Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sausage Making 101

For awhile now Doug and I have talked about making our own sausage. So for Christmas, I bought him a sausage making book and the stuffing attachment for the Kitchen-Aid. After a trip to Costco, we were ready to give it a shot.

Andouille and Chicken, Apple, Chardonnay were the choices for this go. Never one to do things small, Doug doubled the recipes. FYI - it takes a loooong time to make 18# of sausage.

The andouille, of which we made the most, required lots and lots of onions and garlic. Chopping it all was my job.

Freshly ground black pepper (love my new spice mill), thyme, cayenne and salt pumped the flavor up.

The base meat is pork, specifically pork shoulder with a bit of added pork fat. About 80% meat to 20% fat.

It was then all pushed through the food mill attachment. That was Doug's job. Extreme patience, strength, height and a stubborn streak were key attributes for a really tedious job. He's the best.

After the meat is ground, the aromatics are added, mixed together well and chilled.

Next up, chicken. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, which I think are highly underutilized. They are perfect for sausage because of the extra fat. Fat = Flavor, right?

Added to the chicken, chardonnay, granny smith apples, salt, pepper and a bit of ground ginger.

Ready for stuffing. It a took a bit of time to execute this key aspect of our project. Trial and error taught us the hardest part is keeping the process moving with a rudimentary stuffer and the colder the meat the easier it is. My job was to keep the casing moving and twisting the links. I am not good at twisting the links. The Andouille was tied with twine and that was way easier.

Is there anything more thrilling to make cool food from scratch?

The chicken sausage, to be eaten fresh is wonderful. The ginger, which Doug was concerned about was very subtle and the texture just right.

After stuffing, the Andouille was smoked by the King of the Smoker. To say that it is phenomenal is an understatement. Boy is he talented.

We rock. We now have a freezer full of sausage and can't wait to make more. I am thinking one, just one, batch of bulk maple breakfast sausage sounds perfect for a Sunday morning.

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