Sunday, June 30, 2013

Homemade Cantalupo Sausage

Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts. – Aldous Huxley 

Slap this on the barbie.

It's the last day of June 2013. Can you believe it? Time is flying. Almost a week ago I was raving on about many of us only being familiar with only a few sausages the world has to offer. It seems like yesterday.

Turn this...
It’s true about our dearth of sausages here, and for example I listed a few names to see of anyone had ever heard of them. The response was thunderous (silence...).

So be it. Whatever. It feels good for me even if I’m only having a one way conversation.

Some would even venture to say that’s the way I prefer it...

One of the sausages I mentioned was Cantalupo. It was supposedly named for the Italian town in which it originated. It must be a real rarity since I believe this recipe is only the second for it on the web, unless Google isn’t doing its job.

Where is Cantalupo?
Cantalupo is Italian for “song of the wolf,” the Greek “Kata-Lupon” (middle of the woods), or even the Bulgarian “Kan-Teleped”  (chief residence). Since it’s in Italy, my money is on the Italian (from Latin). Why on earth would Bulgarian get in there? Darned Wikipedia.

into this, and then...
There are several towns called Cantalupo in Italy, and because the information on this sausage is slight I’ll give a little information about the two I found. It could be from another Cantalupo altogether.

The first is Cantalupo in Sabina, about half way up Italy. It is famous for the muskmelon called cantaloupe. In Imperial Roman times Cicero's family owned a villa there.

The second I found is Cantalupo nel Sannio in southern Italy. The town was known simply as Cantalupo until 1864, when the “nel Sannio” was added in order to tell it apart from others. Many Cantalupesi settled in Montréal where they still maintain the Associazione di Sant'Anna di Cantalupo, named in honour of their patron, Saint Anne.

You go looking for some simple information and you get porridge... Neither mentioned anything about sausage.

Where I found this
I found this recipe on a site that has compiled quite a few sausage recipe, They cite it as being submitted by R.J. Scorzafave. The recipe was for 10 lbs of pork, a bit of a pile unless you’re really into it.

and then into this.
That’s a serious amount of sausage, and would make about 40 links. I find 2 to 2.5 lbs a goodly enough amount for a small gathering or family. We usually buy sausages in 1 lb packages.

This recipe intrigued me because it had orange peel in the mix. Orange and fennel are predominant. Other than the orange the recipe follows “normal procedure.”

We’re having a Canada Day feast at the house today. I already have the “Canadian” sausage I concocted (and froze) last weekend, but we have enough people coming that I may need more.

So I’m testing these on our friends. Actually it’s not much of a test. I already have tried it. I couldn’t wait. I fried up a little to see how orange flavoured they were.

I wasn’t disappointed. The orange and fennel were in perfect balance, with a little spiciness added by the chilli flakes. Quite interesting actually, but at the same time quite “Italian sausage.” I believe it’s the fennel that identifies them as such.

I used a pork shoulder that I had in the freezer. It was about 2kg. By the time I removed the skin and bones I had exactly 2 lbs of meat and fat, perhaps a little more fat than usual, but that’s what makes sausages good!

I’m having a lot of fun making sausage, and plan on travelling the world via recipes in the future. I don’t know if the spouse is sick of them yet. I probably have a grace period over the summer. Once cooler weather comes, who knows... I may have to start curing them!

BBQ whole, twist into links, or use loose if you prefer.
Cantalupo Sausage
Time: 1 hour  |  Yield: 8 links
2 lbs coarse ground pork shoulder
2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp whole fennel seed
2 tbsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp ice water (or maybe orange juice)

Mix well. Stuff into casings and twist into 8 links. Refrigerate for up to 1 week before use, or freeze.

It can also be shaped into sausage patties or balls.


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  1. I'm going to give it a try. My wife bought a 19+ pound pork shoulder to inspire me. The result is going to be half a dozen kinds of sausages. This will be one of them. Thanks for your efforts!

    1. Good luck with your sausage making. It can be a lot of fun. Feel free to search "sausage" on my blog. I have quite a few recipes!

  2. We are making sausages this weekend, mainly because pork is on sale and we have some friends who want to learn! Since I already have our favorite sausage int he freezer, I was looking for a few new recipes. I found this on the spicy sausage website, then googled it to see if it's for real!

    I, like you, am intrigued by the orange zest. It is orange season here in south Louisiana. Going to try just a few pounds, like you! Posting soon, I hope, with the results. Thanks for letting us know it's good.

    Just curiuos, when you finally did cook it up, how was it? What did you serve it with?


    wouldn't let put in my wordpress thing, so just pasted it here.

    1. Hi, I find making sausage far easier when you're not dealing with 10 lbs of meat! 2 lbs makes 8 sausages – enough for a nice family barbecue, which I think is what we did, with buns and condiments. They're a bit different, but very good.

    2. Thanks! I think we're going to halve it and make 5 pounds since we are splitting the final product. And I'm adding a little fresh parsley, too. Actually, we have 19 pounds of pork butt!! We'll be making a few flavors today, but this is our new recipe to try.