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Make Your Own Sausage at Home


 Making your own sausage is easier than you might think. Choose the right meat, proper seasoning, and use this simple guide to develop your own sausage.  

I know what you're thinking... this should be hard to do.  Making sausage is what our grandparents did after hours and hours of meal prep, slaving away in the fields to put food on the table.  Nothing beats homemade venison sausage!  Another image that comes to mind when someone talks about making sausage, is a big industrial meat grinder pumping out hundreds of pounds of ground meat per day.  The reality is, you can make sausage in your own home with just a few key tools.

Tools of the trade

1. Large mixing bowl - Everyone has a few of these lying around. Choose one big enough for the batch you plan to make. 2. Meat grinder - If you don’t have one, there are a few options. Some folks buy a simple hand crank grinder, while others opt for the big industrial type. Our recommendation is a Kitchen Aid stand mixer combined with their meat grinder / sausage stuffer attachment. Kills two birds with one stone! 3. Sausage Stuffer - If you’re like us, you have the Kitchen Aid setup mentioned above, and already have this covered. There are several alternatives here. If your sausage production is small enough, you could stuff the sausage by hand.

Sausage making basics

Sausage is simply put – seasoned ground meat stuffed in casing (natural or synthetic). It can be cured, dried, smoked, grilled, boiled, baked, or pan fried. You can cook it whole, slice it, make patties, or crumble it

Choosing Sausage meat

Sausage can be made from any meat; however most sausage traditionally made from beef, pork, venison, veal, or elk. Don’t limit yourself to just one meat. Some of the best sausage is a combination of 2 or more meats. Now that you’re making your own sausage, you can try anything. Keep in mind, that using meat with the right fat content helps maintain moisture while cooking. If it’s your first time making sausage, I recommend finding a tried and true recipe and following it exactly. The next time you make sausage, you can tweak the ingredients to make it your own.

Sausage making steps

Here are the basic steps to make sausage: Once you have selected your meat, grind it! If you’re adding other items such as apples, you could grind it at the same time to help with the mixing process. Next, season it. This part takes some practice. It’s easy to under-season sausage, or end up with an un-balanced seasoning. Starting with a time tested recipe is a great way to practice. Some sausage seasoning can include the obvious salt and pepper (fresh cracked), plus various other herbs, spices, and ingredients such as basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika (for color more than anything), cayenne pepper, bell pepper, diced onion, minced garlic, diced jalapeno, cheese, brown sugar, maple syrup (yum), and just about anything else you can think of. Mix it. When mixing, you want to ensure your add-ins and spices are spread evenly through the ground meat. No one wants a mouthful of concentrated seasoning. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to over work the meat. If you work the ground meat too much, when made into sausage it becomes too dense. The texture is easily lost. Stuff it. This is the fun part. Be sure to soak your casing in ice water ahead of time to make it more pliable. Tying one end in a knot, slide the casing over the tip of the sausage stuffer nozzle, and feed it all the way on so the end of the tip starts filling from the knot end. Start the stuffer – slowly filling the casing with ground meat. Once you have a length of sausage you like, fill it past that point, and pinch where you’d like to end it. Give it several twists, and continue filling. Start feeding the sausage into a large bowl in a circular pattern. Once you’re out of meat, tie the end of the casing. You made sausage!

Tips for Cooking sausage

• When cooking sausage including pork, it is important to cook it through to prevent food borne illness. • If you’re cooking your sausage whole, don’t poke the casing with a fork. Use tongs to ensure the tasty juice from the meat within stays inside. • If grilling, rotate frequently for an even cook. • If smoking your sausage, you can change the type of wood you use to further alter the flavor. Mesquite will have a stronger flavor than Apple wood or hickory. Use oak to help balance stronger flavored wood. • If pan frying, add water and cover with a lid. The steam generated will help cook it evenly. Make sausage with your family, and enjoy!

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