Smoked Hot Links
Excerpted with permission from America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants by Ardie Davis and Paul Kirk (Andrews McMeel, 2009)
We couldn't stop ourselves from humming the tune to "Third Rate Romance (Low Rent Rendezvous)" when we saw this 'cue joint/motel combo. It's not exactly the kind of place where you expect to find good eats, but the food at Barbara Ann's Bar-B-Que & Motel doesn't disappoint. While the joint is known especially for its Chicago smoked links with regular/hot mixed sauce, the rib tips, ribs, and chicken are customer favorites, too. Barbara Ann doesn't eat pork, so she added turkey links to the menu for herself and like-minded customers and those who want a change from chicken. Jumbo shrimp, catfish, and fries are also on the menu. This is a carryout only joint, so think ahead about where you'll eat your links feast from Barbara Ann's.When Delars Bracy decided to open a barbecue joint and motel on Chicago's South Side in 1967, he named it after his daughter, Barbara Ann Bracy. Delars settled in Chicago by way of Ruleville, Mississippi, his hometown, and Los Angeles, his college town. He started a family in Chicago after discovering that Bertie, his hometown sweetheart, was also in Chicago. The barbecue joint and motel came later, after Delars had finished a successful career as a criminal defense attorney. Some of his brothers who lived in Chicago helped Delars run the carryout joint in the early years. Now Barbara Ann is in charge, and-other than adding turkey links and chicken to the menu-she runs it just the way her dad and uncles ran it. Due to flecks of sage in the seasoning, Barbara Ann's links are compared to breakfast sausage. We like them any time of day or night, especially with a mix of her regular and hot sauce. If you're using sausage casings, make sure you allow enough time to soak them overnight before stuffing them.
- 9 feet sausage casings (optional)
- Apple cider vinegar (optional)
- 5 pounds pork butt, coarsely ground twice or medium once
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 1 to 2 tablespoons rubbed sage
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, cracked
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup ice water, if needed
- Barbecue sauce
- Hot sauce (such as Louisiana Hot Sauce or Texas Pete)
If you're using sausage casings, the day before you plan to stuff the sausage, rinse the casings under cold water inside and out. Prepare a solution of 1 cup water to 1 capful of cider vinegar. Soak the casings in the solution overnight.
In a large bowl, mix the pork with the garlic, sage, parsley, salt, fennel, oregano, thyme, pepper, and cayenne. Stir. If using casings, mix in the ice water if the meat mixture is too dry to stuff into the casings.
Stuff the sausage mixture into the casings or make into loaves, sticks, or patties. If you're making sticks, links, or logs, it helps to use plastic wrap to form the meat into the desired shape. Hang stuffed casings for at least an hour in a cool, dry place and then refrigerate at least overnight but for no more than 5 days before using. Sticks, links, or logs can be cooked immediately.
You can fry, smoke, or grill the sausage as desired.
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