So, time for some more black belt level homesteading – making your own sausages. This is a project I hesitated to try because it seemed like so much could go wrong. Especially cured sausages, which will come later. But after a lot of reading (and discovering the fabulousness of French saucisson sec), I decided to take a run at it. The results have been AMAZING! And in one afternoon, I made more than 10 pounds of cured sausage.
Obligatory warning label:
Supplies you will need:
“Where the hell do I find this weird stuff?”
Excellent question. Because I’m cheap and don’t have a ton of storage room for more small appliances, I rented them from my local Homestead Supply Store. There are a lot of places you can rent speciality kitchen stuff, if you don’t want to make the investment.
Step 1: Grind the meat
Cut the meat into small pieces, and run them through the grinder. If you are using lean meat, you will want to buy pork trimmings of fat, and add them to the lean meat, otherwise the sausage will be super dry and flavourless. Make sure the fat is mixed evenly with the meat.
Step 2: Add everything else
Add all the spices, garlic, breadcrumbs, etc., and mix together really well. I use gloved hands for this, because it really mixes it well, and impregnates the meat with the seasoning. Also, squishing raw meat in your hands feels cool.
Step 3: Stuff it!
You want to gently put the sausage casing onto the horn (the long, thin plastic bit that the meat will go through) until the horn is full. Tie off the end, and pierce the sausage with a toothpick to make sure the air gets out and the sausage doesn’t explode.
With one hand, keep gentle pressure on the casing, to make sure the meat fills the casing completely, but not so much that the casing explodes (had a few explosions before I got the knack). You may occasionally need to poke a little hole to prevent air bubbles and exploding.
Step 4: Pinch, twist and tie
If you want little breakfast-sized sausages, then to separate them just gently pinch where you want the sausage to end, and twist it to close it off. Repeat this as you’re stuffing, until you get the length of sausage you want. For me, I wanted long coils, so I tied off the casing, and cut it, then re-tied and started over.
I did a bunch of dried/cured sausages as well (different recipe), and will do a tutorial on that later, but for now, with your sausages done, you can cook them right away, or store them in the fridge/freezer until you want to eat them. Keep in mind this is still raw meat, and should be treated as such. Cook them all the way through, and store them safely.
Despite my initial trepidations, this was a far, far easier project than I thought, just kind of time consuming. And I have a TON of prepared sausages as a result, like, several months worth. Give this project a try, and let me know how you did!