The inspiration for oyster sausage comes from the 1988 cookbook Northwest Bounty: The Extraordinary Foods and Wonderful Cooking of the Pacific Northwest. The authors claim that you have not lived until you have gone to the trouble of making, then eating, oyster sausages. Our version adds pork and woodsy spices for a surf-and-turf vibe.
1 pint shucked oysters, with their liquor
6 slices (6 ounces) bacon, diced
1 pound ground pork
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon ground juniper berries (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Natural sausage casing, about 6 feet
Buns, sauerkraut and mustard to serve
Sausage stuffer (or a sausage stuffer attachment for a stand mixer; Kitchen Aid makes one)
In a saucepan, add the oysters and their liquor and cook, covered, over medium heat until the gills ruffle, 5-6 minutes. Drain and let cool. Chop the oysters roughly.
In a large bowl, add the oysters, bacon, ground pork, bread crumbs and eggs and toss gently to combine. Add the sage, juniper, salt and black pepper and toss again, just until the spices are mixed through. Thread the sausage casing on to the horn of the sausage stuffer and place the sausage mixture in the hopper. Fill six sausages evenly, tying off the casing between each one.
Grill, boil or pan-fry the sausages as you like, and serve with mustard and sauerkraut.