So, it happened. The grinder/stuffing apparatus, hog casings and 1/2 pig arrived so we could create sausages. We just can’t get over the thrill of making our own food. We know what’s in it, who touched it and it tastes great!
We started with a fresh 1/2 pork from a local farmer, ground a few pounds…O.K. maybe 16 lbs and got started with the flavor experiments. Out came the bottles of home grown herbs and seasonings. We gave a few a try; Taco Seasoning, basic Breakfast blend, Apple/Sage Butter, Honey & Garlic, Mild Italian. The last two were the definite winners.
We go light on the salt in any recipe we reproduce. We took the advice of several sites and videos that suggest you make a small patty and fry it to test for seasoning levels before you go through the effort of stuffing the casings (tip: soak the casing overnight for a softer, less chewy skin when cooked). It saved us from what could have been some very bland and very over salted disasters. After adding more meat to fix our salt preference and more herbs to balance to our flavor desires, we stuffed. A neat experience that worked well with two people. One to keep the meat going in the hopper and one to control the casing end of things.
The long rings of sausage then needed to be twisted into equal sausage portions by squeezing and spinning in one direction then the next link you spin in the opposite direction so everything stays neatly divided. We chose to cut at every three links for freezing and cut them apart completely when we cook them. It was a matter of being fearful that everything would unwind or open, they don’t but we didn’t know that then.
Honey Garlic Sausage
4lbs pork with a good amount of fat (coarse grind once)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
6 TBSP honey
4 clove fresh garlic
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch ground sage (2 leaves-ish)
½ cup hot water
In a bowl dissolve honey in hot water, stir in the remaining seasonings and add to meat.
Mix just until combined, do not over work. Grind a second time on smaller grind setting then stuff into pre-soaked casings or make patties.
Mild Italian Seasoning
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
1 TBSP ground parsley
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP onion powder
1 TBSP ground basil
1 TBSP ground sage
2 tsp paprika
¼ tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground oregano
1/8 tsp ground thyme
Mix all together. Use 2 tsp seasoning per 1 lb of ground meat.
Welcome to our new found joy.
These will not last long and beef is getting a much lesser section of the deep freeze. The “other white meat” takes on so many flavors with such ease that it’s hard not to find a preference in it. This from a former beef first, carnivore kind of girl. It still goes on the BBQ so there are no dishes to clean, can’t go wrong there.