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Hit the Links

Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats shows us how the sausage is made

Ryan Farr thinks everyone should make--and eat--more sausage.

We're with him, especially when he's making Lao-style pork sausages (see the recipe) and we're eating them.

The butcher-slash-chef at San Francisco's 4505 Meats recently stopped by our Test Kitchen to discuss his favorite porky parts and pieces, as well as his new book, Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes ($35), due out in April and co-written by Tasting Table senior editor Jessica Battilana.

Farr begins by breaking down a whole pork shoulder, but you don't need butchery skills to make sausage.

He's a firm believer that with the help of some basic tools (like a meat grinder attachment for your stand mixer) and a few simple techniques, home cooks can easily make their own links.

"Once you know what texture you want and you have the four basic elements--meat, fat, salt and liquid--you're good to go," Farr says. "Oh, and don't cut into the sausage while it's cooking."

Farr's Lao-style pork sausage is flavored with kaffir lime, galangal, garlic and fish sauce. It's one of his favorite recipes from the book. After a taste, it's easy to see why. At his shop, Farr serves the spicy sausage on a bun with watermelon, mint, basil and a bit of 4505's "magic mayo," but we liked it just fine on its own, butter-basted and sliced.

We blinked and the links were gone.

  • Chef Ryan Farr in the Tasting Table Test Kitchen.

  • Laying out the ingredients for Farr's Lao sausage: galangal, pork shoulder, lemongrass and fish sauce, to name a few.

  • Lao sausage links, ready to be cooked.

  • The finished product: butter-basted Lao sausage (see the recipe).

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