Recipe: Cafe Linnea’s Custom Mustard Sausages


When Cafe Linnea‘s chef Kelsey Johnson wanted to learn more about butchery, she spent a summer at ACME Meat Market in Edmonton enhancing her skills. Today, the custom mustard sausages she serves at the restaurant are so popular they’re available not just on the menu – but also for take away. While stuffing sausages can seem intimidating to some, at her Christmas in November session at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Kelsey showed how grinding and seasoning custom sausages at home can be simple and rewarding. For those who don’t have all the equipment or the time to make their custom minced meat blends at home, Cafe Linnea sells Kelsey’s handmade custom mustard sausages for takeaway.

What you’ll need…

Cafe Linnea’s chef Kelsey Johnson

Makes approx. 16 sausages or sausage patties

2 kg pork meat (about 25% fat content)
32 g salt
10 g ground mustard seeds
10 g whole mustard seeds
14 g garlic, chopped
2 g cayenne
12 g brown sugar
3 g caraway seeds


Dice the pork meat and fat into pieces that will fit into your grinder attachment. Keeping both the meat and the equipment as cold as possible (Kelsey likes to partially freeze the diced meat in one layer on a tray as well as fully freeze the equipment attachments to keep meat and equipment as cold as possible), grind all the pork and double grind about 1⁄3 of the mixture again. Add all your spices and a splash of water to help incorporate everything and mix very well until the mixture feels tacky on your hands.

Now you are ready to either fry up your mixture loose, form into patties, or stuff your sausage casing with it. You can always play around with the spice mix too and really customize your sausage mix to your liking using this recipe as a rough template.

If you have a Cuisinart Sausage Making attachment, Cuisinart recommends:

  1. If you have purchased dry casings, they must be soaked in cold water or a mixture of 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar until they become soft and pliable.
  2. Soak for approximately 1 hour, changing water 3 times to rinse salt off.
  3. Place custom sausage meat in the die-cast hopper and turn the unit on. Push the meat into the die-cast hopper opening with pusher until the mixture appears at the end of the sausage attachment. Turn the unit off and tie a knot at the end of the 2-inch casing overhang.
  4. Turn unit on and feed the meat into the diecast hopper opening until all the meat have been used or the casing is approximately 2 inches from being completely full.
  5. Turn unit off, remove the end of the casing from the sausage attachment, and tie a knot in the open end of the casing. If air bubbles have formed, use a knife or needle to burst.
  6. Sausages can be made to the desired length by twisting the casing at intervals. NOTE: To avoid over-stretching and splitting the casing, do not make the sausages too thick. The meat mixture will expand slightly during cooking. Keep casing moist; water frequently by dipping the sausage casing into a bowl of water or vinegar

Produce Profile: Country Accent Mangalitsa

During this year’s Alberta Farm Days in August I visited Country Accent, where Malorie Aubé and her family raise the unique Mangalitsa heritage breed of pigs on their farm southeast of Edmonton.

Country Accent Heritage Breed

Country Accent is the only producer of the Hungarian Mangalitsa breed in western Canada. My first introduction to Malorie was at a Swine & Dine dinner last year in the Harvest Room at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The heritage breed is often described as the kobe beef of pork, and chef Serge Jost took advantage of the lard producing pig by starting things off by serving the buttery smooth lard with fresh bread.

Country Accent Heritage BreedI’ve learned that the Mangalitsa heritage breed is ideal for curing, and a single animal is capable of producing 70 litres of rendered fat. In contrast to other Alberta Pork producers, Country Accent raises their pigs to two years to help add fat and develop the flavour.Country Accent Heritage Breed

On the farm tour we had an opportunity see their woolly pigs up close and even get a peek at some of the newest additions to the farm which are striped like wild African pigs. Country Accent’s pigs roam freely on the farm and I jokingly asked if I could take one of the smaller ones home. Valerie said if I could catch one I could have it; it was a challenge I was not up for.

Country Accent Heritage BreedAs the meat is very different from the more leaner pork Albertans have grown accustom to, demand in Country Accent‘s Mangalitsa breed has taken time, but interest is slowly growing, and a handful of butchers and restaurants in Edmonton and Calgary have become regular customers.Country Accent Heritage Breed

I myself have become addicted to the Country Accent pancetta cured up by Acme Meat Market in Edmonton. Country Accent products are also available at Vivo Ristorante and Fuge Fine Meat in Edmonton, and diners in Calgary can have a taste at The Living Room and River Cafe.


IMG_2265[1]Additionally, those interested in a taste can contact Malorie to direct buy a variety of products (fresh, frozen), 1/2 or whole pigs, as well as pure Mangalitsa or cross breeds.


Country Accent Heritage BreedCountry Accent Mangalitsa
Bawlf, Alberta

Recipe: Pancetta & Poached Egg Carbonara

Pancetta & poached egg carbonaraI recently bought the most beautiful piece of pancetta at ACME Meat Market they made using Country Accent‘s Mangalitsa pork. When I took it home and crisped up some pieces in a frying pan I knew it would be perfect for a carbonara pasta dish. I’ve also been playing around with my new sous vide machine and thought it could be nice to have a soft-poached egg served on top rather than mixed into the cream sauce in the traditional way.

If you don’t have a sous vide machine don’t worry – a classic soft poached egg done in water the old-fashioned way will produce the same result. Visit ACME Meat Market or your neighbourhood butcher to source local pancetta.

What you’ll need…

150 g pancetta, diced

1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)

4 eggs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

200 g fettuccine

2 tbsp of fresh basil or parsley, chopped

ground black pepper, to taste


If using a sous-vide machine, place four eggs in 63 C for 45 minutes.

In a large saucepan over low-medium heat, cook pancetta for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and continue to cook until shallots are transparent, approximately 3-5 more minutes. Add the cream and reduce to low to just keep warm.

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions until al dente.

Meanwhile poach your eggs.

Drain pasta and add to cream sauce; mix to coat noodles. Add parmesan and season with black pepper to taste.

Dish out four portions of pasta to each bowl and top with poached egg. If using sous vide eggs – gently crack eggs onto the top of the pasta. Top with fresh herbs, optional extra parmesan and serve immediately.

Recipe: Chef Michael Allemeier’s Tartiflette

photo 5 (2)I first learned about Tartiflette a few weeks ago; the French dish from the Savoie region of France is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, pork lardons, and onions. (Think fancy scalloped potatoes).

This Ukrainian girl was instantly attracted to the list of ingredients, but I wanted to recreate it using as many local ingredients as possible. My first attempt created a decent result, but to make it blog worthy I needed some help. Thankfully I had a trip to Calgary planned and I know that my sister’s neighbour, Chef Michael Allemeier, enjoys sharing his culinary knowledge (and enjoys my Passion for Pork recipe challenges/opportunities).

Always interested in products of Edmonton-area producers, I brought Chef Allemeier cured side pork from Acme Meat Market and La Bianca cheese from The Cheesiry. When I told him I wanted to make something with lardons, he explained that lardons are defined by cubes or matchstick sized-pieces of pork fat; just another part of the pig to love.

photo 2 (3)With just a few simple ingredients, and generous portion of whipping cream (Chef Allemeier is a great friend to Alberta Milk), he whipped up an Albertan-version of tartiflette that was lapped up immediately by our families. I wasn’t the only one at the table looking the empty La Crueset pot wishing we had made more.

photo 1 (4)Chef Micheal Allemeier’s Tartiflette

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
150 g lardons
2 tbsps canola oil
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 round of local/Canadian cheese (La Bianca from The Cheesiry, brie, etc.) or substitute with 3/4 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large cast-iron or oven safe pan over medium heat, heat canola oil and cook onions and lardons, stirring occasionally for approximately five minutes or until they begin to brown. Add cream and cook for one minute more.

3. Remove from heat and arrange potatoes on top in an even layer. Cover and bake until potatoes are tender, approximately 30 minutes.

4. Cut cheese in half horizontally, and place the half on top, rind side up, or sprinkle grated cheese over top, and bake until cheese is melted into the potatoes. Serve immediately.

photo 4 (1) photo 3 (2) photo 2 (4)photo 1 (5)photo 5 (1)photo 4 (2)photo 2 (5)

My niece Kali and sister Shawna patiently wait to try Chef Allemeier's tartiflette
My niece Kali and sister Shawna patiently wait to try Chef Allemeier’s tartiflette