Posts tagged ‘bar food’

Pickled Garlic Sausage

The Super Bowl is quickly approaching and I thought it would be a fun to try and replicate a classic Mid-West dive bar specialty to go along with my pickled eggs…none other than the pickled sausage. I fondly remember my grandmother’s bar off Route 4 in Ohio where pickled eggs sat on one side of the bar and pickled sausage on the other. Since leaving Ohio back in 1998 I have often thought back on those little delicacies and wished I had a big fat jar of them in my fridge. Well, I decided to take the bull by the horns and take a crack at making my own. I did quite a bit of research on pickling recipes that I thought would come closest to what I remember and finally ran across one that sounded good. Next I began thinking about what type of sausage to pickle and saw the Fresh Garlic Sausage recipe in my Charcuterie book. I already had some pork shoulder on hand and decided that this would do the trick.

I gathered the other ingredients and prepared to proceed with the pickled sausage project.

The fresh garlic recipe called for:

5 pounds pork shoulder, diced
40 grams kosher salt (3 tablespoons)
10 grams ground black pepper (1 tablespoon)
54 grams minced garlic (3 tablespoons)
1 cup good red wine, chilled

After grinding the pork I mixed it with the spices and wine and mixed for about 3 minutes (until the paste looks sticky). Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of temperature. Cold is the key and I like to refrigerate/freeze my grinder blade, plate, stuffer, pork and wine to ensure all remains nice and frosty.

Next, I decided to stuff the garlic sausage into sheep casings which are much skinnier and would pickle much quicker than a sausage stuffed into a hog casing.

After all of the garlic sausage was stuffed I hung it in the smoker at 180 degrees and hit with about 2 hours of hickory smoke and smoke cooked until the internal temperature hit 160 degrees.

Once the garlic sausage was cooked I transferred it to an ice water bath so that I could quickly cool it down and prevent shriveling from occurring.
Last I cut the garlic sausage sticks into the exact length of the jar where they are going to pickle in.

Meanwhile, I prepared my pickling liquid which consisted of:

4 cups White Vinegar
2 cups Water
2 tablespoons Salt
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper seeds
1 tablespoon Tabasco

I brought the pickling mixture to a boil and then chilled it in the refrigerator. While the pickling liquid cooled I stuffed the jars with the garlic sausage sticks and then filled with the cooled pickling liquid.

I waited for about 3 weeks and tried a stick and saw where the potential was there however, disappointed that the pickling liquid had not fully penetrated the sausage stick. I decided to remove all of the sausage sticks and use a needle to thoroughly poke the sausage. I returned them to the jar for another 3 weeks and am happy to report that the pickling liquid had worked its magic. With that said, I am not sure that garlic sausage is the right sausage to use and will try again with something else…most likely a beef sausage style.

On a final note I am excited to report that I finished two batches of what will be my first dry-cured salami. I did a 5 pound batch of the Peperone and a 5 pound batch of the Tuscan Salami from Charcuterie and have it in my curing chamber as we speak. It is only 2 days in and I was happy to see nice solid coating of white mould on each of them today…for those who don’t know that is a good thing! I will put a post up in a few days.

The Incredible Edible Pickled Egg

First things first…my last post (Yeah you Jerky) ended optimistically with the fact that I was going elk hunting with the intentions of returning with a trophy.  Well, I hate to disappoint however, we came back empty handed.  I can assure you that it was not a lack of effort as we arose each morning at 4am in position to hunt by 5am and traipsing through the woods till 11am to noon.  A brief “lunch” break and back in the woods by 2pm for the evening hunt which lasted till dark.  We hit it hard three days in a row only to see two bull (male) elks,  who clearly knew we possessed no such tag to legally bag (cow-female elk only tags), and a couple coyotes.  Other than that we were basically camping with guns.  Despite this it was a great time and certainly look forward to next years hunt assuming we get drawn for tags again. 

Glad to get that out of the way.  So I was sitting around thinking about what I should post next and realized that I have yet to do any actual pickling (myself excluded of course) and settled upon the quintessential Midwest dive bar breakfast of champions, The Pickled Egg!  I have found through my travels that the pickled egg too has its geographic and or socioeconomic boundaries much like drinking Pepsi or Coke, playing euchre or sporting spandex biker shorts (not surprisingly Wal-Mart has its own micro-regions).  Growing up as a child my grandmother owned her own bar (cutting a rug at a place) called The Jug on Route 4 in Ohio.  This classic dive bar had upon its hallowed mantle a large jar of purple pickled eggs on one side and a large jar of pickled sausage on the other.  I know what you are thinking, what else do you need, right?!  I vividly remember eating pickled eggs and sausage while listening to The Devil went down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band thinking life could get much better.

Jar O' Pickled Quail Eggs

It with great pride I introduce to you, the pickled quail egg.  Initially I thought this was going to be a Pickled Pig original idea however, was quickly disappointed to find multiple recipes on Google for exactly that (even one by Emeril!).  Oh well, it is a great idea that combines the perfect beer accoutrement with an M&M sized bite (won’t melt in your hands either).  In fact I have already decided that I will most certainly need to have a jar of these on hand to garnish a vodka martini or bloody Mary from here on out…I’m clearly a total health nut.

Let's get ready to piiiiiickle!

 I used a recipe that I have successfully used with chicken eggs that tasted just like the picked eggs of my past.  The recipe called for; 1 15-ounce can of beets (just the juice), 1 cup cider vinegar, ½ cup sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 bay leaves and 4 whole cloves.  This recipe made enough brine for 6 large eggs however; I used 30 quail eggs which worked perfectly.  I was able to purchase three 10-packs of quail eggs at our local Asian grocery store for $1.59 a pack.

Aren't these little guys so cute!?!

The first thing to do is begin the process of hard boiling the quail eggs.  Many people don’t know that there is a right way and a wrong way to boil an egg.  The manner in which you boil and length of time boiling both affect the texture of the prized yolk as well as the yolk’s color.  When boiled too long I find the yolks to be chalky and take on an unpleasant green color as compared to the much desired bright golden yellow.  To properly boil any egg you must first start them in the pot with COLD water.  You then bring them and the water to a boil.  It is at this point you must determine how you want your yolk.  If you want a medium cooked egg you leave them in the water for a total of 4 minutes (begin timing once it achieves a rapid boil)  and remove to an ice bath to stop the cooking and cool the egg for peeling.  In this instance I wanted a hard cooked egg and left them in for a total of 7 minutes before transferring to an ice bath. 

Purple Pickling Brine

While the eggs are boiling I add the beet juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves and cloves to a sauce pot and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Once dissolved, I remove the brine from the heat and allow the cloves and bay leaves to steep.

Peeled Quail Eggs

Next I begin to tackle the art of peeling quail eggs…much easier said than done!  I finally settled on a technique where I cracked the egg on the bottom where the air bubble was.  This space between the shell and egg was perfect to peel off and begin the process of peeling the shell downward while spinning it around in my fingers.  After peeling all 30 eggs I added them to the pickling jar.

Everyone in the purple pickle pool!

I then added my purple brine to the pickling jar and let them mingle in the fridge for about 7 days.  After the 7 days I tried my first egg and it was the perfect bite sized snack.  The picture below is after about 2 weeks of pickling.  The difference is evidenced in the purple color that the once yellow yolk has taken on. 

Where's the brews?

 This is just one of many recipes that I found to be popularized throughout Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  A few other that I suggest you consider are the famous Bruce’s B&B pickled eggs as detailed on Michigan Tech’s alumni page (even I being from Ohio have to admit this is pretty cool) as well as some recipes from Washington State University which after reading appear to be borrowed from University of Wisconsin which makes alot more sense.  Enjoy!