Chris Cosentino's San Francisco Sausage and Peppers
2 fennel bulbs, fronds separated and roughly chopped, 1 cored and thinly sliced,
12 leaves lacinato kale (also known as "dinosaur"), stemmed and torn into large pieces
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Leaves of one small bunch oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
4 cloves garlic, ends removed, crushed into a paste with the side of a knife
1 pound pork butt, silverskin removed, cut in long strips
1 tablespoon gluten-free fish sauce plus 3 drops for salad
Sausage casing (optional)
3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large head radicchio, quartered
1 red bell pepper, fine julienne
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Make the sausages: Preheat the oven to 350° conventional (325° convection). Have a meat grinder fitted with a large holed-die in the freezer. In a large bowl, combine the fennel fronds, kale, lemon zest, oregano leaves, chili flakes, and crushed garlic. Toss to combine. Add the pork butt strips, season generously with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon fish sauce and toss to combine. Feed the long meat strips and mixture through the meat grinder. If using a stand mixer set-up, grind on a medium-low speed. In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook a small disc to taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Using a sausage stuffer set-up, fill a soaked sausage casing or make four free-form patties.
If using the casing, prick the sausage all over with a sterilized sewing needle, eye-end inserted in a wine cork. Twist the casing to separate the sausage into four links and tie the ends. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown each side for about two minutes, and depending on thickness, transfer to the oven to finish cooking. Total cooking time will be about 14 minutes.
Have a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season the radicchio quarters and sear for about 5 minutes per side. Reserve to a plate, and remove the core when cooled and slice. In a large bowl, combine the thinly sliced fennel bulb, the bell pepper, the radicchio, the fish sauce, lemon juice and remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To Plate: Pile the salad on the plate and top with sausages.
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