The Saucisse de Morteau and Jésus de Morteau PGI are pork meat sausages in natural casings.
The production area of Saucisse de Morteau or Jésus de Morteau PGI covers the departments of Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône and Territoire de Belfort, in Franche Comté region.
The mix is obtained starting from ham, shoulder, breast, lard, loin and trims. From 65 to 85% of meats used for the mix have to be lean, whilst the remaining percentage can consists of pig lard. The cuts are crushed together roughly and then salted, and some spices may be added (pepper, garlic, cumin etc.). The mix obtained is put in pig natural casing (chaudin, suivant or intestine) and then dried in suitable rooms. The fundamental phase is surely smoking: indeed, the sausages have to be smoked slowly using conifer wood, with a constant and careful check of fume.
APPEARANCE AND FLAVOUR
Saucisse de Morteau and Jésus de Morteau PGI have both a cylindrical shape, but the second is a particular representation of the first, as it is more uneven and with a minimum diameter which is higher (respectively 40 and 60 mm). The ends of these sausages are generally sealed, one side with cord and the other with a wood stick, even if the wood stick can be absent in the case of Jésus de Morteau PGI. The colour is amber, but not uniform. The dough has a rough grain, and the taste, after cooking, is smoked but rather well-balanced.
The agricultural farming tradition of Franche Comté region is ancient and closely linked to the region. The practice of cattle breeding for the dairy production found here a very good development area putting the basis for a later spread of pig farming. Indeed, in this region the milk whey produced by many dairy factories was, and still is, used as a basic food for pigs, as it is rich in useful element for the growth of these animals. The region, in addition to meat production, has specialised in drying and smoking products, a practice of which the highest expression is Tuyés, which are rooms thought for the double function to smoke the meats and to heat the houses or farms where they were produced.
Saucisse de Morteau o Jésus de Morteau PGI has to be stored in a fresh and dry room, protected from direct light, even better in refrigerator. It is eaten after cooking: boiled, pan-fried, roasted in oven or barbecued. This versatile product can be used as an ingredient for many recipes, from aperitifs to first and second courses or side dishes. A traditional dish is the potato gratin which includes cheese, onion and Saucisse de Morteau PGI. It has to be served accompanied by a glass of white wine.
The product is sold as Saucisse de Morteau or Jésus de Morteau PGI. It is packed in suitable bags and can be sold also precooked.
Saucisse de Morteau or Jésus de Morteau PGI owe their characteristic amber colour and peculiar taste to the smoking with conifer wood, which is a local practise of Franche Comté region which, thanks to a big forest, has good amounts of this species of trees.