6 February 2008


After yesterday's pancake indulgence, we were good and had salad tonigt. I reduced the recipe to two eggs which resulted in 3 pancakes each. One with sugar and lemon, one with Nutella (yum!) and one with strawberry jam. We also had blackberry jam, fig jam and white cherry jam, but there weren't enough pancakes for that. Not to mention all the jellies screaming for attention in the fridge.

But I also started on the following. This is the big one for this year, I think. I'm making cуджук (sujuk). This is a dried sausage, shaped like a horseshoe. Possibly of Turkish origin, but very popular in Bulgaria, along with луканка (lukanka). The main difference to me seems to be in the shape and thickness of these two. And of course every region has their own combination of spices. The one I'm making is based on my parents recipe that they've developed and tuned over the past 25 years.

This is the first time I make this, so to be on the safe side, I'm making less than half of the amounts. Of course as for most sausages, you need sausage skins, and because the sujuk needs to be dried, the sausage skins must be porous. Traditionally sheep or pig intestines are used, but there are artificial alternatives as well. Our butcher did have pig intestines and amidst a bit of sniggering, I got some last Saturday. When the sujuk is ready, I'll bring them some. They thought it was rather amusing that I'd try to make sausages at home.

Notice that this will take the better part of a month and so will be spread over several posts.


5 kg minced meat
90 g salt
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp chilli flakes (optional)
15 g savory
15 g ground black pepper
7 dl water

  1. Mix all ingredients well and leave overnight so all flavours are released.
  2. Next day, place the (natural) sausage skins in water for a few hours.
  3. Thread the sausage skin onto the sausage filling machine and tie a piece of string at the end. Then fill a length of about 30 cm and tie with the other end of the string, so a loop is formed between string and sausage.
  4. Cut off the end and repeat the previous step with the next sujuk.
  5. Hang the sujuks in a cool place to dry.
  6. After 2 - 3 days, carefully roll each sujuk with a rolling pin and leave to hang and dry again.
  7. Repeat the rolling 2 - 3 more times while the sujuks are drying. They should be ready after about 20 - 25 days.
  8. If you grow tired of waiting this long, or just fancy trying it, the sujuk can be fried during the drying period. Works pretty much like a regular sausage.
When the sujuk is ready, remember to peel off the sausage skin. It's normally eaten as a snack, sliced thinly along with a fine rakia. Maybe salad as well.

Commercial sujuk tends to have a higher fat content, so in making your own, you can ensure that it's mostly meat, not to mention the spice combination.

Today I made step 1 above - mixed everything and put in the fridge overnight. My fabulous kitchen assistant machine not only mixed all the ingredients in a whizz, but will also help me stuff the mixture into the sausage skins tomorrow. Here's an action shot.

Click here for the next part of this adventure.

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