Last time I made merguez (not smoked, fresh sausage) it was ok but I felt the filling was too pasty and it broke. After some people here gave opinions and I read a bunch of other threads I figured I would invest in a grinder and sausage stuffer. The first batch was made with the Kitchen Aid both for grinding and for stuffing.
This time, freezing all the equipment and all the meat between grinding and stuffing, the sausage turned out perfect. You can see from the cross section that all the fat and the meat stayed separated and chunky like it should be. The first time the fat would melt into the pan if I fried up a sausage and that's how I knew it wasn't right.
I'm very happy with this equipment and all that work deserves good equipment. It wasn't expensive and worth every cent. The grinder seems a tiny bit delicate but I'm hoping it will last at least a couple of years of light use.
I want to thank everyone for their advice on my last thread and for all the great advice I find here regularly.
I'm heading to Alabama for the Vintage Motorcycle Festival on Thursday for the weekend so that's why I'm making all this food (my friends are very happy!).. I'll be making smoked pulled pork and smoked chicken breast as well so I'll be posting about those as soon as I'm done with them. I'm cooking everything in advance so we don't have to have a huge mess and I can enjoy all those vintage bikes instead of slaving all weekend :).
All the best;
Boneless leg of lamb at a good price, $6.99/lb. There was a 32% trim loss which is high but I took out all the sinew and connective tissue. My Kitchen Aid wouldn't have been able to handle it but the new grinder could have so I could have left more in. I'll know better for next time and have less trim loss. Used half lamb and half pork. The pork was loin I had from a terrine I made and some Boston butt from another project that were packed in the freezer.
All the trays and grinding equipment components were frozen prior to grind. The lamb, pork and fat back were frozen almost solid before being put in the grinder. The grinder is a $70 Sunmile.
This is the VIVO 5-7lb capacity stuffer. Excellent purchase, simple to use and to clean. I froze all the components (including the container) prior to stuffing and I oiled all the parts and the inside as well.
Last time I had some air bubbles that caused some problems when cooking so I made sure to pin these sausage spirals. I also had problems because the first mixture was broken after being stuffed using the Kitchen Aid to stuff the casings and the air bubbles caused the sausage to be brittle.
I ended up with 4 large spirals from 10 lbs of sausage (-1/2 lb leftovers that were in the stuffer tube.. I made some patties for dinner with it). I used tape to mark off size on the counter. 66 count of 7" merguez for 9.5lbs of mixture.
As you can see, this time there's proper separation between fat and meat. The redder meat is the lamb and the lighter pork. The fat stayed put in chunks and when cooked up, none of the fat melted. Really fantastic outcome. This is a spiced (not hot spicy) lamb sausage that has roasted red pepper in the mix.