***WARNING; This post contains images of raw meat.
If you’re squimish, turn away now.
Did I mention how much I love Southern food? Well, I do…although technically, I have never tasted like real, authentic Southern food (eg; southern fried chicken, collard greens, shrimp and grits, cornbread, anything Cajun or Creole), but just reading about it or the sound of it makes my heart flutter or rather my stomach pumping. So there’s recently one recipe I wanted to try out for the longest time which was biscuits and gravy. Now the biscuits in question are not those cookie types but rather savoury scones. Well, I don’t know how it’s originally done but I treated it like how you would make scones, and they turned out pretty good much to my surprise. I won’t go much into the biscuit gravy thing, you’ll read that in my next post.
So, the point is, I rather like the gravy to be made with some sort of meat and the protein that came to mind was Italian sausages. But rather than purchase actual sausages and then take the meat off the casing, I thought, I might as well make the mix and use it for all sorts of dishes. The last time I purchased some sausages, That amount I paid for only ended up for two dishes and the second dish, I took the meat only and not the sausage casing. Now I’m not bumming out on sausages here…if you prefer to purchase them then by all means go ahead. This is just me.
So, long story short, I basically just need the meat mix and since it doesn’t have to be in sausage form, I might as well make it myself. Practical right? And my theory was a success because from a batch of say this plastic sized-container (below), I managed to whip up at least 4 different dishes and one of them was 18 sausage rolls, mind you! You’ll see the posts eventually as I will link it back here.
The mix I made was a hot Italian sausage and not the sweet, but if you prefer sweet, you can just alter the ingredients to your preference.
HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE MIX RECIPE
400 gms minced pork, with a good amount of fat in it
3-4 tablespoons fennel powder (or use fennel seeds and pound them)
3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A handful of chopped parsley
1. In a big bowl, just mix all the said ingredients together with your hands. Mix thoroughly. Also, make sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat.
2. Put in a container and refrigerate overnight.
3. It should be ready the next day, do a taste test. Fry a small portion on a frying pan to see if you’re happy with the seasoning and salt. If not, adjust where necessary.
So, the first dish I made was spaghetti and meatballs, I suppose you could just do a quick bolognese as well but I was feeling like meatballs that day. That’s the great thing about this mix, let your imagination run wild. I had to alter the ingredients a bit to shape the meatballs but it was no biggie.
SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS RECIPE
A handful (or more) of hot Italian sausage mix
1 egg to bind
Fine breadcrumb if the mix becomes too wet
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1. Mix the sausage mix, egg and breadcrumb together to get the right consistency. Cook some spaghetti in a pot with boiling salted water.
2. Shape them into balls, actually you don’t even have to be perfect about it because I found once they start frying in the pan, the shape goes off anyway. Don’t shape them too big because you want it to cook through.
3. Shallow fry the meatballs in some olive oil until they’re browned on all sides. Dish and drain aside.
4. Strain away most of the oil but leave 2 teaspoons. Add chopped garlic and sautee. Pour in marinara sauce, the quantity is up to you and stir. Add in your meatballs and toss them around to coat.
5. Add your cooked spaghetti to the sauce. Toss and coat thoroughly.
6. Dish and sprinkle some grated Parmesan and parsley on top.