Tagged ‘sausage’

Links….to the past

November 28th, 2012 by KM Wall

Pilgrim Sausages ( Thank you, Kathy D)

Before Thanksgiving was a National Holiday, November was known as the start of the slaughtering season. For many, that meant pigs. The English have several proverbs that are timely:

  1. Acorns make the best Bacon
  2. The Pig is only good on the Plate.

Oke tree from Gerard's Herball

Acorns, also known as mast (which can be all sorts of nuts) are readily available in New England. Pigs are noteworthy in that they are cheap, easy to transport, and able to live just about anywhere. Sir Francis Bacon recommends them  as a commodity to carry when starting plantations. Pigs were among the first livestock that was brought to Plymouth Colony.





Barent Fabritius, The Slaughtered Pig




If you’ve ever spent time with a pig, you’ll soon figure out that Wilbur, the hammy friend of Charlotte the wise and patient  spider, was truly SOME pig, because he wasn’t at all like other pigs. Pigs are curious, large and like to get their nose into everyone’s business. Literally – they root about in everything, and often lead with their noses. And they have no good manners. And sharp teeth and sharp hooves.

And now let us take a Homer Simpson moment and ponder the wonder that is BAAACOOOON

If it weren’t for pigs – and porkets, and hogs, and boars, and sows, and shotes, and all the swine family – there wouldn’t be bacon. Sometimes in the 16th and 17th centuries bacon means fresh pork, not just  salted.

But before bacon, we can have sausages……


Take the largest of your chines of pork, and that which is called a list, and first with your knife cut the lean thereof into thin slices, and then shred small those slices, and then spread it over the bottom of a dish or wooden platter; then take the fat of the chine and the list, and cut it in the self same manner, and spread it upon the lean, and then cut more lean, and spread it on the fat, and thus do one lean upon another till all the pork be shred, observing to begin and end with the lean; then with your sharp knife scotch it through and through divers ways, and mix it well together: then take good store of sage, and shred it exceeding small and mix it with the flesh, then give it a good season of pepper and salt, the take the farmes made as long as is possible, and not cut in pieces as for puddings, and first blow them up to make the meat slip, and then fill them: which done, with threads divide them into several links as you please, then hang them up in you chimney clean kept, where they may take air of the fire, and let them dry there at least four days before any be eaten; and when they are served up, let them be either fried or broiled on the gridiron, or else roasted about a capon.

- 1631. Markham, Gervase. The English Housewife. Michael Best ed. McGill-Queen’s  University Press: Montreal. 1986. pp.73-4.


La grigliata (Hier wird um wenig geld)





November 6th, 2012 by KM Wall


Boiling puddings (or are those SAUSAGES?)

















275. Directions to prepare the guts for the puddings.

Scrape the litle guts when they are well scoured take them one by one and lay one end on the gut on a table and hold part of the gut in yr hand then scrape it with a knife that is not sharp there will come a great deal of filth from them you will imagine the gut were scraped away when they are don as they should be you will find them very cleere when they are all scraped drie them in a cloth and sprickle a litle rose water on them as you rub them in clothes they must be blown before you fill them to see where to cutt be sure to fill the guts very lank the scraped gutt will hold boiling better then any.

Lay a dish on the bottom of the Ketle make the water boyle before you put in the pudings let them boyle a pace take them up when they have boyled a litle while prick them and put them again never prick marrow pudings nor the liver ones.”

-         John Evelyn, Cook. Christopher Driver, ed. Prospect Books, 1997.

How to make Sausages.

Take the fillets[1] of a Hogge,[2] and halfe as much suet[3] of the Hogge: and chop them both very small, then take grated bred, two or three yolks of egges a spoonful of groce[4] pepper, as much salt, temper[5] them with a little creame, and so put them into skinnes[6] and broyle them on a gridirone.[7]

-                     1588. Good Hous-wiues Treasuire, p. 19.

[1] Fillet - 6. Cookery.    a. A fleshy portion of meat near the loins or ribs of an animal, easily detachable; the ‘undercut’ of a sirloin or rump of beef; a similar fleshy part in the body of a fowl.    b. One of the thick slices into which a fish is easily divided; also, a thick slice of meat, tongue, etc.
The fillet of beef is sometimes cooked like the fillet of veal (sense c): see quot. 1747. In the above senses sometimes with Fr. spelling: see FILET.

c1420 Liber Cocorum (1862) 31 Take filetes of porke and half hom rost. c1430 Two Cookery-bks. 49 Take lardes of Venysoun..or of a Bere, & kerue hem inne as Fylettes of Porke. 1658 SIR T. T. DE MAYERNE Archimag. Anglo-Gall. xiii. 7 The Phillets..of Beef.


[2] Hog - I. 1. a. A swine reared for slaughter; spec. a castrated male swine, a barrow-pig or barrow-hog (see BARROW2 1b); hence, a domestic swine generally.


[3] Suet - 1. a. The solid fat round the loins and kidneys of certain animals,


[4] groce – large, course


[5] temper11. a. To moisten (a substance, usually medicinal or culinary ingredients in a comminuted state) so as to form a paste or mixture; to mix to a paste.


[6] Skins – the guts, casing or puddings to put the meat mixture into

[7] gridiron 1. a. A cooking utensil formed of parallel bars of iron or other metal in a frame, usually supported on short legs, and used for broiling flesh or fish over a fire. Also formerly, a girdle or griddle.

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