Let’s give a warm welcome to my newest guest blogger, Lisa Broccoli of Swiss Paleo!
Not only does Lisa have the coolest surname EVAH, but she’s also a nurse and nutritional consultant who hails all the way from Switzerland! (Well, by way of Detroit and Denver.) I had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa and her husband Chris last summer in Massachusetts, when we dined together at The Sustainable Feast in the Barn. Henry and I spent hours chatting with this charming couple about their lives abroad.
Seventeen years ago, Lisa and Chris relocated their young family from the Rockies to the Swiss Alps when Chris was offered a position in Europe. I was awestruck by their sense of adventure and willingness to dive into uncharted territory because — let’s face it — I’m a risk-averse homebody. After chatting with the Broccolis that night, Henry and I made a pact to hopscotch around the globe with the Double-Os…someday.
Who’s ready to learn how to make fresh Italian & chorizo sausage links with Lisa?
Switzerland may be the land of cheese and chocolate, but we’ve also got a whole lot of sausage going on. There are over 400 different varieties to be had, and they even have whole festivals dedicated to sausage. And yes, many Swiss festivals are just like you would imagine them…yodeling, alp horns, beer drinking and a parade of bell-wearing, flower adorned cows. You can even dress up and wear your Lederhosen (ok, technically more German than Swiss, but still fun!). I have yet to go to a Swiss grill party or festival where sausage didn’t feature prominently on the menu.
The thing about sausage, though, is that you never really know what’s in it. Gluten, sugar and chemicals seem to be hiding in just about everything. My friend, Julie, solves this problem by making her own. She brought home-made sausage to a party we had in a Swiss forest hut a few months back and they were delicious. So, of course, when she invited me over to make sausage with her, I jumped at the chance.
I own a lot of fun kitchen toys, but I don’t have a sausage maker. It pays to have friends who have gadgets that you don’t. This is Julie’s sausage machine:
We were really in luck because Julie’s mom, Nicole, was in town for a visit and she’s been making sausage since she was a child. She can twist it into links like nobody’s business! It was really pretty special for me to watch her teach her granddaughter how to do it.
We started by deciding what kind of meat we were going to use and which spice combinations we wanted to make. I made 2.5 kg (about 5 pounds) of Italian pork sausage, and Julie made lamb sausage, Italian pork, and spicy chorizo. We picked up some pig intestines from our local butcher for the sausage casings.
I used fresh herbs for mine (Italian spice blend for 2.5 kg meat):
- 2 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds
- 5 Tablespoons fresh oregano
- 5 Tablespoons fresh sage
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
- 4 Tablespoons red wine
Julie used dried spices for hers (chorizo spice blend for 2.5 kg meat):
- 1 cup cold white wine
- 8 teaspoons paprika
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 5 teaspoons fresh garlic
- 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Dump all of your spices into your ground meat of choice.
Now dig in and get your hands dirty! Julie’s kids had fun helping out with this part.
Once the meat was mixed, we fried up a few sausage patties so that we could taste test the sausage and add spices as needed.
Next, we attached the casings to the sausage machine nozzle and started the crank.
Before you know it, you’ve got your own sausage!
Here is a list of some of the Swiss festivals that will be taking place in 2013 — who could pass up an opportunity to go to a Hairy Mountain Man Beard Festival? If you can’t make the trip, now you at least know how to make your own sausage links so that you can celebrate your own “sausage festival” wherever in the world you might be. You can even be Swiss about it and call them Bratwurst!
En Guete! (Swiss German for “Have a nice meal!”)
Yum! Excited by the prospect of fresh sausage, I asked Lisa how she likes to cook her links. Here’s what she said:
"You can cook them in a lot of different ways. We like them best on the BBQ and in the winter we just stick them under the broiler in the oven. My friend, Julie, cooks them in her fireplace with a special grill grate. We’ve also chopped them into chunks and fried them in a pan and then covered them in a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce before throwing them in the oven to bake. No need to boil them first no matter how you prepare them."
You must check out Lisa’s awesome blog, Swiss Paleo, which features tantalizing Paleo recipes, lifestyle/fitness articles and write-ups of her travels (and, of course, what she ate when she got there). Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!
Okay, gang: What’s your favorite type of sausage?