25 Mar2008

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I always thought that longganisa was the Filipino name for sausages styled after the Spanish chorizos. Sound the buzzer. Not true. Longganisa, the word, is a local name for sausages, most probably derived from longaniza, which is Spanish for a pork sausage that is typically rather long and skinny. Chorizos are generally shorter and pudgier. But naked, they both look similar…hahaha. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. A longaniza can be enjoyed either fresh or cured/dried/smoked until quite hard. In the Philippines, we tend to use the two terms longganisa and chorizo interchangeably, and they refer to all types of pork (sometimes chicken and other ingredients) based sausages, with the spices and flavors varying from region to region. I have always wanted to attempt to make my own longganisa and last week I finally did… to reasonably good results. I figured it was hard enough that I was attempting to make the sausage filling from scratch, without any prior knowledge whatsoever, that I decided to forego the pig intestines to form whole sausages and went for the “naked” version instead. I did a previous post on Vigan longganisa and longganisa burps, and in the comments portion of the first entry, one reader provided her recipe and my sister also provided encouragement with the revelation (to me) that my grandmother used to make longanizas from scratch and smoke them high above the bread pugons in her bakery. I also have Michael Ruhlmann & Brian Polcyn’s brilliant book Charcuterie on my bookshelves so I figured that would guide me along. But what really provided the final push for this experiment, was this fabulous post from Burnt Lumpia that I came across while trying to look up some information on longganisa. I STRONGLY recommend that you read the post on Burnt Lumpia for detailed instructions on how to make this Pinoy favorite… my descriptions will be a lot less precise and detailed, though my results were very good value for the minimal time invested in making the naked longganisa…

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To make, I started off with a 3 kilo piece of fatty pork, ideally a pork shoulder butt, according to Ruhlman & Polcyn. Add some fat if you don’t think that at least 1 kilo of the pork is made up of fat. Other ingredients I used were 2-2.5 tablespoons of kosher salt (do not use iodized salt), lots of minced garlic, I used at least 2-3 tablespoons worth, black pepper, good Ilocano coconut vinegar (about 1/2 cup), sweet paprika, and ice-cold water. I suspect that the more “authentic” Vigan longganisa’s include some achuete for color and no paprika. I cut the pork into roughly 1-inch cubes and put them in a stainless steel bowl. Added the salt and garlic and black pepper and mixed this all up and covered the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerated this overnight. I also placed the vinegar in the fridge to chill out. Ruhlman & Polcyn are nearly adamant about keeping all ingredients and utensils at a VERY COLD temperature, so that the fat doesn’t melt or break down, which affects the texture and taste of your sausage. I did the same, however, thinking about this, I suspect this Western rule may not necessarily apply to our local longannisa manufacturers. In fact, for the really small scale folks, I suspect the pork is simply chopped on a big sampaloc chopping block with two cleavers until approximating a large ground pork consistency, then the spices are added and this marinates in a fridge until they add some vinegar and put them into the intestinal casings. I sincerely doubt that they do the whole “freeze your bowl, metal parts of the grinder, utensils, etc. drill” that is the Ruhlman & Polcyn and Western approach. Perhaps this is why local longganisa has those nice big humongous and almost gross chunks of fat rather than a smoother, tighter and more evenly ground consistency…

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The day after sticking the pork in the fridge to marinate, I also stuck parts of our Kitchen Aid grinder and a stainless steel bowl into the freezer to chill for an hour. In an airconditioned kitchen, I quickly assembled the grinder with cold parts, took the pork out of the fridge, and used the larger grind attachment to grind through the 3 kilos of meat, which fell into a cold stainless steel bowl. Again, some books recommend you have that bowl sitting in another larger bowl filled with ice, but I just couldn’t be bothered. The meat remained cold, the grind seemed promisingly coarse and meaty and fatty, and I thought it looked well on its way to becoming a nice longganisa filling. To this ground pork, I added the vinegar, and some ice cold water and mixed it with the paddle attachment of the Kitchen Aid. I then broke this into two portions, leaving one portion as is, and making a second portion with the addition of some paprika for color and a touch (say half a tablespoon) of sugar for sweetness.

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I took some of the mixture and fried it to taste the seasonings and after adjusting the vinegar a bit (don’t put all of it up front), I did a final mix and put the meat back into the fridge for another hour before shaping this into sausage… Because I didn’t have the intestinal casings, I simply used plastic wrap to form elongated longannisa with the batch of meat without paprika and stored this in the fridge for a couple of days before frying. With the paprika batch, I formed these into small patties about 1.5 to 2.0 inches across, and stored these in the fridge as well. The version without paprika was good, but it was a bit pale and less appetizing looking when fried up… but tasted garlicky and vinegary (photo in white round dish above)… the hallmarks of a good Ilocos style longganisa. It also worked really well broken up and part of a longganisa fried rice, yum. But I really liked the version with paprika and these not only tasted good, they looked more appetizing as well (the flat patties in all the other photos). Served with a fried egg and some rice, every single morsel of this first attempt at longganisa filling was gobbled up hungrily. And we spent the rest of the day burping… :) It sounds a bit involved, but it was actually really easy to do. I would encourage you to try it at home if you have a craving for longganisa but can’t get it in your neck of the woods (over the past 3 years, I have received at least two dozen emails requesting a recipe for longganisa!). Consider adding other spices such as red pepper flakes, and even achuete oil if you want to add spice and color to your homemade longganisa. I will buy the sausage stuffing attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer/grinder the next time I get a chance… then I can make sausages with clothing on. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. millet says:

    wicked-looking longganisa! i use a similar recipe, without the chilling part. MM, when i used to do my longganiza in patties, the edges would always be hard, not crisp. sno now, instead of rolling into logs or shaping into patties, i chill the seasoned mixture in a covered container at least overnight. when ready to cook, i simply heat up a frying pan with some oil (just to get the frying started) and fry the mess as is, breaking up the mixture and stirring it around every now and then so that it looks like hash. this way, it cooks evenly, i get it as crisp as my family wants it, and it is easier to scatter everything over the rice (and less wok pa).

    Mar 25, 2008 | 8:32 am

     
  2. kasseopeia says:

    “Naked” longganisa is a part of my childhood food memories. Mom would make it with (if my recollection is correct) minced garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, a bit of fresh minced oregano and basil, pepper, salt, paprika and some other stuff I don’t quite remember. She would mix this into ground pork (in the market, she would tell the vendor to throw in lots of fat hehe), chill the mixture overnight and cook it the next morning.

    To form, we scooped it into a teaspoon and grabbed it with another teaspoon before dropping into a hot pan with a bit of oil. Hence, “teaspoon” longganisa.

    Mom also just fries it in oil with minced garlic and a sah of salt before adding cold rice (cold as in fridge-chilled) to the pan. Instant sinangag heaven!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 8:43 am

     
  3. Mila says:

    I remember reading the longga efforts of Marvin at Burnt Lumpia some months back, he’s got great posts refitting Pinoy tastes with what ingredients he can find in the US. He’s done a lot of food with ube that one normally wouldn’t think of doing too!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 8:51 am

     
  4. deuterium says:

    I suspect that the earliest longganisas were a cross between the Spanish chorizo and the Chinese lop cheong, with a splash of “native” vinegar to suit the foreign mixture with “indigenous” palates.

    Mar 25, 2008 | 9:02 am

     
  5. bijin says:

    I don’t remember if my mom ever put vinegar….but I remember that the meat was frozen for easy cutting and we had a manual grinder that was clamped and screwed to the table. I remember this because I took many turns on the handle. good old days. it might have taken a few days to make….the casing having to be washed with papaya leaves if my memory serves me right; leaving them to dry and all sausages gone in a few days of breakfast.

    Mar 25, 2008 | 9:03 am

     
  6. rachel says:

    i think the chilling part is mainly for food safety issue.i love longganisang lucban and i actually was able to make it here.my indian friend have oregano plant so i could use fresh extract.i also have made chiang mai sausages which were really good too.i get my sheep’s casings from mail order although the bigger hog casing is finally available from our grocery store.i usually make sausages during winter i make a lot and freeze them.i’ll try this summer and i’m planning on smoking them too.can’t wait.i do wish kitchen aid would make a bigger grinding die because i do love the chunks of fat.=)

    Mar 25, 2008 | 9:05 am

     
  7. dhayL says:

    it looks like mini-burger-patties! :) it sounds intimidating to do, but i’m sure i can find the strength in me and try this one sometime, i’ll keep this recipe handy! thanks MM!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 9:35 am

     
  8. bagito says:

    MM, I was reminded of the skinless sweet longganiza we used to buy from Pampanga that were sooooo yummy. They were wrapped in waxed paper and when they were ready to be fried, they were just rolled out of the paper and pan fried. They were easier to cook than the traditional “clothed” longganizas bec there was no pre-boiling involved. I remember I was always looking forward to lunch or dinner if that was the ulam. I haven’t had skinless longganiza in years! Maybe I’ll attempt to make this, thanks to your post. (Mmm, I just had dinner and yet the thought of skinless longganiza w/ kamatis/toyo sawsawan and plenty of hot rice makes my mouth water!)

    Mar 25, 2008 | 11:24 am

     
  9. siopao says:

    I’ve always wondered which is more correct: “Longganisa” or “Langgonisa”… I’ve heard different people say either.

    I also wonder if this is derived from a Filipinized Spanish version of a sausage made in Langogne, France…which would make the term “Langgonisa” more accurate.

    I guess should stop wondering and start eating. hehehe

    Mar 25, 2008 | 12:07 pm

     
  10. Juan says:

    MM, May I know what machine do you use for the grounding of meat? thanks

    Mar 25, 2008 | 1:30 pm

     
  11. Juan says:

    MM, nevermind my question above.. Its kitchen Aid

    Mar 25, 2008 | 1:33 pm

     
  12. The Artist Chef says:

    Naked longganisa! I love this… :) Your blog is very informative. When I was looking where to buy ingredients for Tiramisu, I landed in your website and got all the information. You’re truly a market man!

    Mar 25, 2008 | 3:19 pm

     
  13. Katrina says:

    As a kid, I only liked longganisa when it was “hubad,” so this brings back memories. I don’t think I’ve had longganisang hubad in many years, though.

    Burnt Lumpia’s blog is great fun! I know you’re not a fan of fusion, MM, but I am. BL comes up with some very intriguing concoctions, especially with ube. :-)

    Mar 25, 2008 | 4:11 pm

     
  14. Marvin says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for mentioning my blog post MM! I’ve always been a big fan of yours, so your endorsement means a lot.

    Mar 25, 2008 | 11:15 pm

     
  15. Maria Clara says:

    The chilling aspect of your longganisa making is the evolutionary part. I recall vividly at the wet market then – before manufacturers processed longganisa it was leftover meat of the day that was not sold. Some scrupulous meat vendors used carabeef in their longganisa mix to have that meaty meat effect and used a lot of saltpeter as preservatives and then prague powder came in the picture of longganisa making. Garlic and ground pepper are the magic wands in longganisa whatever longganisa version you’re looking at either from Ilocos, Pampanga or Lucban garlic and pepper is the common denominator. Longganisa in the 60s and 70s are bucolic red due to preservatives and food coloring. My grandmother seasoned her longganisa under the sun to bath in its own oil. To date with a conscious consumer and the modern marvel of refrigerator and freezer extending the life of longganisa with half of the preservatives used before.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 12:17 am

     
  16. Dale says:

    How did you find the version with the sugar in comparison with the first version? I remember longganisa as being quite sweet and sticky when cooked, so was wondering how it tasted. Did you use white granulated or brown? I also remember a kind of naked longganisa from my childhood that didn’t use casings, but parchment paper to roll it into a sausage, then you would take the parchment paper off before frying. Anyone else remember those or am I out smoking oregano on this one?

    Mar 26, 2008 | 5:57 am

     
  17. linda says:

    I have always included freshly ground pimiento or all spice in my longganisa mix and it gives it that distinctive taste.I have a friend who includes pineapple juice and it taste bloody good,too! I’ll definitely try yours MM,it looks good!

    Mar 26, 2008 | 6:59 am

     
  18. DADD-F says:

    Longganisas are delicious!! The Vigan and Lukban varieties are my favorites. The sweet ones are fine but I always go for the garlic overload sort. But the ones that come from Isabela, for me, are tops. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any in Metro Manila or anywhere else. I got a taste of it only because a colleague brought it from there–and that was ages ago. It is not exactly tender and perhaps, others would not really prefer it over the more known kinds. But it tasted like no other. As far as my tastebuds go, it is even better than the Lukban longganisa! Have you come across this MM? Is any of your other readers familiar with the Isabela Longganisa? Sometimes, I wonder if they used baboy ramo for this. Anyway, I remember one of your readers mentioning before about Tuguegarao longganisa. Would they, by any chance, be similar in taste??

    Mar 26, 2008 | 9:48 am

     
  19. Emily says:

    One trick I hit upon that works perfectly for making skinless longganisa is to put the sausage mixture into a pastry/icing piping bag without the tip screwed on. A freezer bag with a corner cut off (to the diameter you want your sausage to have) works perfectly well as well, but is less environment-friendly.
    That way you can squeeze out the sausages to the length and size you want – they are very well packed and you don’t have to struggle with wrapping them tightly in wax paper. I just pop them into the fridge or freezer and results are great!
    Getting the taste exactly the way I want them is another matter, of course…

    Apr 7, 2008 | 1:15 am

     
  20. Fe says:

    I grew up making longganisa with my mom and back then we just chopped the meat by hand and feed it to the casing manually. It was hard but very much worth the effort! One thing I remember about making longganisa in casings is that we would air dry them on clothes line outside under the sun for a few hours which is ironic to Burnt Lumpia’s process of chilling everything in the refrigirator. What me and Mom made was always juicy and delicious although being in the US I don’t think I can replicate what we use to make.

    Apr 12, 2008 | 3:18 am

     
  21. Manila Mark says:

    Look fantastic! I’m planning a sausage making session this weekend but have “lost” the details of where I bought casings last. I tried Werdenberg but they just laughed at me! Any ideas anyone? I’m in Makati, I seem to recall my last batch came from Paranaque somewhere….

    Nov 13, 2009 | 10:44 am

     
  22. jo says:

    does anybody know how to make chorizo de cebu/ cebu longaniza

    Dec 9, 2009 | 9:38 pm

     
 

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