Monday, February 2, 2009

Alheira


Portuguese bread sausage. Actually, it should be called jewish bread sausage because it was originally made by jews back in the day who lived in portugal but didn't eat pork. You see, every portuguese and there cousin makes and smokes chorizo. So during the portuguese inquisition, the jews had to figure out ways to "blend in" with the people around them. Due to there religion they don't eat pork. So they had to come up with there own sausage that would resemble the typical chorizo. So they would use any meat but pork, mix it with bread for consistency, season heavily with paprika and smoke em'.  
The term "using any meat" quickly translates to most cooks as "clean out the freezer". So this is a great way to use up all those left over tid bits that didn't make the cut in the last salami. I'm talking about duck, rabbit, beef, pork, bacon, belly, even a little bit of lamb if it floats your boat.  I mean ANYTHING, save it all!!! Fill that freezer up till it wont shut properly and then thaw it all out and into one big pot. Cover it with some water or stock, throw a bucket of duck fat in there and boil it for hours. 
In the meat time, make sure you have some old baguettes, and by old i mean just a day or two... not everything is fair game here. slice em down the middle and expose that tough crunchy interior. Put them in a bus pan or something that can hold liquid. 
Now back to the pot of yummy odds and ends. Your goal here is to simmer the meat till all the water/stock has evaporated and your left with clear fat. Once you have reached that point. strain the fat and pick through the meat. Now pour the fat over the bread. Not too much that you over saturate the bread but dont be shy with it. 
At this point you have a big batch of braised miscellaneous meat and soggy fatty bread. Sounds good already doesn't it? Chill the bread while you dice up the meat. hack away at it, finesse is not an issue here. Then do the same with the bread, chop it up and then mix it with the meat. I like a 65% meat/35% bread ratio, too much bread and you'll notice it. 
Season it heavily with salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika and piri piri spice blend. This is a spice blend, not Emerils bbq sauce you toss chicken wings in. Its available here at our local spice store, so i'll assume its available wherever you are.  It looks like smoked paprika and has whole juniper berries in it. Why those whole berries are in it i have no clue, but i'm sure you'll find it just as annoying as i do while picking them out. 
Now pipe them out into sausage casings, hang them for four days, then cold smoke them for as long as you can and hang em a bit more before vac packing , freezing, eating, whatever. 
The way to eat these is to peel off the casing and fry them. 
They are so fatty and rich so keep in mind what your serving them with. I've always found they go nice with some nice crunchy vinegary pickles of your choice. 
There is no standard recipe. 
Its straight cowboy on this one. 

 

1 comment:

charcutier said...

Nice, never heard of this one, thanks for the quick lesson!

Darrin