|Lamb belly ready for butchering|
(Updated from the original post Nana's Rullupylsa)
We decided to go a little more traditional this year with the Rullupylsa. I was able to source some fresh lamb flank (belly) from a butcher here in Ottawa. I felt confident enough in my butchering skills to attempt the task myself - plus, I get to have the bones for some stock making on a chilly day. They were relatively easy to butcher - the four bellies with the ribs attached took me about 40 minutes - I'm sure it would have been quicker with a more skilled hand, but I think I did an adequate job. Chef J. Leblanc (my instructor) would have been impressed.
We also experimented by deviating from our usual beef flank steak to a beef flap steak. It is a more tender cut, just above the flank, with more visible marbling and connective tissue. From there we pretty much followed the recipe that my friend's Nana passed down to her, with a few tweaks. Below is the original recipe with changes noted.
The rullupylsa produced this year was delicious. The beef flap steak yielded a more tender sausage. The lamb belly, having more fat than the beef flank, yielded a sausage that was tender, succulent and exquisite. It was soft and the fatty layers really absorbed the spices (we added more this year). We also tweaked the brine to a more typical 2:1 ratio of salt to sugar. In a nutshell? Absolutely will make it with lamb again.
|After brining, rinsed, covered with cold water and ready to boil|
2 tablespoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon saltpetre
1 teaspoon allspice
1 large or 2 small onions
- Grate onion fine and sprinkle on meat
- Add rest of ingredients
- Roll and tie as tight as possible
- Place meat in the brine and place in a cold place
- After 7 - 10 days, remove meat from the brine, rinse with cold water, then place in a large oven proof roasting pan/pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil on the stove.
- Once boiling, place in a preheated 325F oven and simmer gently for 2 hours.
- Cool the meat and place into box used for pressing, or pressed between two cutting boards with sufficient weight on top. If using this method, wrap the meat in plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out.
- Instead of using clamps on the box this year, we put two 25 lbs weights on the box and put the box in a cooler in the garage. After 2 days, we removed it from the brine, unwrapped it and it was ready for samples. I feel the texture was better and the sausage not as dry, from not being pressed as tight or as long as last time.
2 quarts water
1 scant cup coarse salt
1-1/2 teaspoons saltpetre
- Boil gently for 20 minutes
- Allow to cool completely before placing meat in brine
You could feel the unctuousness of the lamb meat when you bit into it - it went very well with some dark rye bread (traditional is molasses bread) and butter. A couple of gherkins aided in cutting through the fat and enhanced the overall experience. The rest of the rullupylsa has been carefully squirrelled away in our freezer for Christmas entertaining.