A matured saucisson sec is one of the most delicious examples of French charcuterie. Farmers’ wives still produce these salami-type sausages in country districts. A friend who makes them several times a year stores the sausages in wood ash until they are ready to eat. When a small notice appears on the corner of the farmhouse telling you they are for sale, I dash across to buy one straight away. They travel well for picnics, but are also good served thinly sliced as an hors d’oeuvre with olives.
Mince the meat, dice the fat finely and mix with the meat, garlic, salt, peppercorns, quatre-épices, saltpetre and sugar. Use your hands or
Attach one end of the intestine to a tap and rinse out well with warm water. Tie one end with string and fill the casing with the pork mixture, using a wide funnel and a rammer, packing the meat in tightly. If you find any air pockets, prick the casing with a fine needle to release the air.
Tie both ends of each sausage with string. Hang the sausage in a dry place, with a constant temperature of 25°C (60°F), for 4 to 5 days. Move the sausages to a cool, dry place for 1–2 months. Then, if you wish, store the sausages in wood ash for a few days; finally brush off the dust and hang the sausages in a cool, airy place until you wish to eat them. Cut in very thin slices for serving.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.