After watching Le Gourmand Restaurant’s Bruce Naftaly make fresh garlic sausage loaded with fresh herbs and using locally raised pork, Microsoft project manager David Pearlstein was struck by the realization that sausage, like all great cooking, can and should always be made with the freshest and highest quality ingredients available. David decided that he would try to replicate the sausage, and what started as a hobby using a friend’s hand grinder has now grown into a full time occupation. David quit his job at Microsoft in 2007 to spend more time with his daughter and soon found himself experimenting more and more with sausage making. He converted his family’s single car garage into a USDA Certified production kitchen and went from making 25 pounds of sausage a week to 275-300 pounds a week in his first year. David soon realized that if he were to increase production, he would need a bigger space. He found one not far away in the Maple Leaf neighborhood, and this past August he made the move from his 180 square foot garage to the spacious 900 square foot production facility that is Link Lab’s new home.
However, Link Lab is not only about the equipment that they use. David believes that fresh, quality meat is by far the most important part of his sausages. The pork that he uses to make the sausage for our pizza is from Tails and Trotters in Portland. David chose Tail and Trotters because of the unique way that they feed their pigs. In Spain, the pigs that provide the meat for the famed Iberico hams thrive on a diet of acorns, which actually lowers the relative level of saturated fat in the meat. Similarly, the pigs from Tails and Trotters are fed hazelnuts (they are much more plentiful here than acorns). This gives the fat a wonderful white, clean color that David just can’t find in most pork. In addition, it tastes delicious! Try it for yourself. David’s sausages are available at Ken’s Market on Phinney Ridge, Ken’s on Queen Anne, Pete’s Wine Shop, Sunset Hill Green Market, Full Circle Farm, and SPUD.com to name a few. And of course, you can try David’s Shiitake Sage Pork Sausage on our Link Lab Primo, where it is featured along with shiitake mushrooms, roasted leeks and fresh mozzarella on an olive oil base. It is available now through February 26th.