Spicy Roasted Poblano Sausage

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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5 lbs boneless pork shoulder butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb pork fat back, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 large poblano peppers
3 Tbsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp ancho chile powder
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Spanish paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup ice water
Natural hog casings, soaked in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes and rinsed

Adapted from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn.
Roast the poblanos over an open flame on a gas stove or grill until the skins are completely charred. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the charred outer skins, cut in half and remove the seeds and cores. Cut the peppers into a small dice, you should have about 1 cup.

Combine all the ingredients except the poblanos, cilantro and water in a large bowl and toss to distribute the seasonings evenly. Chill until ready to grind.

Grind the mixture through the small die of a meat grinder into a bowl set in ice. Add the peppers and cilantro to the meat mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment, or a sturdy spoon, while slowly adding the water. Continue mixing until all the liquid is incorporated and the sausage has developed a uniform, sticky appearance, about 1 minute on medium speed. Chill until ready to stuff.

Form a small patty of the sausage and saute until cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Stuff the sausage into the hog casings and twist into 6-inch links. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the sausages on the grill and cook to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Remove from the grill and serve.

Adapted from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn, via meatwave.com