Cooking with Sausage

Fall and winter means that hams and sausage are plentiful and less expensive than beef. This is a great time to stock your freezer with rolls of fresh sausage, sliced and cubed ham, and bacon. There are country cured hams, Honeybaked hams and smoked hams. Other pork products include spareribs, pork chops, pork tenderloin and Boston butt.

Tonight i will be cooking a big batch of spaghetti sauce, made from scratch and using sausage instead of my normal ground beef. I like the extra flavor that sausage brings to the sauce, and it goes well with a thicker, denser noodle like ziti or lasagna.

One of the local farmers opens a store just in November and December to sell the pork products from his own hogs. He has wonderful whole smoked hams that are 3 years old, 4 years old and even 5 years old. Of course, the 5 year old hams are the most expensive but they are so worth it! Just a few thin slices of any of his hams are enough to properly season a big pot of white beans or a kettle of greens.

Today I drove by his store to see what hours he will be open. There used to be a time when he was only open on weekends through the fall, but this year it seems he is open 7 days a week, from 9 in the morning until 6 at night. That will make it really convenient for me to go back next week and buy my ham!


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