggestions and smoke the sausage for 1 1/2 hours flipping the sausage once halfway through.
4 Cool sausage and store in an airtight container or freeze in a ziptop bag.

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