Experiments in Sausage Making I: Lung Sausage after Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch

This weekend, I had the opportunity to join friends to experiment with medieval sausage recipes. The first was from the Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch and it is one I have been wanting to try for a long time. It turned out surprisingly well.

based on Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch #28

28 Item if you would make a good salted sausage, take the hind gut (rectum) of a calf and scrape it out in hot water and make it clean. Chop the lungs and bacon and season it well and enclose it in the gut. You also happily take the brain and egg yolks, parsley, and milk with this, then it is called a brain sausage. Afterward, boil it and then roast it on a griddle and serve it dry (i.e. without sauce) or make a yellow sauce to go over it (with) a little wine and season it.

There is a parallel recipe in Meister Hans:

Recipe #19 Würst machstu aus ainem affter darm von ainem kalb

Sausages you make from the rectum of a calf.

Item take the rectum of a calf and make it very clean. Chop lungs and bacon together, season it well and rub it in, and put that into the rectum. And boil the sausages and prepare and roast them. Thereafter, serve them dry (i.e. without sauce).

The idea of using lung this way was not exactly appealing, but the point to an experiment is finding out thing, so we went and did. I bought a calf lung from a Persian butcher and parboiled it in lightly salted water, then passed 500g of it through a meat grinder with 500g of streaky bacon (Bauchspeck). Since no specific seasoning instructions were given, I went for a mix of ‘warm’ spices: salt – just about two teaspoons since the bacon was already salted – pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Two eggs made the mix soft enough to stuff into beef guts.

The sausages were slowly simmered for about 25 minutes and we served them with a variety of sauces. The lung sausage was the one I had the least hope for, but it turned out surprisingly pleasant. The texture of the lung was already attenuated by parboiling, and after grinding and mixing it was no longer noticeable. The flavour was rich and meaty, with a pudding-like consistency created by the eggs. It went especially well with dewericz, a honey apple sauce. More on the experiments later – this one was a success.

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