Please welcome back the wonderful Krista Ball:
Pig intestines, Sausage, and Condoms: Making Dinner
Sometimes, a gal just gotta try something new. For many, it’s knitting. For others, it’s learning how to change a tire. Me? It’s stuffing pig intestines.
Traditional sausages are stuffed into intestines. Today, we run the meat through a grinder and stuff it into casings. So I wanted to give this a try the pre-industrial way.
First, I had to “grind” my own meat. Without a grinder, electricity, and/or servants, that meant I was doing it by hand. Since I buy a Berkshire pig every year from a local family, I asked them to include some intestines for me. They laughed, but said sure. They even had them salted and included the instructions on how to use and reuse them (whew!).
I took 1 pound of pork belly (it’s normally used for making strip bacon) and chopped it as finely as I could. Then, the meat was pounded with a mortar and pestle until my hands cramped (about an hour of cutting and pounding). Time for stuffing!
Let me just get this part out of the way: In pulling the intestine off the plastic rod it was on, I really understood why they had been used for condoms for centuries. The shape, texture, and size are perfect. Just tie a ribbon around the top to hold it in place and let the fun times begin.
It was rather creepy.
So after I wrestled the intestine opening, I stuff it with the pork-onion-parsley mixture. It didn’t take long before it started to look like something else. Thank heavens I didn’t have a dark meat! Ick!
Here’s something I found interesting – the intestines didn’t tear. They’re quite tough. I suppose that’s obvious, considering what the poor things do inside the body, but I was surprised at how sturdy they were.
Oh, air bubbles? Squeezing those out totally sounded like farting! (Not that I did that. I did not play with my sausage at any point in this. Wait, erm…Oh forget it).
Afterwards, I boiled the sausage and served it up! Everyone loved it. In fact, the coarse texture turned out to be a selling point. Many people enjoyed it!
Recipe for the bold:
1 pound pork belly, chopped and pounded
1 onion, minced
½ bunch parsley, stems removed and leaves minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the ingredients using your hands until well combined. Stuff the mixture into intestines. Remove air bubbles and tie off. Add to salted boiling water and cook for 30 (for crunchy onions) to 60 minutes (for completely soft). Serve hot or cold.
What’s the strangest food item you’ve eaten…and didn’t realize until after the fact!
A little while ago, I was asked to read with the possibility of blurbing Krista Ball’s new book, What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank. It is currently available in electronic form and will shortly be available in print form. I LOVE this book. It’s one of those that you read slowly to savor and mark up a bunch for notes. It’s not just excellent for researching books, but just learning cool stuff. I talked Krista into doing some blog posts here (twisted arm, whatever) and she kindly agreed (feared for her life).
A little bio:
According to her mother, Krista D. Ball tells lies for a living. She is the author of several short stories, novellas, and novels. Krista incorporates as much historical information into her work as possible, mostly to justify her student loan payments. Whenever she gets annoyed, she blows something up in her fiction. Regular readers of her work have commented that she is annoyed a lot.