Sweet Porchetta ‘Wild Hog’ Sausage
This is most like a traditional Italian-flavored sausage, thanks to the fennel seeds and hint of sweetness. It would go well with roasted red peppers and onions, or sliced thinly with some course mustard. Like all sausage, it should be cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time so that the casing doesn’t burst, and it is cooked through.
4 pounds hog butt, diced into 1-inch pieces
1 pound hog or domestic pork belly fat, diced into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. pink curing salt #1*
2 tsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
¾ cup ice water
¼ cup red wine vinegar, chilled
In a non-reactive bowl, combine all ingredients except water and vinegar and toss to distribute the seasonings. Chill until ready to grind.
Grind the mixture through a small die into a mixing bowl set on ice.
Add the water and vinegar to the meat mixture and mix with the paddle attachment or your hands until the liquids are incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance, about 1 minute on medium speed in a mixer, longer with your hands.
Sauté a small portion of the sausage, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
With a sausage stuffer, stuff the mixture into pork middles, pricking the casings with a needle as you go to prevent air bubbles. Twist the casing off into links 6-8 inches long and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
To cook, heat oil in a skillet and sear on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, turning often. The internal temperature should be 160ºF.
Makes 5 pounds
*Note: Also referred to as Prague powder, tinted cure mix, or Insta Cure #1, pink curing salt #1 (a mixture of salt and nitrite) is used in many types of cured meat products that are made and then cooked or eaten fairly quickly.
The nitrite keeps the meat safe for a short period of time, and maintains the meat’s red color as well as gives it that “cured” taste. Its main purpose it to prevent botulism poisoning. It can be purchased from many places on the Internet.