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Thursday, May 24, 2012


Photo by  podchef
cabezas, 1. heads of livestock. 2. local name for Jewish sausage from Almazán, Soria made for the Sabbath with heads of livestock, such as goats or steers and entrails or innards. This was seasoned and intestines were stuffed with the mixture. They were hung until cured or smoked and then fried or roasted for consumption. This is similar to botillo (haggis) from Leon and Zamora.  Jewish converts were tried during the Spanish Inquisition for making and eating this sausage during the midday meal on the Sabbath between 1501-1505. [ES: Cantera. 2003:34-35; Gitlitz. 1999:213-216]

Sausage Making
Photo by  GluehweinEffects


1 lb stewing beef without bones[1]
1 onion quartered
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 sm beef kidneys (about ¼ lb)
1 qt water
1 tbsp white vinegar

Spice Mixture
6 large garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 ½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger

5 tbsp wine vinegar
¼ - ½ c chopped fresh lovage
2 tbsp melted shortening
2 pieces intestine about 48” long total

For cooking:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1-2 tbsp vinegar (optional)


1. Simmer the stew beef with quartered onion, garlic, and bay leaf in just enough water to cover until the beef is tender (about 2 ½ hrs).

2. Wash the kidney. In a small pot, put the water, vinegar and kidney. Bring to a boil over medium heat and gently simmer the kidney 20 minutes, uncovered. Remove it from the heat and plunge it in cold water. Let it sit until it is cool enough to handle. Then drain the water and chop the kidney, removing the membrane and fat.

3. Grind the kidney and stewing beef together, using a meat grinder. Place the meat in a medium nonreactive bowl.

4. Combine the spice mixture ingredients and grind them finely using a food processor. You may add the vinegar if it will help grind the spices finely.

5. To the meat, add the spice mixture, lovage, melted shortening and vinegar if you did not use it in step 4 above. Mix well, Set aside.[2] 

Photo by: ha3rvey
Making the sausages:
6. Prepare the intestines for stuffing.

7. Stuff the sausages about ¾” in diameter and 3” long. Do not cut the individual sausages apart.

8. Hang them in the refrigerator until time for frying from overnight to 3 days.

Cook the sausages:
9. Place olive oil, water and vinegar, if you are using it, in a large frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add the sausages and simmer, covered for 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Take off the cover and continue to fry for another 3-4 minutes, or until the sausages are browned on all sides. Serve hot.   

[1] If there is beef fat on the meat, cut it off and set aside to render later and use in place of shortening.
[2] If you wish, you may refrigerate the meat and spice mixture for a day after step 5.

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