Artisan Spotlight: Frank Sausages

The Grand Tasting will boast an array of delicious sips and samples from an impressive number of the country’s top wine, spirits and culinary exhibitors, not to mention the local and regional chefs who will be on hand sharing their creations as well.

One of the best – and most rewarding – parts of the Grand Tasting experience is the chance to talk with the makers, and our Artisan Spotlight series introduces you to a few of these creative entrepreneurs in advance of the fest. You’ve already gone behind the scenes with Tiny Pies and Lick Honest Ice Creams and Texas Olive Ranch, now learn a bit more about another local favorite – Frank.

Frank Artisan Sausages
Courtesy Serious Eats | Matthew Egan

AFWF: How did you get into artisan sausage making?

Daniel Northcutt: We all grew up on sausage at one place or another – S. Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana & West Texas. As far as making our own, we just enrolled into the University of Hard Knocks. We bought casing and supplies and started making sausage at Geoff’s house every chance we could over discussions of a much needed sausage joint in Austin until we were producing amazing sausage that we were proud of and Frank was born.

From the beginning, we wanted to focus on sausage that was developed in-house or with our buddies over at Hudson’s Meats. They kick ass on some serious sausage makin’. Hudson’s cases and smokes all of our signature Frank menu sausages and we case our weekly specials in house.

We also feature some outsourced sausage when we find different encased meats that we like and respect – we’re down with waving someone else’s flag if the product is great. We’ve also started working with other chefs around town on developing sausage based on their own palate and menu at their respective restaurants – keep your eyes open for some upcoming collaborations that will make your taste buds want.

What’s the best part of being a part of Austin’s entrepreneurial food scene?

Working with other chefs & food joints at all the music fests, fundraisers, food showcases & other community events that happen year-round in Austin. It’s a chance to visit old industry buddies and meet new up and coming F&B lifers – tasting the old dog’s grub and the younger chefs’ plates as well. For us, it keeps us inspired, motivated and looped in to the scene.

Courtesy Serious Eats

Most popular artisan sausage + craft beer combo?

Texalina & Jackalope are the best sellers for sure.

Texalina. Custom-made, Smoked Pork & Beef Sausage topped w/ Grilled Horseradish Cole Slaw, Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce & White Cheddar Cheese

Hammer that Texalina with an Austin Beerworks Black Thunder German-Style Schwarz – it’s strong & sweet enough to cut through the smoke & spice of ol’ Tex and kick it into the next gear – good team, those two. Another sweet pairing is the Texalina & Hops and Grain’s Alt-eration. It’s a pilsner malt with Munich, Vienna and de-bittered black malt…so good with the spices, beef & pork on the Tex.

We always recommend two beers with each sausage so you can try both!

Jackalope. Custom-made, Smoked Rabbit & Antelope Sausage topped w/ Cranberry Compote, Sriracha Aioli & Yellow Cheddar Cheese

Get that Jackalope in the Austin Beerworks Fire Eagle American IPA’s talons asap and hang on! That Fire Eagle Hop and Cranberry Compote set that Rabbit & Antelope off like the 4th of July.

What other local food business do you admire and support in the Austin area?

Gosh – so many we couldn’t begin to count but favorites and/or close friends are Barley Swine, anything Jesse Griffin does with Dai Due, Bufalina, Salt & Time, Swift’s Attic (Shout out: Zack, Callie & CK), Little Barrel & Brown, Botticelli’s – Ramen Tatsu-Ya (holy heck!) – David Bull at Congress/2nd Bar – Oh Gosh, they’re playing the music…so many people to thank for good grub in Austin…

Vespaio & Enoteca should always be mentioned because through all the shiny new places, they have been holding down amazing grub for years and years! I love you Mom & Dad and Austin and…thank you…Go see Lynzy at Baton Creole on the east side – legit! Lastly, hey Speer – hurry up and open St. Philip’s, we can’t wait much longer!

What are you most excited for about AFWF and what can festival-goers expect to sample at your setup?

Seriously excited about just getting in one place with all of the chefs, kitchen teams and great grub – this is why we do this! Stop by Frank and enjoy a trifecta of flavors:

  • Slow Dough Pretzel sticks w/ House Made Alligator Sausage & Smoked Pepper Beer Fondue
  • Gulf Shrimp Etouffee Kettle Chip w/ Crumbled Crispy Andouille and Fresh Chive
  • Kangaroo & Duck Rilletes on Slough Dough Sel Gris Ciabatta w/ Cherry Cider Champagne Gastrique