Texas Hot Links

Texas Hot Links
The Finished Product

The national sausage of Texas is something in between a smoked and a grilled banger. It should be meaty enough to be eaten straight away, but firm enough to be broken off with a nice snap when taking the first bite.

Makes about 25 sausages

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chilli (Chile) flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 beer
  • 2kg (4 1/2 lb) pork collar (neck)
  • 1kg (2 1/2lb) beef chuck steak
  • sausage casing
  • hickory or mesquite wood smoking chips

Method

Mix all the spices, the finely chopped garlic, sugar and beer together. Dice the meat into cubes large enough to fit in your meat mincer, add the spice mixture and mix thoroughly. Leave in the fridge overnight.

About 1 hour before it’s time to mince the sausage, put the meat and the mincer in the freezer – if the sausage mixture gets too hot, it will split and result in a squeaking, weird texture.

Mince the meat using the smallest grinder attachment, stir everything together again, and put back into the fridge immedia­tely. Fry some sausage mince to taste it, if you want. Rinse the sausage casing thoroughly – at the same time, remember and forget that it’s pork intestines we’re talking about – and leave to soak in warm water.

Attach the sausage stuffer to the mincer, slip on the casing and tie a knot at the end. Carefully press the meat paste into the casing and continue until you have run out of either sausage mixture or casing. Twist into appropriately sized sausages and roll together. Freeze the ones you don’t plan to barbecue straight away.

Prepare your grill for indirect cooking (see p.13). When you have a consistent temperature of somewhere between 110°C/230°F and 120°C/248°F, throw in a couple of handfuls of wood smoking chips, put the sausages on the rack and close the lid. Barbecue for 1-2 hours or until the inside temperature has reached 73°C/163°F. Serve with your choice of sides.

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