Homemade Sausage: Making Fancy Pork Links

Homemade Sausage: Making Fancy Pork Links

Hot dogs are distinctly American, what could be better?

Homemade sausage links.

Infuse the meat of your choice with a blend of spices, herbs, and roasted veggies to create a savory, mouth-watering sausage.

Make it any way you like it.

Eat it any way you want it.

Homemade Sausage2

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Homemade Sausage: Fancy Pork Links

When you think of sausage, do you picture juicy meat on a hot dog bun? Maybe you imagine breakfast patties sizzling on the grill. Imagine making juicy, delicious sausages in your own kitchen. Whether it’s lamb or deer, pig or cow, making sausage is a fun and savory process.

Essential Equipment 

Meat Grinders: (make sure your grinder has both coarse and fine dies)

       Hand Operated: up to $50

       Electric: $100+

       KitchenAid Attachment: around $50

Food Storage Containers: 

       Food grade large tub for mixing spices w/ ground meat – $25

Thermometer:

        Instant Read Meat Thermometer: $10+

Scale:

        Basic: $20-40

        Digital: up to $10

Sausage Stuffer:

        Manual:

             small: $10-50

             large: $175-400

        Automated: $1000+ used in commercial grade kitchens

Measuring Cups & Spoons

Butcher and Boning Knives

Choosing the Meat

Prk shoulder is the most common and tender of sausage meats. 

Other common meats used for sausage: beef, lamb, veal, poultry, game.

Note: You may need to add pork fat to lean meats.

Meat to Fat ratios can go as high as 50/50. Under 20% fat you will start losing flavor and juiciness.

Prepping

Good sausage is about balance:

If you plan to case your sausage, you will need to purchase casings.

Put your ingredients and equipment in the freezer for 1-2 hours before you begin to prevent smear/slime.

Dry roast vegetables with olive oil, cool them, and crumble them as part of your spice mixture.

Casing Options:

-Hog intestines

-Synthetic Collagen

-Caul Fat

-Savoy Cabbage Leaves

Making Your Mark

Just as there are a number of meats to choose from when making sausages, there are also a number of different spices and ingredients you can use.

Play with different flavors using spices and herbs or juices.

If you want to experiment, start off with small batches, cooking and tasting your mixture before casing.

The recipe listed below is my personal favorite, but it is only one way to make mouth-watering sausage links.

Fancy Pork Sausage Links Recipe:

Ingredients:

– 5 pounds pork shoulder

– 2.5 tablespoons kosher salt

-1 tablespoon fennel seeds

-1.5 tablespoons ground black pepper

– 1 head of garlic, peeled and minced

-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

– 1 cup minced parsley

-1/2 cup chopped cilantro

-2.5 tablespoons chopped oregano

– 5.5 tablespoons paprika

-3 30mm-diameter casings (of your choice)

Steps:

1. Disinfect your knives, cutting boards, and other equipment, and wash your hands.

2. If you purchased a pork shoulder chop (with bone), bone the meat with your boning knife. 

If not, proceed to the next step.

3. Cut your meat into even cubes and cut away large pieces of connective tissue.

4. Slowly and evenly work your cubed meat into your grinder with a pusher.

5. Cool the ground meat by sticking it in the freezer (up to one hour). 

Continue on to the next step immediately.

6. Wash your used equipment.

7. Blend your spices together, adding additional spices as needed for taste.

8. Add 1/2 cup of ice water to the spice mixture and take the ground meat out of the freezer.

9. Pour the spice mixture into the ground meat, mixing thoroughly with your hands. (Make sure your hands are clean.)

10. Take a small portion of your mixed meat and make a 3″ patty, press into palm. Slowly flip your hand over so meat is facing down. If the meat stays for 5+ seconds you are done mixing. If it doesn’t stick, continue to knead the mix, using the palm test every 15 seconds.

11. Put your casings in a large bowl and place under cold running water. Let sit for 2 minutes.

12. Take your stuffer out of the freezer.

13. Slide one of your casings onto the stuffer nozzle. Leave a 6″ overhang untied.

14. Make sure the casing is filled firmly, but do not overstuff! It will tighten when you twist the casings to make the links.

15. Stuff your mixed meat into the stuffer slowly but firmly. (It helps to have a partner for this step.) Air will come out into the casing before the meat. Use one hand to hold onto the casings, regulating how quickly they slip off the tube.

16. When you’ve run out of casing, or you are finished stuffing, tie one end of the casing, making a knot flush with the meat.

17. Starting 6″ from the knot, pinch off a 6″ length. Twist 3 times in one direction. Go forward another 6″, rotate 3 times in the opposite direction. Repeat this process until you cannot make another 6″ sausage.

18. Squeeze out the extra meat and tie off the casing. Then prick each link three times with a toothpick to prevent bursting.

19. Lay your links out on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator uncovered for 12-15 hours to dry the casings.

20. When chilling is done, cut the casing between the links and you have sausage links ready to cook! 

Refrigerate up to 3 days. 

Freeze for up to 3 months.


Sources:

http://www.lets-make-sausage.com/make-sausage.html

freshideas.maines.net/how-to-make-fresh-sausage/

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_homemade_sausage/

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