Have you ever heard of the expression “nothing goes to waste”? Well, sausage-making was borne out of that saying as it utilizes trimmings left from taking out main cuts of meat then stuffing them into animal intestines for preservation. This genius idea has been practiced since early 3000 BC.
Today, almost every culture has its own unique sausage variation. Poland has kielbasa, Africa has merguez, Turkey has sucuk, and Spain has morcilla. In the Philippines, we too delight in our own version of sausages. We call it longganisa, adapted from the Spanish “longaniza.” With the prudent and resourceful character of Filipinos, it’s no surprise that this Spanish influence lives on in Filipino culture. It’s a testament to the influence of the Spaniards on Filipino cuisine and a demonstration of Filipino frugality.
Like many popular sausages, the Filipino longganisa has different versions. Its defining characteristics would depend on the indigenous spices found in the region where it is made. For instance, Vigan and Lucban longganisa is known for its garlicky flavor. Guagua longganisa is salty and sour while Baguio and San Fernando, Pampanga longganisa is sweeter.
Many say that the process of sausage-making is unpleasant so let us help erase that myth and show you that it can actually be quite easy, hygienic, and fun.
Note: Wear gloves when handling meat. Ensure that the work area and tools are well sanitized.
Disposable kitchen gloves
Sterilized needle/knife/casing perforator
5 feet natural hog casings
1 kilo ground pork shoulder
8 grams salt
4 grams black pepper
30 grams vinegar
60 grams soy sauce
50 grams garlic
1. Prepare the hog casing by soaking them in water for at least half an hour before stuffing. Rinse the casing under cool running water, holding one end of the casing open under the faucet to clean the insides thoroughly from end to end. Flush out any salt inside the casing and check for tears. Cut out sections with tears.
2. Mix salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic in a large bowl.
3. Add ground pork. Mix using your hands or with a paddle attachment of a standard mixer until the appearance and texture becomes tacky.
4. Take a small piece and cook. Adjust seasoning to your liking.
5. Stuff mixture into casing and twist off two- to three-inch lengths. Prick out air pockets with a needle, knife tip or casing perforator.
6. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to meld the flavors. Use within 2two to three days or freeze (double wrapped in plastic) for up to three months.
7. Cook thawed sausages in oil on low heat, turning sausages over every two minutes to cook evenly until internal temperature is 71 degrees Celsius. Consume hot.
Originally published in F&B Report March-April 2015