Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Homemade Linguica - The Azorean Way

My husband's family is from the Azores and traditions run very deep.  When my husband was a child, his family would have or attend matancas.   Matancas were typically at people's homes in the country. Basically, a pig would be slaughtered and the meat broken down and made into various things.  Linquica is one of those items.  Linguica is similar to chorizo but is not ground before being put in the casings. Large tables would be set up outside and the women (friends and family) would surround the table. Each woman had a job once the pig had been killed and cleaned by the men...it was an old fashioned assembly line.  
Last month, my hubby and I purchased a hog from the local fair and decided to do something a bit different this year with the meat.  Making linguica the traditional way might just be fun and worthwhile. 
My mother in law will be 89 years old in August and struggles with remembering things in the here and now...but you ask her how to do something from her past and she can rattle it off with the greatest detail. 
Truly amazing.
 My hubby thought having her help with the process would put her in her element and boy, was he correct!  We started out with 35 pounds of pork meat which was cut into a small dice by Hubby, his mom and sister.

Once the meat was diced, it was mixed into a concoction of red wine, bay leaves, garlic, all spice, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and hot pepper sauce straight from the Azores.

One of the best parts of this process was watching my kidnicks work alongside their grandmother. 

Once the meat was in the marinade, it was covered and placed in the fridge for two days.
Yesterday, we went back and started the next step...picking through the meat and pulling out the garlic, onions and bay leaves for the most part. 
This was tedious.
The casings were then rinsed and I must tell you, this just grossed me out...no way around it.
 My hubby and his sister used a meat grinder, minus the grinder part to stuff the casings. 

 It took a bit of time to master this step and my mother in law got frustrated waiting on our ineptness.  She showed us how they used to do it and started stuffing her linguica by hand...
the way she knew was right...
and it was!

Once the casings were stuffed, tied with string at each end and pricked with a pin to prevent explosions, the linguisa will be taken to a locker service, hung and smoked. When that is complete, the linguica will be ready for our eating enjoyment.


Michelle said...

Really great that you guys are sharing this tradition with the kids. So important!

mari said...


Lise said...

Wow, how fantastic for everyone to share this wonderful tradition, what an experience!

Michele said...

Looks so delcious! What a special experience for you and your family.


Becky said...

I love this!
It may have worn her out but I'll bet she loved every second of doing that. And what great memories for the kids!!