Pizza Today - October 2022 - 35

* Know your cuts of meat. Shoulder cuts,
also known as the butt, is ideal if you're using
pork, beef or lamb (it has a good blend of
muscle and fat that is great for grinding).
* Cube up your meat and then keep it
cold. Don't let it sit out or it will be harder
to grind.
* Decide which grinder plate you want
to use, coarse or fine. You can also use a
combination of the two.
* Don't throw out all of the fat when
cutting and trimming your pork butt. As you
know, fat is flavor and is especially important
in something like sausage. I aim for a leanto-fat
ratio of 70/30. That's 70 percent meat
to 30 percent fat. You can go higher or lower
depending on your preference. If you're using
something other than pork that tends to be
leaner, such as lamb, you might need to add
in extra fat.
* Always, and I mean always, keep the
grinder attachment in the freezer. This
means, wash it, dry it and put it back in the
freezer so it is ready to go and you don't slow
down production.
Next to the quality of the
meat, your flavor profile is most
important. Well maybe it's top of the list
because you don't want to ruin a great piece
of meat with terrible flavors.
At my shop, we do a pretty basic recipe for
our house sausage consisting of Calabrian
Chiles, honey and fennel. We use this
sausage on all of our pizzas, from our Spicy
Pig (sausage, pepperoni, roasted jalapeƱos
and garlic) to our Italian Mamma (sausage,
kale, sweet onions and Parmesan).
You can really do any flavor combination
you want - just remember to keep it
balanced. When choosing the spices and
produce you're going to use, it is important
to think about how they will work with the
type of meat you decide on.
Pork is the most common meat used for
sausage. It has a very neutral flavor with a
good fat content and stays juicy when it's
cooked. There are other good options, too,
and since so many meat pizza toppings
are pork based, it's fun to change it up.
Especially if you have a lot of customers who
can't or don't eat pork, it's nice to be able
to offer them an alternative. With so many
people asking for a meatless pizza these days,
you can also make a vegan sausage option.
Here are a few sausage combinations to get
you started:
* Sausage: Lamb, rosemary, red wine and
garlic on a pizza with thinly sliced potatoes,
red onion, mozzarella and feta.
* Sausage: Beef, leeks and oregano on a
pizza with spinach, paper-thin lemon slices
(fresh or flash fried), mozzarella and ricotta.
* Sausage: pork, maple and sage on a pizza
with delicata squash, rainbow chard and
Piave cheese.
* Sausage: Chicken, jalapeƱos (or other
chilies) and roasted red peppers on a pizza
with bell peppers, sauce, mozzarella and
roasted chilies.
* Sausage: Vegan ground meat,
mushrooms, roasted garlic, thyme on a pizza
with wild mushrooms and arugula.
Pre-cook or cook on pizza?
If you are using bulk sausage, I always
choose raw. The only time I would pre-cook
sausage is if it won't cook fast enough on
the pizza in the oven. This is for styles like
Neapolitan, where the pie cooks in
90 seconds. Even if you pinch it paper thin,
chances are it's still going to be raw if it's
not at least partially cooked. Most other
styles of pizza have a long enough bake time
to allow for raw sausage. The main reason
that I prefer raw sausage is that pinching it
directly onto the pie makes it so that it stays
juicy, fresh and the flavors meld with the rest
of the pizza. It doesn't get dried out, overly
crumbly and rubbery.
How do you decide between link
sausage and bulk sausage?
They look aesthetically different and taste
different so it's a personal choice. You should
consider what texture, flavor and use you are
looking for when deciding what to purchase
or make. If you go with sausage links, you
will need to pre-cook them and I would
suggest pre-slicing them so you don't hold up
the makeline during service. One of the great
things about link sausages is that they can be
cross utilized as an entree or sandwich.
If you are buying your sausage, there are
plenty of options for every style and form
of sausage you want. You can purchase it in
bulk or links, pre-cooked or raw. Most of
the big companies have the basic types like
sweet, mild or hot Italian and garlic. If you're
looking for something a little more special, I
encourage you to check out local companies.
A lot of them also offer unique flavors that
reflect the region you're in. For example, in
Colorado, Boulder Sausage makes a fantastic
Hatch Green Chile sausage. Another
Colorado company, Frontiere Natural Meats,
makes a Bison sausage.
Being a top five pizza topping, sausage
is an important part of any pizzeria menu.
Whether you decide to make it yourself or
buy it from one of your purveyors, there are
plenty of options to choose from. Here is a
sausage recipe to get you started.
SPICY SAUSAGE PIE
Sausage:
2 pound ground pork shoulder
4 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon fennel seeds (lightly toasted
and crushed)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Mix all ingredient together until
thoroughly combined.
Pizza:
400 g dough ball
200 g shredded mozzarella
225 g of sausage (recipe above)
100 g ricotta
85 g fresh basil pesto (in a squeeze
bottle, give or take amount)
1/2 peach, sliced
Handful of arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Stretch dough ball. Sprinkle on
mozzarella. Either pipe or spoon on ricotta.
Pinch sausage on top of mozzarella.
Bake at 625 F for 7 minutes. Take pizza
out and cut.
Evenly distribute peach slices over pizza.
Squeeze pesto over pie. Scatter arugula on
top. Drizzle with olive oil.
Eat and enjoy!
AUDREY KELLY owns Audrey Jane's
Pizza Garage in Boulder, Colorado.

Pizza Today - October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - October 2022

Pizza Today - October 2022 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover1
Pizza Today - October 2022 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2022 - 3
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