Sausage City: Telegraph's Charcuterie Plate
Charcuterie plates are a great place to look for house-made sausage in Chicago, and Telegraph in Logan Square, which successfully defies all the things I hate about wine bars (pricey mediocre wine and pricey unambitious food made acceptable because they're served in a "wine bar), has a fine one that changes regularly.
Right now they have a liver sausage, known by the traditional name braunschweiger. Braunschweiger is not necessarily put into a casing, since the focus is more on the flavor of the emulsified filling. So it may not look technically like a sausage (it's on the right side of the plate, and looks more like a mousse), but traditionally, it is one.
Telegraph's version is light and airy, sort of like a meaty whipped pie filling, and I mean that as a compliment. It's strongly flavored and yet balanced; the liver taste is subtle and subdued by cream and a light touch of seasoning. It's masterfully made, some of the best I've ever had.
It's served under a nest of onion jam, a rich and marmalade-like counterpoint of sweetness. Also on the plate is a puck of spicy pork rilletes, served unexpectedly but very successfully with a creamy garlicky aioli, a draped pile of speck, a German style of dry-cured ham that's also smoked, grilled bread from La Farine, a salad, and a dollop of balsamic mustard.