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Sausage making

grinding, stuffing and making link sausage

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Comment by Lynda Reynolds on November 16, 2010 at 12:07pm
You're killing me! I'm fixing the grand kids some breakfast and I so want some of your sausage!!!
Comment by Cornelia on November 16, 2010 at 2:50pm
Pat, this is a great set of photos! Can you share a bit about your process? Some questions from a Facebook user:
"I want to know about what you are seasoning and curing with. The smoker (if any), what kind of wood, temperature, etc. I want to get a hog processed but we don't really use much ground pork and I don't really want to pay the locker to make sausages."
Comment by Pat Johnson on November 16, 2010 at 3:12pm
I made link sausage like Johnsonville so there was no smoking or curing involved (more on that later). The process is simple for the sausages I made. You grind Boston Butt pork roast (you need the fat content or the sausage will be dry). Pork Butt costs between $1 & $1.50 a pound depending on if its on sale or not. Other cuts and other meats can be used but the following is a quick down & dirty description using the most basic ingredients and techniques. Once you have the sausage ground to the consistancy of hamburger or ground pork that you would buy at the store, you stuff it into the casings using one of several types of stuffers that can be purchased easily. You need to practice so that you get the sausage into the stuffings without putting too much into them (they burst if too tight), or too little (you don't want air in the casings). Just try to get them about the same diameter as the store bought Italian sauages. Form a long continuous link. Mesure off the length you want and gently pinch the continuous link at the point where you want the link to end. Twist the link and move on the the next link. When you are done simply cut the links into seperate links with a pair of sissors (the link will hold it's shape if you are careful). Once the links have been put into the refridgerator they will firm up a bit to help hold their shape and not squirt out the ends. As far as the reciepes, just think of making and frying a patty out of ground pork. Anything you could put into it, you can put into your sausage. For a basic link, salt, pepper and garlic powder. For Chirizo, Salt chili powder, paprica garlic. For Italian, make the basic sausage and add a little fennel. The key is to make a small batch and try it by making a patty and frying it. If it's good as a patty it'll be good as a link. There are hundreds of reciepes on the net. I'll post something seperate for smoked and cured meats in the next few days but be forewarned that any smoked or dry sausage must contain nitrates (cures) to make it safe enough to last through the longer processing time it takes to make those kinds of sausages.
Comment by Pat Johnson on November 16, 2010 at 3:21pm
CAUTION........If you do choose to make smoked or dry sausages (anything not immediately cooked, canned or frozen) be cautious. You can buy cures for sausage making at many butcher shops or online. If you choose to do your own you can use reciepes from older books or from the internet. Whichever you choose, be careful because the quantites of the actual nitrates are very small and must be spread over a large amount of meat to be safe. An ounce of nitrates at a single meal is enough to kill a person. That's why the nitrates are not real easy to come by. Still, they are available with a little searching and research. Saltpeter is Potassium Nitrate and can be purchased easily at Lowes in the form of "Spectracide Stump Killer". It's 100% Potassium Nitrate with no additional chemicals (you can call the 800 number on the package to confirm).
Comment by Pat Johnson on November 17, 2010 at 1:15pm
Another comment on sausages. While there are a lot of choices available with regard to casings, the tradidtional and most popular casings for fresh sausages are Natural-Hog-Casings for brats, italian, Chirizo and other similar sausages. Breakfast sausage is almost always made using Natural-Sheep-Casings. The only real difference is the Sheep casings are smaller in diameter and a little more delicate. Most non-natural casings are for dry or smoked sasages where you peel the casing away. I'll try to provide more info in small tidbits but am working on a more comprehensive way to describe various sausage making methods, ingredients and options.

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