Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sausage Making

Hello all,

The idea for this blog actually came up while we were in the middle of our second attempt at making sausages; so here goes.

Our first attempt at making fresh sausages was ok, not great, certainly not bad. We made a small batch of sausage using a 5lbs pork shoulder roast, some fennel seed, a bit of crushed chili flakes a dash of red wine vinegar and a few cloves of garlic. Turned out to be too much garlic and not enough of the rest. Better than the sausages you buy in the average grocery store meat department, but not as good as my family makes.

Since we decided that after 2 months in the bay area it was past time we have some people over for a barbecue, and since we had a bunch of sausage casing left over from the first attempt we figured we'd take another stab at it this weekend and have people over next week.

We decided, for our second attempt, to use a handful of recipes online for inspiration on the amounts of spices per pound of meat. We also decided to measure out the ingredients so we'd have a better idea of how much to use until we got a good feel for doing it by eye. Here's the recipe we ended up with:

Notes:
  • If you aren't working on it, keep it refrigerated
  • Clean surfaces well, this is raw meat
Ingredients:
  • Natural Sausage casings
  • Well marbled pork shoulder
    • The rest of the ingredients are amount per pound of meat, we did a 14lbs shoulder from Costco
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes 
    • we used 1 1/2 tsp for a 1/3 of the sausage to give it  more kick
  • 1 Tbsp decent red wine
Steps:
  • Toast the fennel seed and chili flakes in a dry skillet until they get nice and fragrant
  • Cut the shoulder up into chunks
  • Pass it through the course die on a meat grinder
    • We use the meat grinder attachment for our stand mixer
    • We had to do several batches because it was more meat than fit in our mixing bowl, we added the salt and pepper into the ground meat as we transferred bowls to get it mixed through
  • Pass it through the course die again
  • Mix in toasted fennel seed,  chili flakes and the red wine.
    • We did this while transferring bowls again so it was easier to get it all evenly mixed through.
  • Get the casing onto a sausage stuffer
    • We use the meat grinder attachment for this too
  • Stuff the sausages as per the directions on the stuffer, we usually stuff 10 links worth or so at a time, cut and tie the sausage off and then twist every other link in the opposite direction of the one previously twisted link. (e.g. 2, 6, & 10 clockwise, 4 & 8 counter clockwise)
  • put the links onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment/wax paper and flash freeze them
  • cut the cord into individual links, and put them into labeled freezer bags.
My wife wants to add a smaller amount of garlic to the next batch, we're thinking to try it with garlic powder next time though. We'll update this post next week after the barbecue and let you all know how the sausages go over.