The other day, Kroger had pork butts on sale for $0.99 a pound. I snagged 4 of them, about 9 pounds each. Wife wanted to make roast pork with one of them but the other 3 are all mine! I tried to bribe her with a pork loin, but she was not buying it.
Started by taking out my fillet knife and running it through the Ken Onion knife sharpener I got for Christmas. If you have never used one of those sharpeners, they are awesome. I put a hair shaving edge on that fillet knife. I also ran a couple of other knives through the sharpener since it was out and set up. But back to the sausage fest....
Trimmed up, I ended up with 27 pounds 10 ounces. I'm going to make 10 pounds of a modified version of Fassett's Breakfast Sausage (POP's recipe), and 5 pounds of Italian Sausage. The rest I will vacuum pack and freeze to make sausage with later (already trimmed and cut into strips for grinding).
So here we go. Trimming in progress. Ended up with 27 pounds 10 ounces (approx).
Fassett's Breakfast Sausage (base mix) - Courtesy of Pop's
- 8 ounces of Salt (I used Kosher)
- 2 ounces of Black Pepper
- 1 ounce of Sage
- Use 1/2 ounce of this base mix per pound of pork for the original recipe (all measurements are by weight)
For 10 pounds of breakfast sausage I'm using the following today. I'm making a "Pop's meets Jimmy Dean Clone" for lack of a better description. I keep Fassett's on hand already mixed and just added to it to get today's mix.
- 10 pounds of ground pork butt
- 5 ounces Fassett's base mix (by weight - see above)
- 5 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2.5 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2.5 tsp crushed red pepper (I ran it lightly through my Kitchen Aid spice grinder to break up a little)
- 2.5 tsp ground coriander
- 2.5 tsp MSG (Accent flavor enhancer)
Started with 10 pounds of pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1.5" square strips (rough dimension, just something that will fit in your grinder neck). Some people same make cubes, I go with long strips. I drop them down and the auger pulls most of them all the way in with no further assistance. The only time I use the push stick is if I cut one a little too thick and it needs a nudge. First grind is through the 3/8" course plate.
Put the 10 pounds through the course plate, added my spices, and then moved to the meat mixer to blend. You can mix by hand, but I've got two batches of cold sausage to mix and it's so easy in this crank meat mixer. No frozen hands. Once mixed, I will let it sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors can meld a little. Plan is to then grind through a medium plate before forming into patties, freezing and vacuum packing for later use. I did a small test fry and flavor is spot on excellent.
(this is a modified version of Stan Marianski's Sweet Italian Sausage on the Len Poli website)
For 5 pounds of Italian Sausage, I'm using the following today. I will stuff into natural hog casings tomorrow. This is a fresh sausage and does not have any cure added.
- 5 pounds of ground pork butt (2,272.7 grams)
- 4.5 grams black pepper
- 40.9 grams salt
- 4.5 grams white sugar
- 6.8 grams cracked fennel
- 1 gram whole fennel (I like fennel)
- 2.3 grams ground coriander
- 2.3 grams cracked caraway seed
- 2.3 grams cracked anise seed
- 7.5 grams of red pepper flakes.
I ran the first part of the fennel, the caraway seed, the anise seed, and the red pepper flakes lightly through my Kitchen Aid spice grinder to lightly break them up (cracked). I used a little un-cracked in the final spice mix. The main variation from Stan's recipe here is the use of red pepper flakes instead of cayenne (I used no cayenne as the wife does not like hot), and the addition of anise seed. I think this is an important flavor missing from most Italian sausage recipes I've seen.
Again, first grind in through the 3/8" course plate. I mixed the spices with the meat in the meat mixer and will regrind through a medium plate tomorrow. I'm letting this rest in the fridge overnight for the flavors to meld and the meat to be ice cold when I regrind and stuff it into natural hog casings tomorrow.
More to come tomorrow......