Field(trip) of Dreams

Imagine, if you will, a place.

Not just any place, but a place that is inside another place.

Some call it…a room. A room where a group of people engage in learnings.

A class room.

Enough of that? Ok, well mi madre and I took a class at Eataly Chicago on Thursday and it was legit one of my favorite nights out in a long time.

This is that story…

My Sister and Brother in law got me the class for Christmas this year, along with a number of other cooking type gifts. To encourage my passion for cooking and to give me the right tools to further it.

They are very nice and so I cook for them when I can.

Ok, the class. It was a Sausage Making class which is pretty much a dream class for me and it was a class for two! So I, of course, took my mom.

But first, we ate.

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Just a little antipasti and some rose. A charred calamari and chickpea salad and a green apple and vegetable salad over some fresh buffalo mozzarella.

Real Noice.

It was a two hour class upstairs in the back of the main eating area at Eataly. A nice space, fit about 8-10 pairs of people quite nicely.

To the rear, this table of meat.

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To the front, the teacher’s desk

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I could really get into teaching if this were my desk. Also, there would need to be free wine.

Did I mention there was booze at this thing? There was booze.

We got a quick lesson from the chef/instructor on the finer points of pork while tasting the three options of sausage we’d get to make.

Spicy Italian

Sweet Italian 

Cotechino

The first two should be pretty obvious, however, the Cotechino was a new one for me. It’s a mild sausage with white wine and cinnamon and nutmeg…it’s pretty freaking good.

Soooo Sausage.

The meat was ground for us when we got there but we did get to mix it ourselves. The act of spicing and emulsifying was left to us.

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The sausage can be over mixed which causes the fats to break down and gives you crumbly unappetizing meat. Mix it until it has some “strands” when you attempt to pull it apart.

The gloves were part of the class…I swear.

Only bad part is that we didn’t get to see the ingredients, we got a “spice mix”.

Next came the hardest part of the night…the stuffing.

We used natural hog casings for stuffing and a single manual extruder. You need to use your thumb to govern the amount of stuffing.

If you’re linking them, you’ll want more space in the sausage since it’ll get tighter as you spin. However, if you’re looking to just have a single coil you can stuff the casing full.

In the end, if you’ve done it right you’ll get this.

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You’ll also get this even if you do it wrong…because the teachers are great and will help you.

All in all it was a great night and lots of fun. As you can see from THIS!

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And THIS!

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The best part? The sausage. You walked away with 2.5 lbs of it as well as a growler of Eataly’s beer. I used some of it to make this, this morning.

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It was a really great evening with mama G and a great learning experience for me. I’m looking forward to making some from scratch at the homestead.

Now I just need a professional extruder and grinder….Stefanie, can I keep them at your house?

If you’re local and want to go to Eataly’s classes you can find a list of them here.

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