Friday, October 15, 2010

Bulgarian pork sausages -Суджук, сурова наденица

Christmas always creates positive emotions and memories in me. Along with gifts, shopping, and delicious food, cozy home, family and cracking sound of the burning wood in the fireplace there is also something else.
The backyard is covered with snow. I recall the butcher of the village, slaughtered pig, and a lot of men doing their work - cleaning and cutting the meat. Women are ready to prepare, cook and preserve the meat for the long winter.
There is a wooden oven and open fire with a large pot of boiling water. Jug with homemade red wine and wormwood herb goes from hand to hand and everyone take a sip to warm a bit.  Pork chops are sizzling for appetizers /meze/ to provide the good spirit among aides.
Each piece of meat, chitterlings, and even blood has its purpose. I've attended more than three times such events and I could say that all this described above requires a hard working.
The fat from the back, the sides, and the hindquarters is used to make different kinds of bacon - salted, in brine, and smoked. Abdominal fat is melted for lard. The lard is used in Bulgarian cuisine for cooking; prepare sweets and crackers, even for popping popcorn in it. Leftovers from the melted fat are being spiced and kept for cooking - small crispy bites named Prajki or Djumerki.
The meat and cartilage from the head are boiled, deboned, and spiced. The pork’s tripe is stuffed, cooked and then dried. This is called Babek. /almost like Headcheese, but not exactly /.
By using the fillet meat from the pork, spices, salt and stuffed tripe, dry the mixture without cooking, and you can make dry kalbasa called Staretz.
Each geographical region has its own recipes and spices for Nadenitca and Lukanka / raw and dried sausages /. I am glad that my parents were born in two different counties in Bulgaria - the north-east and south-west. This fact has increased and improved my knowledge. For example, when the folks in south parts of Bulgaria make brined fat (Slanina) they use leeks and Caraway, while the people in Northern Bulgaria leave it plane. If some places use more paprika, others use Winter Savory ( Satureja ) to spice it up. Those are common spices in manufacturing of sausages: Winter Savory Cumin, Black pepper, Paprika, Garlic, Laurus (Daphne’s leaf or Bay leaf), Fenugreek, onion. Other spices are Pimenta officinalis (allspice), Nutmeg, Thymus, and Caraway.
Blood pudding named Karvavitca is made from blood and livers, trimmings, leek, cumin, and black pepper. Thick pork intestines are used as well.
Bahur is made from rice, trimmings, heart, bacon, onion, bay leaf, allspice; here is a quick recipe:  all ingredients are sauté and thick pork intestines are stuffed with these, then pierce with a needle in several places and boil in salted water, drain and keep it in dry and cold place. 
Dried meat/ Pastarma is made from a big chunk of lean meat that is salted, air dried, and often spiced meat.
Households rarely preserved meat in cans or jars.

Recipe for pork sausage / рецепта за сурова наденица или сушен суджук :

 3 kg lean pork meat
 3 teaspoons black pepper
 2 teaspoon allspice
 3 teaspoons cumin
 Pork’s intestines /thin/
 4-5 cloves of garlic
 5 teaspoons winter savory
60 grams salt (20 grams per kilogram meat)

Grind the meat. Season and mix. Wash pork intestines very well from inside and outside. Tightly fill the intestines with the meat mix.

Pierce few holes with a needle and press tightly but gently to push the remaining air out. Tie the ends with thread and suspend in dry and ventilated place.

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