Apple,Walnut, Wild Rice Duck Sausage

Walking through an Autumnal forest is an experience akin to walking the sacred aisle of a holy sanctuary. Multicolored leaves litter the ground like the broken panes of a great cathedral. A hush falls over the landscape only to be broken by the rustle of foraging creatures.

So much is to be gathered from field and forest during this season of harvest and the following sausage recipe has been handed down through the generations of my family. Each kitchen in which it has been prepared has added ingredients but the basic idea remains untouched. A soul warming food made from that which the woods and water provide.

Apple, Walnut, Wild Rice, Duck Sausage

3 lbs wild duck meat

2 lbs ground pork or country pork sausage

3 medium onions chopped

2 apples peeled and chopped

3 cups unseasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup raisins

Run these ingredients through a meat grinder then add:

1 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup cooked wild rice

1/2 cup morel mushrooms cooked and minced

1/4 cup black walnuts ground into powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine well and chill covered overnight to flavor through.

Fry as  patties, bake as a meatloaf topped with rich ketchup, or put into casings as sausage.

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Chill Chasing Soup

Do you ever have a moment when a particular smell, taste, or sound triggers a long forgotten memory? Perhaps you are at a restaurant and with one bite of your meal you are suddenly transported via palatable time machine to another time in your life.

This happens to me quite often, especially when I am on one of my weekend road trips and happen to stop at a small diner for dinner.

There are several menu items that seem to switch on the slide projector of memories in my head but none more so than a good sausage and cabbage soup. Us Germans refer to it as Kohl Eintopft.

I remember eating this soup as a child in a brown speckled stoneware bowl with a thick, oven warm slice of homemade German potato bread.

Kohl Eintopft

1/2lb of a good smokey bacon

1 ring of farmer’s sausage cut into 1/2″ thick rounds

1 large onion diced

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

6 stalks of celery with the leaves diced

1/4 cup fresh parsley minced

6 carrots peeled and chopped

4 potatoes peeled and chopped

1/2 head of cabbage shredded finely

2 quarts low sodium or homemade chicken broth

2 quarts of good stewed tomatoes

1 cup V8 juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from drippings and drain on paper towels. Leave 2 Tablespoons of drippings in the pan. Add onion, garlic, and celery to the drippings and saute until tender.

In a large pot combine the remaining ingredients and onion mixture. Add additional V8 juice and broth if there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid. Simmer on medium heat until the vegetables are tender.

In a skillet brown the farmers sausage on both sides. Add sausage to the soup and simmer a few minutes longer.

Serve garnished with dill and crumbled bacon.

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