Toulouse Sausage

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One of the joint culinary loves of Australians and Frenchmen alike is that of the sausage. The humble sausage is deeply entrenched in the food culture of each nation, whether is be as the quintessential BBQ food Down Under or as the staple at every French country table. But while snags are often relegated to summer dinners and hardware store parking lots here, the French relationship with the sausage is closer to one of hero worship. That’s not to say you can’t find excellent, quality sausages in Aussie butchers, but back in France there’s just so much history and variety in grind of meat, herbs, and sizes.

Most regions have their own specialty, like so many foods in France, and today I’m showing you a personal favourite. It’s the Toulouse sausage (named after the town). It’s a pork sausage characterized by a courser grind, usually prepared in a long string and presented as a coil. They are also the sausage that is used to make the perfect Cassoulet.

Toulouse Sausage:

Ingredients:

  • 600g pork shoulder
  • 200g pork belly
  • 200g pork neck
  • 16g salt
  • 5g ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon 4 spice
  • 1 small glass white wine, about 80ml
  • sausage casings
  • 30 ml cognac
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated
  • pinch of Herb de Provençe

Method:

  1. Soak the casings in warm water for ½ hour before using.
  2. Put the meat through a the meat mincer equipped with the coarse grid.
  3. Then add the white wine, cognac, salt, pepper and the spices. Mix well, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate the mince.
  4. Once rested, mix well and put the meat in the sausage skin using the sausage attachment on your mincer. Don’t go too fast as you need to make sure the meat is compressed enough in the skin, so there is no air pocket and also that they are the right size.
  5. Hang the sausage in a cool dry place and they are ready to use the next day or alternatively you can also freeze them!

Tips: You can make individual sausages by pinching and twisting the sausage, the size is up to you. Personally I prefer to cook whole so it stays juicier and it’s also better for sharing.

Serving suggestion: I served my Toulouse sausage with a Rocket, Packam pear, Roquefort and walnut salad dressed with a raspberry vinegar dressing.

Matching wine: Chateau Viranel “Arome Sauvage” from http://www.airoldifinewines.com.au

 

 

Peter Watson’s Spices

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Spices have been used by man since our earliest civilisations. Not only as medicine or to flavour and preserve food, spices were so highly valued that certain ones, such as pepper, were used as currency. Traded first throughout Asia, India and the Middle East by sea and land on exotic trade routes, it’s suggested spices found their way to Europe by way of the crusades. They were soon traded extensively and gave rise a number of Dutch and English trading companies in the East and West Indies.

Now that a plethora of spices are readily available (and much cheaper than in centuries past), here are some fantastic spices to try from a modern day master – Peter Watson. From his shop and warehouse in Collingwood, Melbourne he passionately creates and sells some of the best spices I’ve tried in Australia. You can find out more about them, him and where to buy them here : www.peterwatson.com.au

Lamb Spice Rub

What’s in it?

  • a mix of tumeric, paprika, garlic, onions, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, cardamom, soumack, ginger, black pepper.

What to use it for:

  • a spice rub for a lamb roasts (you can use it on other red meats, it’s just that it’s created to enhance the flavour of lamb)
  • a marinade
  • to add depth of flavour to a casserole

Tangerine Peel

What’s in it?

  • Tangerine peels

What to use it for:

  • Asian style dishes
  • a lamb marinade
  • in tagine style dishes

Beef spice rub

What’s in it?

  • a mix of oregano, cumin, coriander, mustard, garlic, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, mace, mustard, brown sugar,all spice

What to use it for:

  • Casseroles
  • Curry
  • Rubbed onto steaks and then grilled

Texas Dry Rub

What’s in it?

  • a mix of onions, garlic, chili, cumin, coriander, mustard, black pepper, all spice, thyme and paprika

What to use it for:

  • BBQ chicken
  • Marinated grilled meats
  • Also great with fish

Spanish Chicken Marinade

What’s in it?

  • a mix of basil, oregano, rosemary lemon rind, garlic, paprika, thyme, , cinnamon

What to use it for:

  • Roast chicken
  • Paella

Quatre Epices (four spices)

What’s in it?

  • A mix of nutmeg, ginger, cloves and white pepper

What to use it for:

  • A famous French spice mix used in pates, terrine and many other preserves

Berbere Spice Mix (African spice mix)

What’s in it?

  • A mix of fenugreek, cardamon, coriander, chili, cumin, cloves, ginger, turmeric, ajwan, all spice,

What to use it for:

  • BBQ
  • Marinades
  • Flavouring stews

Sage and Chardonnay Jam

What to use it for:

  • Delicious with turkey, roasted lamb, pork, game roast or even cheese

Quince Jam with Thyme

What to use it for:

  • With rich meat and game dishes and cheese