Valley Bounty: Ground Pork, October 25, 2014

CISA_ValleyBountyLogoGround pork is the base for sausages, meatballs, patties, and dumplings from many cultures, including Asian, Eastern European and Latino. Vary the spices (chili flakes and ginger to sage and fennel) and the preparation and you can make golumbkis, fried dumplings, sausages, meatballs, or pork and noodles. Remember that if you’re not equipped to make stuffed sausages, you can use any sausage recipe to make patties.

By Abby Getman of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

Find local pork producers here.


For my family, fall is traditionally the time of year when the hogs go to slaughter, as they’ve foraged on pasture and eaten like kings from the garden’s waste all summer long. There’s nothing quite like getting fresh cuts back from the butcher and packaging for use all winter long. Sausage-making is a time-honored tradition in my house—my mother and her friends would gather in our kitchen with ground pork and the belly to make spicy Italian or sweet breakfast sausages while my father and the other men wrangled the nearly dozen young children for a night out of the house. If you have a meat grinder with stuffing attachment or an attachment for your stand mixer, you can stuff sausage casings. If not, the same recipes can be used to make sausage patties. Here are great step-by-step photos of the sausage making process, and my mother’s recipes.

Italian Sausage
By Mary Getman

3.5 lbs. ground pork w/ fat
1 onion, ground
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 T salt
1 t ea. pepper, paprika, crushed fennel seed
1 T crushed red pepper
1/2 t ea. thyme & crushed bay leaf
1/3 c chilled red wine

Mix all ingredients well.  May be made into patties or links.

Breakfast Sausage
By Mary Getman

5 lb ground pork w/ fat
2 T salt
1 T sage
1 1/2 t pepper
1/2 t ea. nutmeg & thyme
1/t. crushed red pepper
1/2 c water

Mix all ingredients well.  May be made into patties, links, or browned and made into sausage & gravy) Good eating!!

Tim Wilcox from The Kitchen Garden posted an inspiring photo of pork fried dumpling back in the spring that I’ve been dreaming about making. He used Kenji López-Alt’s recipe from Serious Eats. Tim also recommends this recipe for Dan Dan Noodles, also from Kenji. Tim says, “The recipe looks scary but it’s really quite simple once you have sourced some of the more exotic ingredients, all of which are easily procured at Mom’s House” on College Street in Amherst.

Simple Gifts Farm also offers a recipe for ginger scallion meat balls.

Smitten Kitchen also has a great Italian Stuffed Cabbage recipe that is close enough in my book to the traditional Eastern European golombki, that I thought I’d post it. They also have great step by step instructions (with pictures!) for prepping the leaves.