Pheasant, Foie Gras and Truffle Sausage

2 pounds MacFarlane Pheasants boneless, skinless thigh meat, partially frozen
½ pound pork fat back, partially frozen
2 pounds baked potato, roasted, peeled, riced and chilled
2 ounce foie gras, seared, chilled, diced
1 tablespoon black truffle, chopped
1 teaspoon black truffle oil
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped to paste
2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon red curing salt
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 natural hog casing, one inch in diameter, three feet in length

Place the grinder attachment in the freezer. Chill all the ingredients. Chill a medium size mixing bowl to mix the sausage ingredients. Prepare the sausage casing by attaching one opening of the casing to the end of a water faucet allowing cold water to run through them, and then soak in cold water.

To prepare the pheasant meat and pork fat for grinding, cut pieces small enough to fit into the grinder chute. Arrange them on a flat tray or plate, place in the freezer until partially frozen. When the pheasant meat and pork fat are partially frozen, begin to grind them. Meat should not totally be frozen. This is a critical point, if the meat is not cold enough; it will not process though the grinder properly, yielding a soft texture. In the chilled bowl, add ground meat and remaining ingredients. Gently and thoroughly mix the ingredients together by hand.

In a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Gently sauté a teaspoon of meat mixture until it is fully cooked, taste to ensure the seasoning is correct before stuffing. Adjust as needed. Beware that if some of the flavors seem muted; try adding a pinch of salt before adding more of the specific ingredients. Salt will often bring these flavors forward. Chill the mixture until ready to stuff the casings.

Set up the sausage stuffing apparatus. Slide the rinsed casings over the nozzle on the stuffer. Feed the chilled pheasant mixture into the chute at moderate speed. Carefully control the fill rate of the casing with one hand while the other hand continues to feed the mixture into the chute.

When the casing is stuffed, lay it flat on a work surface. Using the teasing needle, puncture the casing to force air out of the sausage. Repeat this process until no air pockets remain.

Divide the stuffed casings into six equal lengths, about 5 inches. Secure each one by twisting the sausages three to five times. Hang the sausages in a dry but cool environment for at least three full days before cooking. Carefully monitor them as they can dry out. If they are too moist, they will rupture while cooking, if they stay out too long, bacteria will develop. (One day should be sufficient).

When the sausages are dry, cut the links apart and keep refrigerated until ready to prepare. To cook and serve, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized skillet over moderate heat. Add the sausages and cook over moderate heat until the sausages are completely brown all the way around. Continue to rotate and cook until they are firm to the touch.

Serve with Pheasant Jus, sautéed seasonal vegetables, and roasted potatoes.

Yield: 6 servings

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