# 14 - Heart & Soul Sausage

When he's not juggling the duties of being a full-time gigolo and part-time  rodeo clown, apprentice sausage-maker Krawch enjoys chasing tail.  Turkey tail, that is. 
So voluminous is his love for this humble hindquarter, that it moved S.P. to open his kitchen for the young cassanova to craft a new sausage.  Thus was the Heart & Soul sausage conceived.  In a tribute to soul food, country loving, and moms everywhere, we set out to emulate a trifecta of soul food: turkey tails, collard greens, and mac and cheese.  

Smoked Turkey Tails - the humblest of hindquarters.  None too shabby to look at, if you ask me.
Krawch's Heart & Soul Sausage

  • Smoked Turkey Tails 
    • (Boiled and picked over)
Smoked, boiled, and ground Turkey Tails.

  • Turkey Thighs
  • Chicken Hearts 

  • 3.5 Tbsp. Salt
  • 4 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 Tbsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. Cayenne
  • 1 tsp. Peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. African Bird Pepper
  • Colby Jack Cheese
  • Cayenne Cheddar Cheese

  • Garlic & Long Hot Peppers

    • Cooked together in turkey fat. 

  • White potatoes
    • Boiled, Mashed, and Blended with Cheese, Garlic, Peppers, and milk
  • Collard greens, wilted in turkey tail stock

The cheesy-fied potatoes came out in ribbons of mac-n-cheesy goodness. 
Once the potatoes had cooled, Silvio assisted us with the stuffing, and the Heart & Soul Sausage was born.

Just look at that soul!
Unfortunately, that was the last time that this sausage would look so presentable.  We began cooking it in the usual style, simmering in water, fully intending to chop it and brown it afterwords. 

Resting, after boiling.
 But, the sausage burst while cooking, littering the cooking water with bits of heart, and remnants of soul.  The small sections of hash which remained in the casing defied attempts to cut them, as any puncture simply allowed more hash to ooze out.  Miffed, but not yet stymied, we soldiered on.  Perhaps all that kinetic energy in the rolling boil was to blame, we reasoned.  Perhaps a slow roast at 200 F would crisp the casing and keep it together.
15 minutes in, and hash is already pushing its way out of the end of the coil. 
No such luck.  The casing inevitably and indefatigably failed during cooking.  

Fully roasted, the casing proved no match for the expanding hash.
Now, that last shot gives the impression that much of the sausage was still sausage-shaped after cooking.  Allow me to disabuse you of that notion.  Much of it looked more like this:

Roasted hash, or alien landscape?
While this left the sausage somewhat less pretty to look upon, the casing failure posed much larger gastronomic concerns.  Without an intact casing, there was no way to seal in the sausage's moisture while crisping and hardening the exterior - no way to imbue it with the crunchiness we love so much, without drying it out.  The hash that came out of the oven was crispy, but it was also dry and, as a result, a little too salty.

As you might expect, Krawch and S.P. were both quite distraught, and they each spent a week in solitude at a Franciscan monastery to atone, and to scour their souls for answers.  After those many rounds of internal philosophizing, it became clear that the failure was not so much with the casing, but within the casing.  This particular hash had a strong tendency towards expansion, most likely from the cheesy potatoes.  But expansion was only part of the problem - many a sausage likes to expand, and rip the casing during cooking.  It was the lack of binding power in the hash that caused the problem: once out of the casing, the sausage fell apart.

Why was there a lack of cohesion?  Well, the science for this is pretty straight-forward, and should have been obvious from the start.  The already twice-cooked turkey tails did not have the long protein chains that make up raw meat.  What's worse, they were then ground again, making each piece too small to promote any physical interlocking.  It should serve as a lesson to all sausage-makers of the danger of pre-cooked meats, and other non-binding constituents of the forcemeat hash. This all could have been avoided with the judicious addition of eggs, and a lot more raw turkey.  We live; we learn. 

This is not to say that the sausage was a failure, however.  The taste was compelling.  The mac-and-cheesiness of the potatoes was somewhat lost in the hash, overpowered by the richness of the chicken hearts, and the salty nose of the turkey tails.  The bottom line: if you like turkey tails, you would like this sausage.

After solving the case of the exploding casings, S.P. saw it as a blessing in disguise, and turned his attention to pasta sauce.  A whole coil of raw sausage was dropped into some tomato sauce, and ten minutes later...

A sausage ragu!
The coil of sausage shed about half of its contents into the sauce, until it was a chain of small links:

Pasta-sauced sausage.
Their excess weight shed, and their casings bathed in the slightly acidic tomato sauce, these links finally did crisp up nicely in the oven.  Oh, and the pasta was delicious.

Like all good Italian boys, S.P. could eat this every day for the rest of his life. 
Explosive, versatile, and full of good feeling, Krawch's Heart & Soul sausage will be remembered fondly.

Stay tuned for Pork Mole sausage, followed by S.P.'s 2nd annual Superbowl Sausagepalooza!


No comments:

Post a Comment