Thursday, 28 April 2011

April Forges: Lamb Sausage with Pickled Garlic, Tzatziki and Salad

This month's Forging challenge was to make lamb sausage and a host of other fun sides for a delicious and super-flavourful meal to wake up the taste  buds.

Fresh sausage is actually really easy to make and once you make it the first time you'll never want to buy grocery store sausage again. Seriously, what do they put in there? We probably don't want to know.

If you don't have a meat grinder, go get one. Just kidding. If you don't have a meat grinder and aren't in the market for one, you can buy some pre-ground lamb or just cut your meat up small and give it a couple of pulses in the food processor.

The seasonings added give the resulting lamb sausage a delicious complex flavour. You can certainly stuff some casings with the sausage, I prefer just to make small logs or patties with the meat. The choice is yours!

The pickled garlic, tzatziki sauce, and radish salad all complement the sausage beautifully for a Greek-inspired feast. I added in some brown basmati rice and some turnip kraut that I had made in March. Delicious!

Leftovers make awesome wraps.

Go on, make some sausage!

Lamb Sausage
adapted from Michael Symon, Live to Eat
Makes about 2 lbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ lbs lamb shoulder, cubed
  • ½ lb pork fatback, cubed
  • 2 tsps smoked sweet paprika
  • ½ Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp sugar

Sweat garlic and shallots in the olive oil in a medium pan until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Let cool completely.
Combine all the ingredients, the chilled meat and fat with the seasonings, well. Cover and let chill 24 hours.
Grind (twice, if you like) in your meat grinder. If you don't have a meat grinder, pulse in small batches in a food processor, but a meat grinder will give you a better consistency.
Allow to chill half an hour after grinding,  before stirring to combine well.
Make into patties or logs.
Optionally: purchase hog casings and stuff with sausage stuffer.
Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, or freeze.
Cook until you reach an internal temp of 150°F.

Pickled Garlic

    * Yield Makes 1 quart (make ahead for best results, at least 2 days ahead)

    * 6 heads garlic
    * 4 cups white-wine vinegar (I only needed 2 cups for this recipe)
    * 4 tablespoons sugar
    * 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    * 4 whole cloves
    * 2 small dried chile peppers
    * 1 dried bay leaf
    * Rind of 1 lemon


   1. Trim garlic heads, leaving stem intact and peeling off all but one layer of papery skin. Set aside.
   2. Combine vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, peppers, bay leaf, and lemon rind in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil 2 minutes more. Add garlic; boil 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cover, and let sit overnight in refrigerator. Garlic may be canned, placed in a sterilized jar, or stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Tzatziki and Radish Salad
Recipes courtesy Michael Symon,
Show: Cook Like an Iron Chef  Episode: Secret Ingredient Lamb Chops


    * 1/2 English cucumber
    * 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
    * Kosher salt
    * 2 cups Greek yogurt
    * Juice of 1 lemon
    * Freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 small bunch mint, leaves picked and chiffonade (about 1 cup)


    * 1 shallot, minced
    * Kosher salt
    * 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    * 8 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked and sliced (or more)
    * ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    * 2 bunches radishes with greens
    * 1 English cucumber

For the tzatziki:
Grate the cucumber over a wire mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Add the garlic and salt. Set aside to drain for 15 minutes.

To another bowl, combine 2 cups Greek yogurt, juice of 1 lemon, freshly ground black pepper, pinch salt, and mint. Set aside.

Squeeze out the excess moisture of the cucumbers and add to the Greek yogurt mixture. Stir to combine.

For the radish salad:
To another bowl, add the shallot and season with salt. Add the red wine vinegar, oregano, and whisk in about 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Taste and re-season, if needed.

Remove the greens from the radishes and wash the greens in salted iced water. Place into a salad spinner to dry. Set aside. Thinly slice the radishes and add to the dressing. Halve the cucumber lengthwise. Thinly slice the cucumber into half-moons.

Tear and then add the dry radish greens to the vinaigrette and toss to combine. (I served mine on a bed of baby spinach)