Thursday 7 January 2010

Sichuan Sausages

Grouper Hot Pot

Earlier in the year I had an inspirational meal at Chilli Cool. Having never had Sichuan food before, I was oblivious to the narcoleptic charms of Sichuan peppercorns which not only set your mouth on fire but numb it at the same time. I left feeling invigorated and keen to dabble with Sichuan pepper.

So I invented my own Sichuan sausage recipe. And would you believe it, the sausages are amazing. Here’s how you make them.

Mince a 60/40 mix of pork belly and pork shoulder. For 6 sausages throw in a handful of breadcrumbs. Then, in a pestle and mortar, grind 3 dessert spoons of Sichuan peppercorns to a fine dust. Add them to the pork. Then slice up a spring onion and add it to the party. Grate a whole thumb of ginger into the pork along with a a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Then sprinkle in a generous amount of chilli seeds and then as much Chinese 5 spice as you think seems right. Season with salt, or for added authenticity some MSG.

Chinese sausage

Mix the pork and spices together and then feed into sausage casings. Allow the sausage to rest for a few hours before cooking as this will allow the meat to settle and relax after the trauma of the sausage making process.

Sichuan sausage ring

Amazingly a few wires got tangled up in the Brown kitchen and we landed up serving them with Brussels’ sprouts and carrots! The winter vegetables admirably stuck to their task. It prompted one of the funnier moments over Christmas when my Grandfather, who isn’t a fan of spice, said, “I don’t mind about the chilli because my mouth has gone numb”. There was something deeply surreal about the whole experience. And this odd situation allowed us to concentrate on the flavour of the sausages which whilst taking no prisoners, were a spectacular success.

My plan had been to take inspiration from "Dan Dan Noodles" (see photo above courtesy of scaredy_kat on Flickr via creative commons ) and cook them in a liquor of soy sauce, chillies and stock and then serve them with noodles and pak choi. They would also be great without their casings as meat balls in a Chinese broth. If you’ve got any suggestions about what to serve them with, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And if you are thinking what wines would go well with a Sichuan sausage, then Gareth from Bibendum suggests drinking Argentine Bonarda and Fiona the Winematcher suggests a New Zealand Pinot Noir.

This is part of a series of posts about experimental sausages and a potential sausage-fest


Anonymous said...

Lovely recipe! It will keep us warm for the whole winter!

Hollow Legs said...

I would think they'd be great sliced and placed on top of rice and steamed while it's cooking - the rice would absorb the juices. Otherwise how about in a rice flour bun, like those pork belly sandwiches we had at Leong's Legends?

Hollow Legs said...

Ooh! You could try ground toasted rice instead of breadcrumbs for a twist.

Browners said...

@mathildescuisine - It's certainly a winter warmer.

@Lizzie - Cracking ideas. Rice in the sausages themselves could well be a stroke of genius. Also, would you grind up the Sichuan peppercorns or have them whole?

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Very inventive to take the flavours of schezuan cooking and incorporate it into a new dish. Yum.

Browners said...

@Bellini Valli - Thanks. They were a lot of fun.

Hollow Legs said...

Glad to be of service. You will, of course, have to let me sample any ideas you take up of mine ;)

I would toast the peppercorns and then grind them finely - I'm not a fan of crunching into whole ones.

Browners said...

@Lizzie - more super advice. Toast and grind it is.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Ooh..that looks good. You are making hungry for Chinese food.

Browners said...

@The Cooking Ninja - Mission accomplished.

Unknown said...

The extent of my jealousy about your sausage making machine is hard to put into words - sounds amazing.

Browners said...

@Gourmet Chick - Tis a lovely machine. In fact it needs a name. Any ideas?


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