Last year, I made Lake Trout Sausage with trout caught in Keuka Lake. This recipe uses Chinook salmon from the Salmon River, but the difference doesn’t stop there. This is really a sausage that copies the model of your usual meat sausage, and it’s definitely not pescatarian. In order to get the level of greasy goodness I want, I’m using beef fat. As it turns out, beef shares many chemical compounds with salmon, and when you think about it, in American food, salmon’s a little bit like the beef of the sea: fatty, full-flavored, and even cut into steaks.
Natural sausage casings can be purchased here, and your butcher’s likely to give you fat from steak trimmings for free. Of course, you’ll need a meat grinder and sausage stuffer.
Yields about 7 sausages
4 ft of 1.25″-diameter natural hog casings
16 oz cleaned salmon
8 g smoked salt
1 g curing salt
1.2 oz brioche, sliced
3 oz beef fat (such as steak trimmings)
1 g sea salt
1 oz peeled onion, small dice
1/4 tsp fennel pollen
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 oz crushed ice
- Soak the hog casings in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Cut the salmon into 1″ chunks. In a bowl, mix the smoked salt and curing salt, then add the salmon and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Toast the brioche in a toaster or in a 350 F oven until crisp. Cut into small dice and reserve.
- Season the beef fat with the sea salt, and cook on a tray in a 200 F oven for 2 hours. Let cool. Reserve the liquid fat, and refrigerate the rest.
- Heat the liquid fat in a small saucepan, add the onion and sauté until golden brown. Let cool and refrigerate.
- In a bowl, combine the salmon chunks, brioche, beef fat, onion, fennel pollen, black pepper, and crushed ice. Process the mixture in a meat grinder fit with a large die. Cool in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse the casings, inside and outside, under cold water, pat dry, and insert on the tube of a sausage stuffer. Stuff the sausages, making links about 5″ long. Loosely cover with foil, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
To cook the sausages
- Cook the sausages in a 149 F water bath for 20 minutes. This doesn’t need to be complicated: heat a large pot of water to about 160 F, add the sausages (which will bring the temperature down by a few degrees), cover, and wait 20 minutes.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the sausages in canola oil until brown on all sides.
- Serve with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, and chanterelles. You can substitute vegetables to your taste.