Monday, March 4, 2013

Italian Sausage (First attempt)

Interrupted by visitors and lack of knowledge we cranked out our first batch of sausages.  We got our basic recipe from  A great site but lacks a lot of the detailed preparation techniques on how to make the sausage.  We consulted one of our favorite blogs, Hank Shaws' Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook, for the technique.  The recipe we used is as follows:

5-lbs pork
1-cup cold red wine
1-cup chopped fresh parsley
5-tsp salt
1-tbsp garlic powder or 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1-tbsp fresh ground pepper
3-tsp cayenne
5-tbsp fennel seed
2-tsp crushed chili peppers
5-tbsp paprika

(****Two changes we made, we added more salt. We also and used 4lbs of pork and 1lb of pork fat. Fat is used to keep the sausage together and sausage-like****)

First thing is first... get everything cold... and everything means EVERYTHING.  Meat should be pretty much frozen along with the fat, all machinery (meat grinders, sausage stuffers, bowls) should be put in freezer. 
Get your casings.  Most casings are different as far as soaking procedures so follow the instructions of the ones you have.  We soaked and rinsed ours for a couple hours

Chop up the frozen cold meat and fat (about 4 lbs pork shoulder and 1 lb pork fat)

Now for the ingredients.  Add all the ingredients except for the red wine. That will be added later. 
(you can save some ingredients for after the meat grinding process.  Leaves the ingredients a little more raw and exposed.  To each his own!!)  

Mix well
Now it is time to get out that super cold meat grinder and grind everything together.  We have done our research on good equipment and also necessary things so feel free to ask in any of our posts!

After all the meat is ground (cold meat grinder into cold bowl) put the bowl back into the freezer while you set up the sausage stuffer.  You will also take this time to rinse out the insides of your casings.  This helps them open up a bit and get every last bit of brine out.

Add the red wine at this step and mix thoroughly   After that is done, load the cold sausage stuffer with your meat (whatever the recipe make sure your meat is a little bit sticky as your making the final mix before you add to the sausage stuffer).

Load a piece of casing onto the tube making sure it doesn't break.  Make sure to leave a little bit of casing left at both ends to tie it off. (We had a little bit of a hard time getting it on.  It is a little frustrating but keep at it.  Keep it moist.  Rinsing the inside helps a lot with this step too.)

Then crank away!!

The sausage will begin to grow.  Don't pack it too tight and not too little.  Too little makes a terrible sausage and too much tears when you go to make your links.  The sausage will begin to coil as you stuff.  Let it happen it looks cool!

 Now it is time to make the links.  Pinch and twist.  Alternate directions you twist the links until the whole coil is done. 

Done and done.  Get a small needle to pop any air bubbles from stuffing the and make sure to hang dry them for a couple hours.  They will cook up great after that.  Last in the fridge for a week, anything longer than that make sure to freeze them.  They will last up to a year!!

Jay and P

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