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First Crack at Sausage making

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

The Wifeoid and I tried our hand at sausage making this last Sunday. I picked up an LEM model #1113 meat grinder/sausage stuffer and some Home Pack brand hog casings off Amazon a few days earlier. The price was right and it seemed to me to be a better built unit that the attachments you see out there made for the KitchenAid mixer. So, after a trip to the market for 2 pork butts and some fresh herbs and spices…away we went. I followed mummel’s sticky instructions for handling the sausage casings and got them soaking on Friday after work. The trimming went smoothly thanks to some sharp knives and the LEM grinder worked flawlessly. We cleaned and then refrigerated the meat and the grinder parts so everything was nice and cold.

We were a little concerned that the pork butts wouldn’t have enough fat onboard to make the sausage juicy and not crumbly, but they turned out awesome. We ground almost 14 Lbs. of pork and ended up freezing nearly 5 Lbs. or so of ground pork for our next session. We used Alton Brown’s recipe for Breakfast Sausage and Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for Spicy Italian Sausage – both from The Food Network web site and, lastly, a Mexican Chorizo recipe with the remaining ground meat that I got from the cleaning lady at my office here in Las Vegas.

After the first course grind, we mixed the herbs and spices together with the ground pork then fried up some sample patties… In retrospect, a good rest period after mixing probably would have been beneficial to allow the flavors to blend. As it was, the breakfast sausage was moist and flavorful…but there was something missing. I’m a big Jimmy Dean fan and, while this recipe was very tasty, it was nowhere close to what I want in a breakfast sausage…some recipe tweaking and or perhaps a commercial seasoning mix from L.C. Legg, for instance, is definitely in the works.

The Spicy Italian Sausage was spot on. Nice and moist with a strong fennel taste. This would go well in any spaghetti sauce or lasagna recipe or grilled alone with the old “peppas and sawseege.”

The Mexican Chorizo was delicious albeit quite a departure from the store bought variety I’m used to. First off, there was actually some sausage left over after cooking instead of a pile of goo and a mess of grease in the pan. It wasn’t flavored quite the same either. The fresh cilantro and a hint of citrus taste came thru loud and clear. Again, some recipe tweaking will be in order to get the taste where I want it.

All in all, not a bad effort for first timers. We smoked the sausage in our Pit Barrel Cooker over some apple and cherry wood chunks after we cooked a couple racks of baby backs ribs.

Here’s some pics…








post #2 of 14
Looks great!!!!!! Welcome to your new addiction. I can see a stuffer in your near future.....
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks...  You're a mind reader Phil. I'm already scheming on how to get Wifeoid to agree to a LEM model or perhaps a Kitchener stuffer. Shouldn't be too tough. She's hooked, same as me...She was wondering just this morning over coffee how to get her awesome buffalo wing sauce into a chicken sausage,,, 

post #4 of 14

Nice work!...


I agree...a stuffer is in your future! You cant beat it for stuffing more solids ( high temp cheese, jalapenos etc) into your links or smoking beef sticks. Commercial spices are convenient..however you cant beat fresh. There's a bunch of sausage sites out there...My Italian sausage is made from freshly toasted Fennel, Coriander and Black pepper and is light years better than the packaged mixes. FWIW. Google Len Poli is a good place to start.


Enjoy...the world has many sausages!

post #5 of 14

Its fun huh!

post #6 of 14

Man those casing look great.  I bought the same ones of Amazon but I forgot to soak them.  Soaked them maybe for 3 hours beforehand.  It worked fine, but they did not have that white color in your pic.  I assume yours were much easier to load.

post #7 of 14

Alton's Italian is a good recipe as well. Nice job!

post #8 of 14

nice job !!!!


making sausage is easy to get hooked on, but please do yourself a favor and buy a stuffer . you  won't regret it

post #9 of 14

TA, Nice job on the sausage ,you'll be hooked on making your own ! :points:

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yeah, thanks for your great info on how to handle casings. I started soaking them Friday afternoon, changed the water a couple of times a day and rinsed the inside out pretty well before use. They worked great.

post #11 of 14
Those look great. I too am new to sausage making but don't be upset about the sausage taste not being exactly where you want it during the test patty. You'd be surprised how the flavor develops after a couple of days. They all seem to meld if you will. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your creations
post #12 of 14
Great job for a first timer.
Would you care to share the chorizo recipe?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 



Here you go...


Chorizo (Mexican)


2 pounds pork butt

1 bunch (4 to 6 ounces) fresh cilantro, chopped (1 cup) (optional)

1 fresh Serrano, jalapeño, or other hot chili, seeded and finely chopped

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon New Mexico or other ground dried chili powder

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 ½ teaspoons whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon ground coriander


Grind the meat and fat through a ¼-inch plate or in batches in a food processor. Transfer the ground meat and fat to a large bowl. Add the cilantro, chili, vinegar, chili powder, paprika, salt, cumin seeds, ground cumin, black pepper, cayenne, and coriander. Mix together with your hands, and chill overnight. Package and place in the freezer or refrigerate and use in 3 days. Chorizo will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, or in the freezer for 2 months.

post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by The Aporkalypse View Post

Yeah, thanks for your great info on how to handle casings. I started soaking them Friday afternoon, changed the water a couple of times a day and rinsed the inside out pretty well before use. They worked great.

Your welcome



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