This month's Charcutepalooza challenge, to me at least, was stuffing my sausages. The real one was emulsification -- the focus of which is blending, which results in a smooth-textured sausage. But for me, I was still concerned about how to actually stuff. Not the how-to, but the actual doing. Last month, I was lucky enough to cross paths with Peter and Winnie, and we got to use Peter's KitchenAid. This month, I went out and finally purchased a meat grinder after deliberating whether or not to finally break down and buy a KitchenAid. It was cheaper to buy the grinder, and with two cars on their way out, I can't be too expansive. I bought this, a Waring Pro MG100, which was about $100:
I can't say I recommend it. The short answer: it's going back to the store. Ends up, the worm, for whatever reason, likes to fall out of the motor housing (did I say that right?), and it just plain doesn't work. On the Amazon page there are a bunch of comments discussing this particular flaw, which I neglected to read before purchasing the machine. I was able to grind the meat, and fill two sausages before it stopped working entirely. Thankfully, my neighbor heard about my troubles and brought over her KitchenAid and meat grinding attachment. Aren't neighbors grand? I might not ever buy anything, but just borrow her KitchenAid every few months.
|Beautiful brats. Only two, but still beautiful.|
It did grind the meat though, and much faster and nicer than the hand grinder, which couldn't really chew up the sinewy pork too well. I ate my breakfast sausage the other day, again for breakfast and also dinner, it was so good. I did notice that although it was very tasty, the texture left something to be desired, and it was due to the hand grinding. And that machine did work lovely for the two large sausages I was able to fill.
I served my dinner of bratwurst with some of the first local-ish corn I saw in the market. It was from New Jersey, and I just couldn't resist. It delivered. The corn was sweet and creamy, the perfect addition to the meal. And the bread was homemade sourdough that I toasted in the pan after cooking the brats. But where was the sauerkraut?
|The beginning of lettuce kraut.|
Well, a week before I had harvested a huge amount of kale and lettuce from the garden, and I thought: why not kale kraut? Of course, it's not an original thought. I found this post from The Simple Green Frugal Co-Op, which I used as inspiration. And it's such a simple recipe that it would be silly to re-write here. Go and visit! I made a quart of lettuce and a quart of kale. The finished product is a mite salty, but goes well as a condiment. It doesn't have the tartness of cabbage kraut. The kale kraut was lovely alongside the brats. I also made a romaine lettuce kraut, which makes a great sandwich topping. What's wonderful about these ferments, is that they take only a few days. So you will have your sauerkraut just in time for your bratwurst.