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mazzafegati sausage

Mazzafegati, Italian Liver Sausage

This is what to do when life gives you livers. Mazzafegati are an unusual fresh sausage from Umbria, in central Italy, and they are delicious roasted over an open fire, especially a wood fire. You can use domestic pork and and pork liver for this, but I use wild boar; it gives the sausages an extra punch. Make sure everything is very cold when you make these sausages — liver is very moist, and will bleed when ground.
Course Cured Meat
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 5 pounds
Author Hank Shaw

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork liver, partially frozen
  • 1 pound pork fat
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 36 grams kosher salt, about 3 level tablespoons
  • 55 grams pine nuts, about a half cup, toasted
  • 30 grams sugar, about 2 level tablespoons
  • 15 grams ground coriander seed, about 2 teaspoons
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 grams black pepper, about 1 tablespoon
  • Zest from 3 tangerines or oranges
  • 1/2 cup sweet white wine, such as Muscat
  • Hog casings

Instructions

  1. Chill the meat until it is almost frozen by putting it in the freezer for an hour or so. Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Chop meat and fat into 1 inch chunks. Combine all the spices with the meat (except the wine), mix well with your hands and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.
  3. Grind through your meat grinder (you can use a food processor in a pinch, but you will not get a fine texture) twice, first using the coarse die, then the fine one. If your room is warm, set the bowl for the ground meat into another bowl of ice to keep it cold.
  4. Add the sweet wine and mix thoroughly either using a Kitchenaid on low for 60-90 seconds or with your (very clean) hands. Mixing is important to get the sausage to bind properly. Once it is mixed well, put it back in the fridge.
  5. Stuff the sausage into the casings all at once. Twist off links by pinching the sausage down and twisting it, first in one direction, and then with the next link, the other direction. Or you could tie them off with butcher’s string.
  6. Hang the sausages in a cool place for up to a day (the colder it is, the longer you can hang them). If it is warm out — warmer than 70F — hang for one hour. Once they have dried a bit, put in the fridge until needed. They will keep for at least a week in the fridge.

  7. If you are freezing the sausages, wait a day before doing so. This will tighten up the sausages and help them keep their shape in the deep-freeze.