Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
So this is how the sausage is made. At their Pearl District spot the Parish, owners Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell sling their fair share of raw oysters, but from the spot's Creole-influenced kitchen, chef Powell offers his takes on Southern favorites ranging from frogs legs to house-made andouille. For a salad of softshell crab, octopus and rabbit sausage, Powell walks us through his sausage-making process: "When making sausages, always have the ingredients well-chilled," Powell says, butchering the rabbit meat and partially freezing it along with the fatback before running both through the meat grinder.
As the freshly ground meat chills, Powell preps the sausage maker: Applying a cleaned (and rinsed) sheep's casing over the stuffer tube and tying a knot at its end. In a bowl, the rabbit meat is mixed with onions, garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, allspice, and chili flakes and placed in the stuffer. Powell cranks the stuffer with one hand over the sausage casing and the other on the handle, slowly filling the casing with the meat mixture. (Any time the casing blows out, it's cut to end the "sausage," and the process starts over.) After the sausage is cut and tightened, Powell smokes it for about 30 minutes; the sausage hits the grill before being added to the other salad ingredients. "You dont have to smoke them," Powell says of the multi-step process, "but they taste really good that way."
· The Parish [Official site]
· All Previous Parish Coverage [Eater PDX]