It is always with such mixed feelings that I venture back to see my dearly departed friends, like the divine Della Reese. I mean, it is such a joy to see them again but it is also a reminder that the world has lost them.
And a fear that it will lead to a butterfly effect that will see a sequel to The Butterfly Effect reignite Ashton Kutcher’s career. Which is risky AF.
Lucky I understand that with great power, comes great responsibility and I am adept at keeping things in check. Plus – how can you focus on anything but when spending time with a dear friend like Della.
I first met Della in the ‘60s when I got my start as a production intern on the set of her talk show Della. While some talk-show hosts are actually vicious – apparently – Della was nothing but kind and took me under her wing, and as such, I became her most loyal supporter.
Given my passion for Survivor, I decided to go back to the early ‘00s set of Touched By an Angel as I knew it was me running my mouth about the show, that led to Roma and Mark Burnett getting together. So I couldn’t do too much damage.
Plus – TBAA is such a joyous iconic program, that I wanted to see Della in action just one more time. And boy did she deliver! We laughed, we cried and in between takes, we smashed some glorious slices of Mortadella Reese like it was the good old days.
I guess because it was slash is.
This may come as a shock given my passion for sausage, however this is the first time I’ve attempted this recipe – thanks SBS – but damn am I glad I did. Salty, sweet and smooth, this has fast become my third favourite meat to have in my mouth.
1–2 full-length natural ox bung or other disgusting sausage casing which is far more terrifying in theory
1 cup sweet red wine
6g ground coriander
1g ground cinnamon
10g standard kwikurit, not to be confused with kiwi fruit like when I went shopping
8g powdered gelatine
450ml chilled water
200g hard back pork fat
4.5kg pork shoulder meat
125g skim milk powder
1 cup pitted green olives, sliced
25g dried pepperberries
Soak the ox bung in cold water for 1 hour, then rinse well inside and out. Thread onto a sausage nozzle, put it onto a plate and keep in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile bring the wine to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan with the coriander, cinnamon and mace for 20 minutes, until well reduced. Set aside to cool completely.
While this is getting chill, combine the kwikurit and gelatine in a jug with the chilled water, stirring until dissolved. Set aside.
Now start working on the meat by cutting the fat into a 1cm dice, and putting the meat through a 1cm mincer plate into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and milk powder and scrunch to combine. Add the spicy wine and water mixtures, and stir to thoroughly combined. Return through the mincer using a 6mm plate.
Add the fat, olives and pepperberries to the freshly minced bowl and mix until combined. Place in an airtight container and place in the fridge to chill overnight.
Set up the sanitised sausage cannon and fill the bowl with the forcemeat, ensuring not to leave any air pockets, and attach the nozzle to the end of the sausage cannon. Remove the mixture from the fridge and pump the mixture out the end of the nozzle before you tie off the end.
Slowly start to crank the cannon and fill the sausage, guiding the casing out of the cannon as it fills, using your whole hand, onto a clear sterilised work surface. Once it has reached the desired length, stop and tie off the end. Repeat the process until you finish the mixture.
Place the sausage into a smoker after the temperature has reached about 49°C. Smoke heavily, raising the temperature gradually to about 80°C, and hold until the mortadella reaches about 65°C on a digital thermometer. This can take up to 3–4 hours.
Transfer mortadella to the fridge and chill overnight, before slicing and devouring.