Wonderful Sausage, a dying art

Sausage, where would civilization be without sausage?  A poorer place indeed. I would say 99.9% of those reading this blog have never had to do with limited or no refrigeration.  I can’t find the picture of Skip and I standing next to the Ice Truck, but do have one that shows Mom getting milk from the Milk Truck.

The first refrigerator I can remember had a freezer about the size of a gallon milk container on its side. If you ever put anything into it, it stayed until the next global warming because it soon became iced in.

So, back to sausage. Man didn’t have a way to store fresh meat for very long so people found that cooked meat and salted meat would last much longer. They also convinced themselves aged meat became a delicacy. So man learned how to make sausage, chop the meat up, add salt and other seasonings. Then smoke it if you wanted to store the meat for the season.

Today, we generally do not make our own sausage, it comes from the mega mart, air sealed in plastic and containing an ingredient list that I can’t pronounce. The list containing everything but flavor.

The art of sausage making has all but disappeared for most of us. If you’re a hunter, then you will either have your game made into sausage for you or learn to do it yourself.  Even then you are missing out on the real treat, flavor.

The local game processor more than likely buys and then adds seasoning and preserving packets containing all the ingredients mentioned earlier.

I always used the stuffing tube on my Kitchen Aid meat grinder but with 25 pounds of ground meat looking at me, I decided to buy a 5 lb sausage stuffer from Cabelas, 12 miles away, so I didn’t have to wait for Amazon to have it delivered.

While shopping, I noticed a 10 to 12 foot section of wall with hundreds of little boxes with titles like, Cajun Andouille, Bratwurst etc, all with an ingredient list of chemicals that I can’t pronounce and a seasoning list that consists of ‘seasoning added’.

This is the reason why I called sausage making a dying art. Not the grinding and stuffing, but the chemical packets instead of spices.

Read a recipe instead of opening a package of chemicals.

I have mentioned that I use a cookbook of sausages.  I believe it’s a great starting place and there are hours of just enjoyable reading as well. “Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing” Book by Rytek Kutas.

This isn’t the only sausage cookbook.  There are many excellent ones available. But if you’re going to make your own sausage, then start with a cookbook, not a box of ingredients.  Also make sure you read the recipes a couple of times before embarking. Mistakes have been made and with a little investigation, can be avoided.

We make Andouille and use a Food Network recipe from Emeril Lagasse. We love it, but the first batch was horribly over seasoned, we re read the recipe.  The mistake is in the list of ingredients. They said.

  • ingredient
  • ingredient
  • ingredient
  • ingredient
  • ½ cup Emerils Cajun Seasoning
  • ingredient
  • ingredient
  • ingredient
  • ingredient

They should have said.

    • ingredient
    • ingredient
    • ingredient
    • ingredient
    • ingredient
    • ingredient
    • ingredient
    • ingredient

or

  • ½ cup Emerils Cajun Seasoning

Second, third, and fourth batches turned out fantastic.

Casings to use: We have always used natural 32-36 mm hog casing. While purchasing the 5lb stuffer I talked myself into using the artificial casings. Big mistake. Others may swear by them, but to me they are just junk. They may work well with high end equipment making a continuous link or equipment that automatically squeezes and cauterizes the casing into links. But if you’re going to twist your own links, then stay away from this stuff, as it splits, tears and just doesn’t want to be handled after the stuffing.

And to make matters worse, the package said they would hold 50 pounds of meat, and mine were gone at the 20 pound mark and when compared to real hog casing, they are very expensive.

On twisting, if you’re going to smoke your sausage you can not twist into links and then hang, they will unwind. You must either smoke the links on racks or cook them on racks. Some sausage is water cooked, twisted links will unwind when floating in a hot water bath. I know.

If you want to hang your sausage, after all we always see sausage hanging, then I suggest you get a hand crimper and use sausage staples. After the smoking and removal from the smoker, you may cut off the metal clips.

I became so frustrated trying to spin sausage in and then out (sounds strange, but you spin link 1 up and away from you, link to 2 back and down towards you, repeat sequence for 3 and 4, etc.) it creates nice links only to have all that work undone during smoking or precooking. I  searched YouTube to see how that store bought stuff looks so perfect. Prefect making sausage machines was the answer, machines that cost as much as a car does.

At least now I don’t have to feel apologetic when someone sees my home-made sausage.

I will also have a Smoker Primer posted in the near future. I have 3 different smokers and although they all will smoke the protein, they each work quite differently.

Similar Posts:

Follow us

bjones

I love to read and cook, and I am at the age I am not afraid to share my opinion. There is the right way, the wrong way and Bill's way. 🙂
bjones
Follow us
Please follow and like us:
error

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.