Recently, we decided to go on a little sausage journey of our own and learn how to make sausage from scratch. I admit, when I first thought about making my own sausage at home, I thought it was going to be hard, so for years, I put it off. Then, one day, I decided it was time to get up and do it and today, I am here to encourage others to make their own sausage, because it really isn’t as hard as you think it is. So, get ready to learn how to make sausage at home …
The Basic Tools
First things first, you could always try to make it by hand, but that’s only going to make the job harder. Besides, there are times where tools just do a better job than hands. Here’s a look at some of the basic tools you’re going to need …
Sausage Stuffer – You don’t have to have a sausage stuffer, but it will make things easier and more convenient. If you’re planning on making sausage on a routine basis, then I highly recommend a good sausage stuffer.
Metal Bowls – Sure, you could always use plastic or glass mixing bowls, but I feel metal ones are better in this case. You’ll be setting the bowl over ice and moving them in and out of the freezer, and as you know, a metal material is easier to move around.
Digital Thermometer – When you’re cooking the sausage, you will need a digital thermometer in order to get a fast, accurate read.
Grinder – You probably won’t be able to make proper sausage without taking time to grind it up and that is where a grinder will come into play. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a good grinder that has a stuffer attachment with it.
Sausage Pricker – This is a tool that has three very sharp points. It’s used to poke holes in the sausage in order to eliminate air pockets. Sure, you could use a fork, but a fork may poke too large of a hole in the sausage.
The Essential Ingredients
Then, of course, you need the essential groceries. Here are some groceries you will want to add to that list if you plan on making homemade sausage …
Pork Shoulder – Most sausages are made with pork, and pork shoulder just so happens to be the best piece to start with, regardless of the type of sausage you plan on making – this is because of the nice meat-to-fat ratio.
Casings – If you’re going for an Italian variety of sausage, then you’re going to want to go for natural hog casings. I recommend natural because they have better flavor and once they’re cooked, they easily snap. Hog is recommended due to the size.
A Good Spice Mix – if you’re going for delicious classic beer brats, then you’ll need a mixture of mustard powder, caraway seeds, ginger, fresh thyme, salt and sugar.
Now it’s time to get dirty and make some yummy sausage! Remember, good sausage is a result of proper balance and fresh ingredients.
By this, I’m saying everything you’ll be using in order to make the sausage. This includes the feeder for the grinder, the bowls, stuffer, meat and fat. All of it needs to be very cold. You see, if you are working with warm ingredients, the sausage mixture is going to have a mushy feeling to it and that’s not something you’re going to want. You should take your equipment and place it in a freezer for an hour prior to using them.
Have Everything Ready
Before you take the ingredients from your freezer, double check and make sure you have everything ready to go, including your spices you plan on adding to the mixture. In order to make sure everything remains cold, you’re going to need to work fast here but stay safe.
Cut, Mix, and then Re-freeze
Take only the meet from the freezer and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Mix it up with those dry ingredients, then cover it and place it back in the freezer for 30-minutes.
Set the Station Up
After the mixture has chilled, take the equipment and the ingredients from the freezer and get prepared to start making the sausage.
Soak the Casings
If you plan on making link sausage, then you will need to take the casings and soak them in warm water in order to soften them up and eliminate the salt. If you don’t plan on making links, then you can skip past this step and move to the next one.
Feed the Grinder
Take the liquid and add it to the sausage mixture and blend it up with your hands. Attach the plate to the grinder and start feeding it. We recommend the 3/8-inch plate so that your sausage doesn’t become mushy. If the mixture starts to feel warm to the touch, then you should place it back into the freezer for a couple of minutes.
Case the Sausage
Take a casing and put it over the stuffing tube. Make sure you leave about 6 inches off the end so that you can tie it off. Now, take the mixture and feed it to the stuffer.
You see, with the right equipment, making your own sausage at home really isn’t that hard to do. The hardest thing, in my opinion, was making sure the mixture stays cold because if it gets any ounce of warm, it will become mushy and no one wants mushy sausage. Once you master this, you will be on your way to impressing your guests with your own home-made sausage.