Originally, I was going to make these simple ground beef meatballs with green onions--the kind that my dad used to make for us when we were young. He wasn't the best cook. He basically just cooked food that was good enough for him. I would never eat anything he cooked except for these beef meatballs that he would make. They were just plain ground beef with green onions and then pan fried. Making them again brings back memories and it would make me miss my dad more than usual. I think about the times when he would save a piece of fruit for me because none of my siblings cared for fruit, but he knew that I always loved fruits. After he passed away, just cutting into a piece of fruit would remind me of my dad and how much he loved us.
"Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things." - Unknown
Besides making these beef meatballs, I also decided to make Hmong sausages for the first time. I had no recipe to go by, except for the ingredients on the package some Hmong sausages that I recently bought and to what I thought it tasted like. For a first try, it really wasn't that bad. I was so impressed that it tasted just like the sausages I bought except everything was freshly made. I meant to write down the measurements, but totally forgot, so the measurements are not accurate as to what I attempted. The hog casings were easier to find than I thought. They were in the freezer section at my local grocery store; although I had to ask for help. I also read that using pork butt or pork shoulder was the best to make sausage. It has a good amount of meat and fat in it, but you can certainly combine whatever meat portions you like.
1 lb of pork shoulder, chopped or grinded
1/4 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions,finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp lemon grass, white part only, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp Thai chili peppers, finely chopped
1 tbsp of fish sauce
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of sugar
My food processor did not grind raw meat well, so I ended up manually chopping the meat with the Hmong knife that my mom gave me. It's a Hmong knife because it had rust all over!
These are the herbs I used to make sausage. I forgot to measure these exactly, but I did not use all the ginger pictured here. I remember that I used about 1 tablespoon of peppers and the sausage came out pretty hot, so I would advise to use half of that. Of course the peppers are optional if you don't like it hot:
Mix the meat, herbs, fish sauce, salt and sugar together. Also use gloves to mix and stuff this because the hot peppers will burn your hand. Also, at this point you want to take a small piece and form it into a pattie and pan fry until cooked to see how you like it. Adjust any seasonings per your taste.
I cut up a plastic bottle of soda and used the nozzle as my stuffing tool. Simply wrap the casing around the nozzle and stuff the meat through. I ended up cutting the plastic down more than the picture below to make it easier and faster to stuff (almost down to the nozzle):
Finished stuffed sausage. I did over stuff mine, so try not to over stuff it because when you cook it, the casing will break as mine partially did:
I did not store mine overnight. You can certainly do so if you like. I made these on another occasion and the flavorings still tasted the same to me when I cooked it right away. How I cooked these were by broiling them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees. I wanted them more brown and crispy, so I ended up pan frying them for about 5-10 minutes. After I made these, I found some more references on making Laotian sausage. The difference I have seen with Laotian sausage vs. Hmong sausage is that the Laotian brand is made with sticky rice, lemongrass, garlic and green onions. Many I've seen did not have cilantro or ginger in it. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but here is one of the recipes I found from Laocook:
Here is the basic recipe for our version of the Lao Style Sausage. The fat to meat ratio is very important, we use 1:5, but it is all down to personal taste. This recipe will produce about 3kg.
2kg Coarse Minced Pork Neck
400g Coarse Minced Pork fat
20g Chopped Coriander Stems (Cilantro)
100g Finely Diced Shallot
10g Chopped Garlic
50g Chopped Spring Onion (Scallions)
7 Finely chopped Lime Leaves
70g Finely Chopped Dill
50g Red Chilli Paste (we make our own, but you can use Red Thai Curry Paste)
150g Finely Diced Red Pepper
50g Chopped Lemon Grass, white part only
5g White Pepper
3tbsp Fish Sauce
3tbsp Soy Sauce
3tbsp Oyster Sauce
100g Corn Flour (used to help bind the ingredients)
Mix all the ingredients except the Natural Casings. Allow the ingredients get to know each other by placing them in a covered container overnight.
The following day taste the mixture by taking a small amount and shaping it in to a burger and frying it. Adjust seasoning to your personal taste then stuff in to the Natural Casings and shape as required. Make sure to use a pin to puncture the skin at intervals to allow air to escape.
We find them best cooked in an oven set to around 150ºC for around 15 minutes.
They can also be steamed, then browned in a hot pan for colouring.
Some versions of these sausages appear more “red”. For this you can add a few teaspoons of Paprika Powder to the mix.