Paradise Pork and Beef Wieners
Makes 16 (2 pounds of six-inch links). Recipe from “A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook: Recipes from Ignatius J. Reilly’s New Orleans” by Cynthia LeJeune Nobles,
12 feet of 24-26 mm (1-1 1/16-inch) sheep casings (from your butcher)
1 pound pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, cut into 1-inch cubes (trim from a pork shoulder is good)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1 egg white
¼ cup crushed ice
1. Prepare casings according to manufacturer’s directions. (This usually involves soaking and rinsing and may take some time, so be sure to read instructions at least a day ahead.) Freeze pork, beef and pork fat 45 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, white pepper, liquid smoke and egg white. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Put a large empty bowl inside a slightly larger bowl of ice cubes and water. In the scrupulously clean grinding attachment of a standing mixer, use a fine blade to grind together chilled pork, beef and pork fat, and let it fall into the empty bowl surrounded by ice water. Repeat the grinding process. Stir seasoning mixture into meat and chill 30 minutes.
4. Put seasoned meat and the ¼ cup crushed ice into the bowl of a food processor. Process until completely emulsified, 4-5 minutes. (If your food processor is small, process in 2 batches.) Place in a clean bowl and press plastic wrap directly on top of meat. Chill mixture 1 hour.
5. Slip casing onto stuffer attachment. Pull off about 8 inches, make a knot and slip casing back completely onto the stuffer attachment. Stuff the casing with the chilled meat mixture in one long, coiled rope. Be careful not to overstuff, and if air pockets develop, prick with a toothpick. At 6-inch intervals, twist the rope into links, alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise twists. Tightly tie the open end of the coil.
6. Place the whole coil of wieners into a pot of cold water, covering them by 2 inches. Gradually heat the water until it comes to a bare simmer. Gently cook, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 155°F, about 15-20 minutes. Remove wiener coil from pot and dunk into a large bowl of ice water. Let sit 10 minutes.
7. Drain wieners, dry well and let air dry on a rack at room temperature 30 minutes. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or freeze up to 2 months.