Ramp and Miso Sausage

Ramp and Miso Sausage
*Served in a fresh shrimp and scallion pancake with pickled daikon/carrot, Hoisin sauce.

After some time of tinkering around with fresh sausages I finally came up with a recipe that I believe is both unique and delicious enough to warrant a Joy and Feast post. I have become extremely interested in the sausage making process and I wanted to show that it's fairly simple to make out of this world sausages on your own, which are designed suite your own tastes or dietary needs.

I might be an overly enthusiastic advocate of the sausage making process, but the moment you are able to serve your own sausages to friends and family is an incredibly gratifying experience. In addition, after reading the listed ingredients on the back of most inexpensive sausages should turn anyone away from accepting anything but the best quality sausages. Mass produced commercial sausages are filled with preservatives and additives which I believe no one needs in their diet.

What defines a sausage? Sausages have been an important aspect in the human diet for a very long time. Sausage Obsession cited the earliest sausage usage can be traced back to 50,000 B.C.E. Traditionally sausages were scraps of meat or other ingredients stuffed into the offal, generally the intestine or stomach of a recent kill in order to preserve and use as much of the animal as possible. Practicing sausage making allows modern women and men to have the opportunity to practice a tradition that dates back tens of thousands of years.

The concept of the sausage has spread all across the world in which a huge variety of traditions and practices have arisen. Some of the regional variations have very interesting ingredients and processing techniques to transform the sausage into an edible treat. By this I mean that sausages can be raw and stuffed into a casing then cooked, pressed into patties and cooked, fermented, smoked, and even air-dried(McGee 170) until enough moisture leaves the sausage that it becomes a hardened and edible. Sausage can be the fillings of potstickers and raviolis, crumbled onto pizza, and even a delicate emulsified mixture of meat, egg, and cream. The bottom line is sausage making is important, so why not make fresh stuffed sausages at home?

As varied as the techniques and ingredients are in the realm of sausage making, one of the sage pieces of advice Michael Ruhlman offers is keep a 3 to 1 ratio of meat to fat. or keep a sausage at least 25% fat by weight(p 130), ignore this advice, and the result is a dry sausage, and there is no point in investing several hours on homemade sausages if the result is destined to be inadequate. The addition of liquid's and fruits or vegetables with a high moisture content may add to the succulence of the final product.

The ingredients which sets this particular sausage apart are the miso and ramp. Miso is a fermented soybean paste exalted in Japanese cooking, miso is considered one of Japan's most important staples (Tsuji, 76). There are several varieties of miso, but for the this sausage we need to use a stronger and saltier variety like most red misos. The other unique ingredient in this sausage is the ramp. Ramp's are wild onions which grow throughout the Appalachian chain in the early spring, The greens and stems both have wonderful and separate uses. However, for practicalities sake feel free to substitute fresh ramps with scallions if you are making this in any other season. For another Joy and Feast recipe using ramps check out one my earliest recipes for Pickled Ramps.

If you have any unique sausage recipes or enlighten sausage techniques of your own, please let me hear back!

Ramp and Miso Sausage

Ramp and Miso Sausage

  • 4 pounds Boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 pound Boneless & skinless chicken breast
  • 8 Ramps, minced, substitute scallions if ramps are out of season
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3 T Red miso
  • 3 T Ginger, minced
  • 2 T Garlic, minced
  • 2 T Dried chili flakes
  • 2 T Kosher salt
  • 6 T Soy sauce
  • 2 t Sugar (preferably Dextrose)
  • 1 & 1/2 t Sesame seeds
  • 10 feet Hog casings(can substitute lamb casings, or use as dumpling filling).

    Special Equipment:
    A stand mixer with a meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachment.
Cooking Directions
  1. Make sure all equipment is sterilized and chilled before starting the sausage making process.
  2. Trim any sinew, tough cartilage, skin, or bones, and then dice meat into medium chunks.
  3. Feed all of the meat into your stand mixer with the meat grinder attachment.
  4. Feed directly into stand mixer's mixing bowl. Add all ingredients and quickly mix thoroughly with stand mixer's paddle attachment.
  5. Heat up a portion of the meat mixture in a skillet and ensure that the seasoning is correct, if not adjust at this point until satisfied.
  6. Attach sausage stuffer onto the stand mixer. Feed the whole casing onto the sausage stuffer and tie the end.
  7. Feed mixture through the stand mixer until sausage is stuffed.
  8. Make individual links by twisting the sausages towards oneself, then away in an alternating pattern.
  9. Let the sausages sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  10. Fire up your grill or skillet and cook through to an internal temperature of 165F. I also vacuum seal and freeze unused sausages, they last for months and maintain their quality.
Total Time: 4 hours

Further Readings and Citations:
  • McGee, Harold. On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen. Simon and Schuster, 2007.
  • Ruhlman, Michael. Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. Simon and Schuster, 2009.
  • "The History of Sausage." Sausageobsession.com
  • Tsuji, Shizuo. Japanese cooking: a simple art. Kodansha International, 2006.


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