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Author Notes: We like hockey. But we’ve done some bad things. Back in the Iron League, skating with the Hansen brothers, Pierino earned his first 10 minute major for fighting…with the Zamboni driver; “Hey, hoser you missed a spot.” And then up in Canada we took a game misconduct for running Justin Bieber hair first into the boards. So when you are sitting in the penalty box, feeling shame of course, you have time to think about food. Sausage always comes to mind. Pork and maple flavors are great together. Amp it up with some mustard and you are on your way to a good sandwich. For this recipe we strongly recommend that you grind your own meat. You can substitute packaged ground pork but if you do, well you won’t want to meet us at the blue line. Nobody named Wolfgang was harmed in this. Sound track; Maxine Nightingale, “Right Back to Where We Started From.” —pierino
- 1 pound pork shoulder, with some marbeling please
- 2 ounces chopped pancetta (more or less)
- 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (divided 2-1)
- 1/4 cup chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 4 hoagie style rolls
- Chopped sweet onion (vidalia, walla walla etc.)
- 4 or more slices fontina cheese
- Cut the pork shoulder into thick pieces, wrap and place in the freezer for an hour or so---but don’t freeze the meat solid. This step makes the grinding step easier. Bring out the grinder and fit it with the coarse plate. Work the pork and pancetta through and then change the plate to the finer one. Work through again.
- In a large bowl place the meat and kind of spread it out for seasoning. Add the bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, the herbs and spices including salt and pepper.
- With a couple of large spoons blend this all together. Get a tap of hot water running because you are going to finish mixing this with your clean hands and this mix can get sticky.
- Heat up a small skillet and spoon out a “tester”. You need to taste for seasoning so fry up that spoonful and see if it meets your inner umami (and that’s not your mommy). Adjust as needed.
- On a table or large board lay out some cling wrap and transfer the sausage mix. What you will want to do is to prepare a roll from which you slice puck sized pieces. The dimensions of a hockey puck by the way are 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter---but keep in mind that you will be using sausage meat and not vulcanized rubber. Fold over and tighten up the cling wrap but don’t close the ends yet. Roll this on your board or your counter until you are satisfied with the shape. Twist the ends tight and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Slice your rolls and prepare your condiments. Mix that last tablespoon of maple syrup into the mustard with a fork. Mix it well.
- Unwrap and slice the sausage into puck sized pieces. Fry that up in a little bit of butter or oil.
- Spread some mustard on each roll and place two sizzling sausage pieces on each. Top with cheese, onions and anything else you want. Sprouts are for hosers.
- Note to cook: this is an excellent breakfast sausage all on its own, so you can stop before you get to the hoagie step.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Maple Recipe