These days, a new school of artisan butchers and sausage makers — of tattooed and mostly twentysomething "meatsters" — are the rock stars of the culinary world. But even as folks like 4505 Meats' Ryan Farr experiment with new techniques, some of the best things are those that simply stay true to their Old World roots. Take the smoked pork sausages sold at Berkeley's La Bedaine ($4 for a two-pack). Chef Alain Delangle prepares his sausages "Montbéliard style," in the manner traditional to the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. He cures them for a day, then smokes them for eight hours over hickory sawdust. The result is the smokiest and perhaps the best-tasting sausage we've ever had — and one of the most versatile too. Delangle recommends barbecuing the sausages on a hot grill, poaching them to serve with potato salad, or slicing them raw and pan-searing the pieces to have for breakfast with a plate of eggs.
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