Along with some culinarily adventurous friends, we decided to spend our Labor Day a little different this year. Three couples, three animals, three types of sausage, two different casings and one “consultant”, all together made for one brilliant idea. The plan was to have a sausage party (insert dirty joke here) or to be specific, a sausage making party. We all gathered at Jeri and Dan’s house, grinders and meat in hand for a night filled with food, wine, and dirty jokes. Jeri and Dan made wild boar sausage with their Kitchen Aid grinder attachment. Joe and Jane made duck sausage with their old school human-powered grinder and David and I made Merguez (a spicy lamb sausage) with our Cuisinart grinder attachment. Gianni, the owner and chef at Amici Bistro was the consultant and grill master. Jeri had her house set up perfectly for such an event. Each couple had their station equipped with aprons, gloves, paper towels and plenty of open counter space. Jeri is always the “hostess with the modest, but even she outdid herself this time. Jeri, Jane and I made the appetizers: goat cheese and basil wrapped asparagus, bacon wrapped dates, zucchini fritters, bruschetta and an assortment of olives and cheeses. Gianni had the brilliant idea of frying the duck skin, which were delightful and David named them Quacklings. For side dishes to accompany the sausages we had watermelon & feta salad and a broccoli, corn & pea salad. For dessert, Jane made homemade vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a blackberry puree.
There was a lot of planning and coordination that was required to pull everything together, but in the end I think it was worth it. We had to plan for two types of casings: sheep casings as well as the more traditional pork casings (no artificial casings as this party). The sheep were hard to work with at first (different texture and much smaller than pig casing), but we got the hang of it by the end. It was gorgeous outside and we enjoyed many bottles of wine and appetizers on the deck between each stage of the process. At 10pm, we happily sat down to eat and the sausages were just incredible. We were blurry-eyed, not knowing if it from exhaustion or Joe and Jane’s homemade wine (who knows), but the sense of accomplishment was satisfying to an epic degree. It was a memorable night filled with laughter and hard work. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
A big thanks to Joe for coming up with the BEST name for our wurst party! xo