Sunday, 22 July 2012

Portugese garlic sausage, v. 1.0

I have been meaning for quite a while to try to make linguica, one of the basic food groups in Portugal, which is sausage made with garlic and red wine, then smoked. I finally had, all in one place, ground pork, sausage casings, a sausage stuffer attachment for my mixer, and a Big Green Egg barbecue which can be damped down to 250 degrees, suitable for smoking.

The first problem was finding a recipe. I have a pretty good Portugese cookbook, but its two linguica recipes both say they're someone's quirky version unlike the regular stuff. There are a lot of recipes online, of course, but many use ingredients like liquid smoke. So I found one by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, who before he was from New Orleans was from New Bedford, which happens to be ground zero for American linguica because of its tradition of Portugese immigrants. His recipe made sausage patties, but it was easy enough to put the sausage meat into casings and then smoke those:

Linguica on the smoker
Since I've never stuffed sausages before, they ended up with a lot of air pockets which would be a problem if I were planning to keep them very long, but I doubt that will be a problem.
They ended up surprisingly bland. I can use more garlic next time, and more salty red pepper paste, and red wine instead of cider vinegar, but what I'd really like is a zippier recipe. (Zippier than Emeril? Who'd have suspected?)