Winter time is a great time to play around in the kitchen. There’s not so much going on outside on the farm, and there’s plenty of food in the larder. If making homemade sausage sounds like fun to you, pull some of your pork out of the freezer, or buy some at the store. If you don’t have a grinder and don’t want to go through the tedium of chopping it by hand, buy pre-ground pork from the local market. Here is a recipe for homemade sausage links. If you prefer different seasonings, there are plenty of recipes out there on the internet!
4lb lean pork
2 lb pork fat
2 1/2 level tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
about 1 tsp. mixed herbs (1/4 tsp each of ground bay, allspice, thyme & paprika)
sausage casings if making links (sheeps’ casings are a good size for this recipe)
Put your meat and fat through a meat grinder or dice it up with a butcher knife on a chopping block. Put in a large bowl and add seasonings. Mix together well. Sautee a tsp. until cooked through and check your seasonings. Add more if needed and mix well. If you’ll be making patties or cooking as bulk sausage, use as is. Otherwise, add water, 1/8-1/4 c. at a time until the mixture feels “loose” so that it will be easy to stuff into your casings. The drier the mixture, the more difficult it will be to stuff the casings.
Wash the sausage casings well, especially if they have been stored in a salt brine, to take the excess salt out of them. Wet the outside of your sausage horn, or your funnel or pastry tube. Cut your casings into lengths of 2-3′ for easier handling and storage. Now push one end of the casing up onto your horn/funnel/tube and run water through the other end of the tube and through the casing. While the water is running through, push your casing up onto your horn until all but the last 4-6 inches are pushed onto the horn. Leave the last several inches so you can tie it and keep the sausage from pushing out the end. It’s best to tie the end after you’ve begun stuffing the sausage so you can push any air bubbles at the end out of the casing.
Put your meat mixture into the grinder or your pastry bag or the funnel and push it through into the casing, guiding it and gently twisting the sausage and casing completely around every 5-6 inches to make the individual sausage links. When you get to the end of your piece of casing, tie off with kitchen string.
Cook them as you would any sausage links, or freeze them for later use.
If you want to make more of a salami (a French Saussison), add an extra 3/4 tsp salt, an additional 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper, one clove minced garlic, 1/4 c. cognac, 1/4 tsp. saltpeter and 3/4 tsp. sugar. Sautee a teaspoonful to check for correct seasoning, then stuff the sausage mixture into a beef bung and cure for three days in the fridge or at room temperature between 70 and 80 degrees farenheit. When cured, poach in simmering water or simmer broth and wine about 30-40 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165-170, or juices run clear. Serve warm with side dishes such as potatoes and sauerkraut. The saussison will look pink on the inside once it is cooked as a result of the saltpeter. It is safe to eat.