Gloomy, rainy Sundays are made for cooking, so we decided this particular weekend, we would dive into the world of home made sausage.  I will warn you now that there is some graphic content, so unless you want to have “the talk” with the wee ones, read this all by your lonely.

Because we are nerds, I got something very exciting (to me) for my birthday awhile back.  A meat grinding attachment and a sausage stuffing attachment for the stand mixer.  I know, some gals get excited about a pair of Louboutins for their birthday, and I get excited about meat processing.  We are a high class crew over here.

Modern Thrifter sent me this apropos vid that I had forgotten about completely.  Perfecto!  If I can only have Kramer’s flair whilst grinding meat, I will have achieved great success in life.

I’m a Ruhlman fan, so there wasn’t any way I wanted to tackle my first snausage without his input.  While we didn’t have the fancy commercial gear he has, we soldiered on.  He’s got more about it here. The second book is also highly recommended and it’s pretty serious.  Meat dudes in the know.  The CC is suitably impressed with them and their scientific approach.

BTW, you can’t work in volume for this stuff, you’ll need to have a scale to measure ingredients by weight.  Sausage making and pastry actually have more in common than you’d think.

For our first attempt, we decided on a pork and sage pesto sausage.  In looking at recipe ideas, a classic pork/sage sausage and a simple garlic sausage recipe were combined by using my sage pesto which has garlic, sage, almond and salt.

We used this recipe as our guide.

Everything we’d read told us how incredibly important it is to keep the ingredients cold.  We chilled the garlic and pesto and chopped the meat while a tad bit frozen, and then returned to the freezer for further chilling. The white wine stayed chilled before adding as well.

While the seasoned meat was chilling, we had our casings soaking (these were hog).  Then we rinsed them through.

Then we ground the meat into a chilled bowl.  Despite attempts to remove sinew while chopping, we had to stop and clean the blade about 4 times to remove the clogging sinew.  Maybe there’s an art to avoiding the issue we rookies need to look into.

Then the ground meat is mixed with the paddle blade of the stand mixer and put back to chill.  Once chilled, add your liquid (we used sauvingnon blanc) and chill again. Then it’s time to stuff!  Beware: the following photos can be offensive.

Food Porn!!  I did warn you.


My camera battery started to wane so I used the phone to finish up the process.

We sauteed one to see how it would hold up (raining out, so no grilling).

That is one. ugly. chubby.

But, a tasty one!  The Things loved it too, so we cooked up some more for dinner!

While these were not perfect, we felt good about our first try. I think I could get more aggressive with the other seasonings, but the salt ratio was perfect.  Our snags were a bit chubby, which is a common rookie thing, so we’ll have to get the hang of feeding through a slimmer sausage. When they are overstuffed, the skins don’t hold up to cooking so well, obvs.  But the freshness and smooth texture was unlike anything we’ve ever bought.  No more crumbly, dry sausage!  I wonder how they will hold up to freezing.  Time will tell.

I can’t wait to make all sorts of other varieties.  Next up, I’ve promised the things an apple and maple breakfast sausage.  We reserved some of the sausage un-stuffed to use for our Thanksgiving dressing.  I’m thinking of adapting the Pioneer Woman’s dressing using our sausage in place of the Italian sausage.

Lots to cook this week for the holiday, so if I don’t make it back…Happy Thanksgiving!