Create your very own Handcrafted Sausage
Grilling the perfect beer Bratwurst can be fun (more here)... but grinding your own from scratch is even more fun.During the winter season most of America is not as lucky as we are here in the south. They’re buried in snow and cold, nasty, weather. It’s still great grilling and smoking weather in the Southeast; in fact we trade these days for the scorching days of summer. Many BBQ enthusiasts have a side hobby to keep them busy during the cold, blustery days of winter; Sausage! Grinding, mixing, and stuffing your own sausage is easy, fun and delicious.
What you will need
- A grinder or food processor
- A good recipe
- Sausage casings(optional) Bulk sausage is just as tasty
- Good refrigeration
Let’s get started making something unique and delicious. The first task is to garner a good recipe. There are hundreds available. Decide which type you want to make, breakfast, bratwurst, Italian, etc and get the pantry in place. Search home saugage on the internet and have some fun. We will make Bratwurst!
Now it’s time to figure out the grinder. There are several machines that can do the job. If you are going to invest in a dedicated meat grinder, choose one that is sturdy, has metal gears and plenty of torque and horsepower to do the job. We used a Kitchen Aid Mixer on the show, and it is a well made instrument, but you sacrifice some speed. If you are doing small batches, it’s a great appliance. A food processor will work too. A food processor shreds more than grinds, but with sausage, who can really tell the difference.
If handmade is your moniker, there are plenty of old school grinders available. Hand grinders are inexpensive, and can be easily obtained at a Harbor Freight kind of store. Look for them at garage sales and flea markets for great deal. Be aware, grinding sausage by hand takes time and a good amount of strength. For very small batches, a hand grinder would be a great investment.
Food safety and sanitation are top priority. Always keep the meat as cold as you can and keep your grinder clean. Wash and sanitize between batches. Keep a pot of simmering water on the stove and use your refrigerator and freezer as much as you can to keep the meat cold. Almost frozen meat is easier to grind, and safe too! Always use latex gloves and change them often.
Unless bulk sausage is the goal, sausage casings will be necessary. Casings are readily available. Your local supermarket meat department probably has some, and will sell small quantities if you ask. Most butcher shops also carry sausage casings. If you run into trouble finding casings, they are available on Amazon and are relatively cheap. There is a variety of types available. Choose the one you are most comfortable with. We used natural hog sausage casings, and purchased them at a local meat market.
Natural casings are generally packed in salt, wash them thoroughly with warm water, making certain you run some water through the casing and put them in a bowl with a little bit of tepid water to keep them from drying out.
Boston Butt is a great cut of meat for making homemade sausage. There is plenty of fat in the cut, it’s readily available in small packages and it is inexpensive, especially during the winter months when it goes on sale.
Cut the meat into roughly 1 inch cubes and put the cut meat into the freezer for about an hour to chill.
Grind once using the coarse plate or the plate with the largest holes.
It should look similar to this.
Let the coarse mix rest for a few minutes.
Prepare a taste test and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Put the casings on the stuffing tube
Tie a knot on the end and pierce a small hole in below the knot to allow the initial air to escape.
Grind directly into the casings working the meat to your desired thickness.
Twist at the length you want your sausages to be. Bun length is always a good choice.
Gill them over medium heat or choose a cooking method from BBQ Tricks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHGY7kKeLq8
Serve on a sturdy bun with toppings of your choice
Check out the GrateTV podcast show for fun video instructions.
Be sure you “like” the episode or give it your “thumbs up”. We enjoy doing these and we want to hear how you feel about each episode. Liking or giving the video helps us to build.
Enjoy this tasty and fun to do winter style activity!
GrateTV Handcrafted Garlic Bratwurst Sausage
2 ½ pounds pork butt
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar or Sugar in the Raw
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons mustard seed
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon dried sage
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
¼ cup cold milk
Cut pork butt into one inch cube and put in a clean bowl or resealable bag. Put meat in freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Set up a meat grinder using the coarsest plate or set up a food processor.
If using a meat grinder, grind meat into a clean bowl.
If using a food processor, put pork cubes into a grinder until it just covers the blades. Pulse the processor until you get a coarse texture. Put into a bowl and continue to batch pulse the meat until it is all in a bowl.
Add all seasoning ingredients and milk to meat and mix well.
Refrigerate for about 15 minutes and form a small patty of sausage. Cook the patty in a frying pan over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. About 10 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Put coarse mixture back into the freezer for about 30 minutes or until it is partially frozen.
Assemble a clean meat grinder or clean food processor.
If using a food processor, batch the coarse grind the same as above and pulse until you get the texture you want. Put into a clean bowl. Bag the finished sausage in sandwich bags in 1 pound increments.
For the meat grinder, assemble the grinder using the next smallest plate.
If you are stuffing the sausage into casings include the stuffing tube.
If you are grinding bulk sausage grind the seasoned meat into a clean bowl, stuff into sandwich bags in one pound increments.
For stuffing, thread a casing on to the stuffing tube. Tie a knot in the end and pierce the casing with a sharp knife to allow air to escape.
Feed the seasoned meat into the grinder and work the sausage into the thickness you desire.
When a whole length has been stuffed, coil the sausage to be cut later or pinch and twist into links of your desired length.
Put finished sausage into the refrigerator overnight to allow the seasoning to improve and bloom.
Cook immediately or freeze for future use.
5 Grate Tips for Grinding and making Sausage
- Always use clean and sanitized equipment. Clean and sanitize between batches
- Pork Butts make good sausage because of fat content of the cut
- Cut the meat in one inch cubes and put it in the freezer and grind it when it’s almost frozen
- Grind using the coarsest plate first, add the seasonings, mix well, let it rest for about 20 minutes, taste test, then grind again straight in to the casing.
- Let the sausage rest in the bottom of your refrigerator for 24 hours to allow the seasonings and the meat to bloom together.
- A ‘Slim Jim‘ is actually a pickled sausage, but they thought the term “Beef Stick” would be more appetizing.
- The Hot Dog…..IS actually a sausage, not some kind of food genre of its own.
- The casing of sausages used to be, (and in some places still is), the intestines of the animal.
- In some parts of the world you should be careful about ordering a hot dog sausage, unless you want real dog.
- Sausage making originally developed as a means to preserve and transport meat. Primitive societies learned that dried berries and spices could be added to dried meat. By 600-500 BC there is mention of sausage from China, Rome and Greece.
Types of Sausage
- Sausages come in two main types: fresh and cured. Cured sausages may be either cooked or dried. Most cured sausages are smoked, but this is not mandatory. The curing process itself changes the meat and imparts its own flavors. An example is the difference in taste between a pork roast and a ham.
- All smoked sausages are cured. The reason is the threat of botulism.
- Fresh sausages are simply seasoned ground meats that are cooked before serving. Fresh sausages are never smoked in a cold smoker because of the danger of botulism.
- The primary seasoning agents in fresh sausages are salt and sugar along with various savory herbs and spices, and often vegetables, including onion and garlic.
Cured cooked sausages
- Cured sausages differ from fresh sausages by including 2 teaspoons of cure (Prague powder #1) per 10 pounds of finished product. This is usually interpreted per 10 pounds of meat. This works out to 4 ounces of cure for 100 pounds of sausage.
- Next the product is typically hot smoked.
Let us know how you make great sausage and don’t forget to send us a great plate!