Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sausage Making 101

Bright and early this morning, Hart and I began the process of making our own sausage, something we've never done before.  I've had the desire to try this lost art for a while and for Christmas I received the Kitchen Aid Meat Grinder attachment (I picked it out).  But life got busy and I set it aside for when we'd have the right moment to give it a try.  January went and February was almost gone as well, when I looked at my calendar and decided we might have this weekend free.
  Hart researched techniques and recipes.  I ordered the casings.  We bought the necessary ingredients and we were ready to give it a try.  Now we only needed a large block of time.  I voted for early Saturday morning, when we would both be fresh and energetic and our teenagers would still be asleep, so no need for any urgent carpooling.
Hart actually got up much earlier than I did and he began the process by getting all of our tools--bowls, grinder and attachments, and meat very cold.  He had read that it would go through the meat grinder easier if all things were very cold to start with. He also soaked the casings in cold water for about two hours.
I arose around 7 am and came down to a cup of coffee and a slab of very cold pork that needed to be cubed.  Not exactly my dream way to wake-up but by the time I had cubed 6 lbs of ice cold pork I was indeed awake!  Our first recipe was called American Farm Sausage.  Our next recipe was Italian Sausage.  Considering that this is the first time we have attempted to make sausage everything went really well.  We learned a few things and by noon we had about 10 lbs of sausage drying, waiting to be wrapped for future cooking.

We cut up a 5-6  lb pork shoulder into cubes.  

Hart is getting every last bit off of the bone.

The cubed pork and 2 lbs of cut up bacon.
We also used a 3 lb pork tenderloin.
My trusty Kitchen Aid mixer with new meat grinder attachment.
It worked great!
The cubed meat was put onto the tray and pushed through the opening with a special tool.

Next we added spices and seasonings. Plus a cup of red wine for the Italian and a
 cup of beer for the Farm sausage.

Mixing it all together by hand, boy was it cold!

Hart is threading the pork casing onto the sausage stuffer on the mixer.

The sausage mixture is placed onto the tray once more and pushed through.
It comes out of this tube and on to which the casings are threaded.

                                         My job was to guide the sausage as it was being filled

Lovely coils of sausage.

Hart then gently twisted the sausage, careful to let air bubbles escape.

A mornings work produced about 10 lbs of sausage.
Italian is on the left and American Farm is on the right.
The sausage must air dry for two hours before it can be packaged.

Packaged and ready to be refrigerated overnight so that it can "bloom".
Then it can be eaten or frozen for later use.
But we are cheating and having some for dinner tonight.  Shhh...

1 comment:

  1. So fun to see the process! And they were great!