Vietnamese Roasted Cinnamon Sausage (Cha Que Recipe)

Yum
  • Preparation: 30 mins
  • Cooking: 30 mins
  • Skill level: Medium
  • Servings: 4

Description Vietnamese Roasted Cinnamon Sausage Recipe (Chả Quế)

When ground meat or meat paste is enhanced by other seasonings and cooked in an unusual manner, rather than just boiled, it is elevated to the realm of chả, a term used for fancier charcuterie. So if the name of a dish includes the word chả, expect to be seduced.
Here, the meat paste receives a dose of cinnamon, which adds a deep spicy-sweet flavor without being cloying (much as it does to many savory Middle Eastern dishes). To accentuate the perfume and color that cinnamon lends to the paste, the mixture is traditionally spread onto a large section of bamboo and cooked on a spit over a wood fire. As the bamboo spins, a chewy skin forms and a heady aroma wafts through the air. When cut from the bamboo, the ready-to-eat sausage is curved like pieces of cinnamon bark.
In the States, my mom tried substituting a large metal juice can for the bamboo and an electric rotisserie for the spit. If things weren’t just right, the paste slipped off the can and was ruined. The method here, which uses an inverted baking sheet, is much easier, although it doesn’t yield the characteristic curved shape. The taste, however, is splendid, especially when the sausage is made with strong, sweet Vietnamese cassia cinnamon.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) Multipurpose Meat Paste
  • 2½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method Vietnamese Roasted Cinnamon Sausage Recipe (Chả Quế)

1, Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Invert a baking sheet and cover the bottom with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
2, Put the paste in a bowl and sprinkle on the sugar and cinnamon. Mix vigorously with a rubber spatula to distribute the dark specks of cinnamon evenly.
3, Transfer the paste to the prepared baking sheet. Use the rubber spatula to spread the paste into a 1-inch-thick rectangle (to mimic the bamboo) or disk. Wet the palm of your hand with water and rub it in a circular motion to smooth the top. Wet your fingers and smooth the sides. To prevent the paste from puffing up too much and cooking unevenly, use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes in it, spacing them about 1 inch apart and making sure to touch bottom.
4, Bake the paste for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is dry and light brown and a skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. During baking, a puffy, shiny skin forms. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. As the sausage cools, the skin deflates, crinkles, and darkens.
5, To serve, cut the sausage into 3 long sections and then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Store leftover sausage in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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