Sausage Party!

Look what I found in our post list. An unpublished sausage making post from back in April. I remember the timing. It was really bad. We had ordered¬†our first pig, and what we didn’t know at the time is that it was going to be ready for the butcher at the busiest time in our lives to date.

We wanted to do lots of stuff with the meat. Curing and smoking our own bacon would be fun. Making dried sausages would be a great treat. But when it came down to it, short of asking the butcher to do everything for us, we decided to settle on making our own sausage.

And despite the stress, I’m glad we did. To simplify things we had the butcher make the ground meat for us as opposed to taking cuts home to grind ourselves. The only thing was that it had to be made into sausage within the next couple days. We paid for the butchering and some small and large casings, and we headed home to make our first batch.

Like most of the continent, we experienced a very mild winter, so back in April we just walked outside and picked all of the herbs that ended up in the sausage minutes later with the exception of rosemary, which doesn’t like any sort of cold.

Once we mixed the herbs and spices in with the meat, we were going to regrind it finer with our Kitchenaid meat grinder, but it turned out to be useless, so our sausage was made with the coarser grind from the butcher. We’re doing some investigating to find a better grinder and a manual sausage stuffer… suggestions welcome!

We tried five different types of sausage, a basic recipe from one of our homesteading books, A cuban recipe, calling for LOTS of our homemade paprika, a chipotle sausage using the our homemade chipotles¬†(top image), an Italian sausage with lots of parsley (above image), and last, but definitely not least, a rosemary sausage attempting to replicate a wonderful breakfast sausage I couldn’t forget from a Santa Monica breakfast joint. We based it loosely on this recipe.

The best part of making your own sausage is keeping a skillet hot to throw samples of your mixture on to fry up and make sure it’s perfect.

Stuffing the sausage was simple, but using the Kitchenaid attachment seemed really inefficient. A manual stuffer that can fit a 5lbs of mixture seems to be a lot simpler. You can see a manual stuffer in this video, which also helped to teach me how to “link” them like a butcher does. Very simple.

The casings are washed and stored in a bowl of water to prep them for stuffing and once stuffed and linked they’re hung to drip dry for a few minutes. I went over them with a sterilized pin and pricked a little hole wherever there was an air bubble in the casing.

To be honest, it was stressful timing with poor equipment, so it was more difficult than it should have been. It’s one of those things that taught us a lot by doing and we’re actually looking forward to doing it again and doing it better in about a quarter of the time. AND make more of those amazing rosemary sausages!

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