photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten
Did you know that every time a human being is born onto this planet, statistically three sausages are made! Scientists have coined it the ‘three baby sausage ratio’. Now that, is in absolutely no way true (well, I don’t think it is?), but at least I’ve caught your attention now.
This is an absolute banger of a dish, smokey, salty, spicy, sweet and sour, everything a person with a taste for Thai would expect in a meal. Now it’s a pretty lengthy dish to create given that two curry pastes need to be made in order to make the red curry for the sausage and the gola curry for a dip. However I have three reasons that may persuade you to go through the efforts to complete the whole recipe. Firstly, it tastes bloody great, secondly both the red and the gola paste can be kept in the fridge for use in an endless array of other delicious recipes, and lastly if you really can’t be arsed to cook the whole thing but Zeren’s lovely picture is making you want to eat it, just make the sausage and serve with some sweet chilli sauce and herbs, I guarantee you’ll still love it.
There are a couple more optional extras in this dish which you can avoid if you’d like to, as there are simple short cuts (although as you know if you read my blog, I always urge you to try the long way at least once, you can taste the difference). Firstly, I made my own coconut cream to use within the gola curry whilst cooking it out. This obviously takes a little longer than opening a tin, however the difference in taste is phenomenal, if you’ve never tried fresh coconut cream before, think about the difference in taste between a fresh pint of milk and those little sachets you get free in hotel rooms – you get the idea. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t all have the time to make our own coconut cream all the time, but it’s definitely worth having a mess around with.
Just bare in mind that in order to complete this recipe with success its important for you to purchase a heavy, granite pestle and mortar. When making any curry paste, the objective is to combine flavours with brute force. Therefore a heavy weighted pestle and mortar is the fastest way to victory. Trust me, I first brought a wooden one for use at home and I spent entire evenings bashing coriander root until my hands hurt and I swear it just got bigger. Right then lets get started.
(serves around 3/4 people, makes 12-15 sausages)
When weighing ingredients for these curry pastes I use a small cup (this holds roughly 300ml’s of liquid), this makes more than enough paste for this recipe, however its worth making a little more if you’re going to put in the effort to make it properly.
(for the red curry paste)
-5 cups, large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded
-6 cups, peeled garlic cloves
-6 cups, peeled banana shallots
-5 cups lemongrass, outer sheath’s remove, topped and tailed
-3 cups, peeled galangal
-2 cups, coriander root, cleaned
-1 cup, roasted gapi paste (fermented shrimp)
-45g, white pepper, toasted and spice ground to powder
-45g, coriander seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder
-45g, cumin seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder
-large pinch of coarse salt
(for the gola paste)
-1.5 cups, large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded
-1/2 cup, cleaned coriander roots
-2.5 cups, peeled banana shallots
-2.5 cups, peeled garlic
-2.5 cups, peeled ginger
-2.5 cups, desiccated coconut
-1 cups, roasted peanuts
-large pinch of coarse salt
(for everything else)
-1kg, smoked pork belly mince, ask a butcher to make it roughly 20% fat, to 80% meat. If you cant get hold of smoked pork belly then just cold smoke it yourself in a closed barbecue. I will make sure to pu up a post explaining a few simple ways to do this over the next few weeks)
-Kaffir lime leaf, jullienned, finely chopped
-200ml, coconut cream
-50ml, vegetable stock
-150g, palm sugar (soft brown sugar will do)
-200ml, fish sauce
-100g, kra chi, wild ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
-a little cooking oil
-a few thai shallots, peeled and thinly sliced for garnish
-a few picked and washed coriander leaves for garnish
-a few semi chopped nuts for garnish
- Firstly let’s make the coconut cream. Start by cracking the coconuts with a hammer and remove and discard the outer shell. This leaves you with the inner flesh of the coconut which has an inedible skin attached to it. Using a peeler remove this skin to leave you with only the fresh, white coconut flesh. Next put this flesh through a mincer, or grate it and add to the boiling water, combine thoroughly using a stick blender for around 5 minutes. Once combined filter the liquid from the flesh by ringing it out in some muslin, or a cloth. Once separated place the liquid in the fridge and leave to cool. As it cools the cream will separate from the water, the white cream on the top is what you want. Keep the coconut water as it can be used to let out curries and soups. Any leftover coconut cream can be boiled down until it splits (cracks); this can then be used as coconut oil (coconut crack) which we will talk about another time. Once finished take some of the grated coconut left behind and toast on a medium heat in the oven, until golden brown and crunchy.
- Secondly, lets get those curry pastes made. As i say the important thing is to have a heavy pestle and mortar. When making a curry paste, begin by pounding each ingredient individually, starting from the toughest, then remove from the pestle to clear way for the next ingredient. After they have all been individually pounded, add them all back into the pestle and pound until it resembles one paste, you may have to do this in a couple of batches so it fits easily into the pestle. pound in the order of dried chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, shallot, garlic, coriander root, peanuts, coconut, gapi paste, using the salt as an abrasive throughout. This list includes ingredients from both pastes, but do remember to first complete the red paste, then put aside. Then complete the gola paste separately as they are two separate pastes.
- right so now we have our cream and pastes, the hard bit is complete, lets make the sausages. In a pan, gently melt 150ml of the fish sauce with 150g of the palm sugar, then put aside to cool. Next In a mixing bowl add the pork mince, fish sauce and palm sugar mix, 400g red curry paste, all the sliced wild ginger (kra chi) and mix well. Once mixed roll into sausage shapes using cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set shape (these can be as thin or fat as you like, its your dinner). once set in shape, poach the sausages in simmering water to a core temperature of around 64 degrees (medium rare), if you don’t like pink pork take it as far as you like, depends how much you trust the quality of the meat. Once these are poached either put them straight on a barbecue or grill and cook the outside until the whole sausage has gone a lovely golden brown colour with some char, or place them in an ice bath to cool quickly, then leave in the fridge for cooking at a later date (they also freeze well).
- In the meantime, cook out the gola dipping sauce. This curry is best cooked slow, over around 45 minutes, this way you can add depth and richness to the curry. To begin, pour roughly around 100ml cooking oil into a pan and heat to a medium/high temperature. Once hot add 300g of the gola paste to this oil, this should make a sizzling sounds as it touches the pan as we want to fry the paste. Keep the paste moving with a metal kitchen spoon, being sure to scrape anything that sticks to the bottom off quickly before it goes black. It is correct for this paste to stick a little more that usual as its packed full of peanuts and they are a bit of a bastard to fry. However, if you keep a watchful eye, and regular movement, you will be fine. After around 20 minutes the paste will begin to go a little darker, this is a sign that its ready to add palm sugar. Add the sugar and turn down the heat, keep stirring for around 5 minutes until the sugar is melted and beginning to caramalise, which will make the paste a little darker. Once melted add the remaining fish sauce to the, followed by all the coconut cream and stock, keep the paste simmering on a medium heat for another ten minutes and re-season if you feel it necessary, the gola should taste sweet, salty and mildly hot.
- To serve, place the gola in a bowl and top with semi chopped/pounded peanuts, sliced Thai shallots and coriander leaves. Pile sausages up next to sauce (with wooded skewers in if you want to make it finger food) and then eat.
Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.
See you next time,