Tips for Making Sausage at Home
Many folks at Premier enjoy sausage; from Kielbasa straight out of the smoker, to a freshly ground breakfast patty. But local selection, at times, can be limited. As a result, the adventurous among us have started producing our own sausage.
All you need is a little time, elbow grease and a dose of creativity.
Getting started—First, find a recipe you want to try! Choose a sausage that’s unique to your region or something that makes your mouth water. A few of our favorites are Joe’s Smoked Sausage and Savory Lamb Sausage.
- Pick up a pork shoulder or picnic roast. The sausage experts we’ve spoken to suggest that this is a great cut to start with. It’s in the 20% range for fat content.
- Cut the meat into cubes and freeze. You don’t want the meat frozen solid, but stiff enough so it’s not gummy (which can bind in the grinder).
- Place the grinder head in the freezer (to cool it down).
- While things are in the freezer, ready your recipe ingredients: Bowls, pans, trays, casings and other equipment.
- Sterilize your working area and clean your hands. If using natural casings, start soaking them.
- Run the meat through the grinder. Depending on the desired texture, you may grind through a plate with larger holes, then do a second grind through one with smaller holes (whichever the recipe calls for).
- Once the meat is ground, add sausage seasoning and mix. Work the meat and spices until the mixture becomes sticky. This will help the product hold together during cooking.
- Fry up a small sample. Does it need a little something? Season to taste and remix.
Stuff it!When stuffing, place a little water on the tray or surface that your links will be resting on. This will allow links to slide on the tray, reducing friction. Friction can lead to torn casings and unstuffed links.
Once stuffed, let the links air dry for an hour or so before refrigerating. That’s it! Now your creation is ready to be smoked, cooked or stored.
Joe’s Smoked Sausage
This smoked pork/beef sausage is a guaranteed crowd (and mouth) pleaser. For truly juicy sausage, work in 1/4-1/2 a cup of dark beer. Smoke with hickory, cherry or apple chips for truly delectable results.
- 4 3/4 lb lean pork
- 2 1/4 lb pork fat back
- 1 lb beef chuck
- 7 tsp salt
- 1 T dextrose
- 3 T smoked paprika
- 2 T garlic powder (can increase or add fresh garlic per your taste)
- 5 tsp onion powder
- 1 T sausage phosphates
- 1 1/2 tsp Cure #1 (follow manufacturer’s directions)
- 1 1/2 tsp MSG
- 1 T red pepper flakes or one ground dried red pepper
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 3 T ground coriander (optional)
Chunk the meat into grinder-friendly portions and chill. Grind through a 3/8" or 10mm plate. Add remaining ingredients and mix until tacky. Let sit for up to 6 hours to cure. Stuff into hog casings; make rings or a continuous coil. Hang at room temp until casings are dry to touch. Place in a preheated smoker (130°F) and smoke heavily for 2 hours. Raise temp to 180°F and continue smoking until internal temp reaches 155°F. Enjoy immediately or plunge into a cold-water bath, refrigerate overnight and vacuum seal for later consumption.
Savory Lamb Sausage
A Greek-inspired sausage with a hint of wine and orange. Use Greek Syrah wine for a stronger, more intense flavor.
- 15 lbs. lamb or mild mutton. Desire a 20-25% fat content. Substitute pork fat as needed to make up the difference.
- 2 cups sea salt
- 5 1/2 T black pepper
- 5 1/2 T smoked paprika
- 2 cups crushed garlic
- 5 1/2 T ground coriander
- 1 1/2 cup oregano
- 3 tsp ground anise
- 3 tsp marjoram
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 3 T orange zest
- 5 1/2 cups white wine
- Sheep or hog casings
Chill the meat so it’s firm but not frozen. Sauté half the garlic in olive oil. Combine meat with seasonings. For best flavor, let marinate overnight. Grind through 1/4 or 3/8 inch plate. Knead ground meat until the mixture becomes tacky. Stuff into sheep or hog casings. Air dry for several hours, then refrigerate.