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There’s nothing better than making your own sausage. Not only because you can choose your favorite meat and cook it based on your preferences, but also because you can flavor it how you want. The spices are where the magic is in the sausage-making business. And making your own sausage is in fact easier than you may have thought it would be.
In this article we’ll go over how you can make a sausage from start to finish and talk about each step in-depth, so by the time you’re done reading, you may be a sausage expert in the making. We’ll discuss how you can pick the right casings, how to flavor the sausage, and many other steps in between which if you follow, you’ll end up with the tastiest sausage you’ve ever made.
The Prep Before You Start Making Your Homemade Sausages
There are some preparations that you need to do before you start making your sausages, and we’ll cover those first.
Mise-en-place is an important French culinary phrase that covers the preparation process or putting everything in place before you start cooking, and that’s the first step towards making your sausages. The process includes:
- Reading the entire recipe;
- Preparing the workspace;
- Gathering the equipment;
- Gathering the ingredients;
- Preparing the ingredients and placing them in bowls.
After you’ve collected all the ingredients in one place, it’s time to prep the meat. An essential step when handling meat is keeping both the meat and the equipment as cold as possible before you start stuffing the sausages. This makes sure that your meat grinder or stuffer nozzle doesn’t clog up as you try to make your sausages. To keep the meat cold, simply keep it in the refrigerator until the very last moment, or even place it in the freezer for 15 minutes before you start making the sausages.
The Sausage Casings
Another key ingredient apart from the meat is the sausage casings which come in two varieties, natural casings, and synthetic casings, and each needs to be prepared accordingly.
The natural casings should be soaked in cold water for about 30 minutes in order to remove the excess salt before you start making the sausages. Afterward you need to rinse them thoroughly under cold water and go through the whole casing by placing the end of the casing under the faucet and filling it up like a balloon. Then you need to push the water from one end to the end of the other with your hands, and your casings will be squeaky clean.
Synthetic casings, on the other hand, need much less work before you can start filling them with the sausage meat as you only need to soak them in water for about 5 minutes. This makes the casings pliable and easier to fill once you have the filling ready.
Generally, you would use casings with a 21-23 mm diameter for smaller stuffer tubes, while for larger stuffer tubes you’d opt for the 28-30mm diameter casings.
How to Stuff Sausage Casings
If you’ve never tried making your own sausages, this process may seem a bit elaborate, but it’s definitely gonna be worth it. Follow the steps below to make the most delicious homemade sausages that you’ve ever tried.
Chopping and Grinding the Meat
The first step after you’ve done the mise-en-place, rinsed the casings, and chilled the meat is chopping the meat and preparing it to go in the grinder. For this step, you need to take your meat out of the fridge or freezer and cut it into 1-inch pieces. After that, you can return it to the fridge until it’s time to grind it.
After it’s properly chilled and you have your grinder ready to go, you can take the meat out of the fridge and start grinding it. Use the coarse attachment to get a chunky texture or the fine attachment for an integrated texture. Return the meat to the fridge after you’ve ground it.
Make your favorite spice blend and combine them with garlic and a small amount of either vinegar, water, or wine depending on which you prefer. If you’re adding mustard powder or paprika, first combine the liquid with the mustard, add the paprika, and then add the other spices. This step will ensure that all the herbs, spices, and salts are well incorporated in the meat. Mix the meat and spices by hand, and you’re ready for the next step.
The Taste Test
Before you start stuffing the sausages, it’s time for the taste test. Get your frying pan out and cook a bit of the sausage filling. After it’s done, try it and check whether the mixture has enough spices, salt, and add more if necessary. If you’re satisfied with the result, proceed to the nest step.
Some types of sausages and meat products require that you emulsify the meat and create a meat paste that you’ll stuff in the casing. For this you’ll need your food processor and a few ice cubes to balance out the heat that the equipment will produce. Place your meat and ice cubes in the food processor and process the mixture in ½ pound batches for about 1 minute per batch. Place the mixture in the fridge once more.
Its Stuffing Time
Take your sausage stuffer out, place it on your workstation, and add a sheet pan under the stuffer to catch the drippings. Apply vegetable or canola oil to the nozzle to make sure that the meat doesn’t stick to the nozzle once you start pushing the sausage. Take the sausage filling out of the fridge, and you’re ready to stuff some sausages.
Take the end of the casing and place it around the stuffer nozzle. Put the meat in the stuffer and start pushing the meat until it’s poking out of the nozzle end. Tie the knot at the end of the casing, and then you can start pushing the meat mixture inside the casing. Make sure that you push it slow and steady to prevent your casing from ripping apart.
During this step, you need to also be aware of some air pockets that may form on the sausages. Don’t worry about them. Remember not to pack the meat too tightly when making a coil because you may not be able to divide them into individual sausages effectively. And in just a few minutes, you’ll have your sausages ready.
Snipping and Twisting
The last step is separating the individual sausages. To do this, redistribute the meat evenly across the casing if you see that the sausage isn’t even throughout the whole length of the casing. Then pinch sausage links every 4, 6, or 8 inches and twist the 1st and 3rd link in the same direction throughout the length to twist 3 links at the same time. Finally, it’s time to snip the sausages by cutting between the links.
While sausage-making isn’t very difficult as you may have concluded after reading the previous articles, it really takes both dedication and having a nice spice blend to make the perfect sausage. However, the star of the show will always be the meat, so purchasing high-quality meat is imperative. Each step is essential to getting the best possible sausage out of your meat.
Finally, you can take your grill out and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your homemade sausage as it should be enjoyed – grilled to perfection. We hope you enjoy the process and that the end result is according to your liking. And if your sausages turned out to be a hit, why not invite some friends over so you can share your culinary masterpiece with them. Have a nice meal!