The sausages of summer

Posted by Cameron on 08.16.06 3:48 PM

toulouse sausage (c)2006 AECAnita and I were chatting about charcuterie as we sat down to dinner on Monday night when she allowed as how she always thought of pâté as a winter dish: something hearty for blustery weather.

Of course she’s right. Charcuterie evolved as a way of both using scraps and preserving so that it could be eaten when fresh meat wasn’t on the menu…say, when the winds of winter blew.

But for me, charcuterie is linked with summer, not winter. The natural place for a sausage is sizzling and popping on the grill, leaking fat onto the flames. When I was a kid, it wasn’t summer until we were piling ham, salami, and whatever else onto sandwiches for lunch with cold Cokes and crunchy Fritos. And pâté insists on a picnic basket, grass prickling your legs, and French white wine poured from a bottle that’s ice cold and slick with condensation.

Should you find yourself with a picnic basket to stock, do yourself a favor and include a slice of pâté maison from The Fatted Calf. They appear at farmers’ markets on both sides of the SF Bay and you can order from their Web site. We’ve liked everything that we’ve tried so far (don’t even talk to me about Aidells anymore), but the pâté is especially good. It’s well balanced, not heavily spiced, and tastes fresh, which is an odd thing to say about a preserved dish, but for you I’ll make an exception. Now waggle your eyebrows and read that last sentence in your best Groucho Marx voice.

meat, shopping



Comment by Matthew

Cameron, are those sausages in the photo from the Fatted Calf, too? They look great. I am really tired of sausages with insufficient fat, and these clearly don’t have that problem.

Posted on 08.17.06 at 8:49AM

Comment by Cameron

Yep. They are from the Fatted Calf, and the fat/meat proportions are voluptuous. The only caveat is that you have to keep a careful eye on them while grilling. They’ll actually catch fire if you let flareups get out of hand. But zey are so tasty.

Posted on 08.17.06 at 9:56AM

Comment by Dr. Biggles

Hooyah, you bet. They are dainty little fellows and you most certainly have to look after them. I’ll usually sear them just a tad, then put them to the side for a few moments with hickory chip smoky love.
Most of their sausages are about 22 to 30% fat. Taylor’s bordelaise sausage is 32 or 31, me thinks. Wonnerful!
I grilled up their pork brochettes from last week, last night. Dang they were good, quite a bright little meaty package. Gotta be careful with that grassfed pork though, it don’t have much fat. Cook till done and no more.


Posted on 08.24.06 at 9:31AM

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