Ok guys, after a few months of reading tons of blogs and forum posts, I made my first sausages this week. Last week, I ordered 10 different sausage blends from AC Leggs. I decided to try my hand a both brats and some breakfast patties. So, I used Leggs Bratwust seasoning and also Leggs #10.
I'll try to go through my process and I hope you guys can point out any mistakes or provide any tips/feedback.
Boston Butt 7.5 lb/ $1.49/lb from the local Food Lion; cubed and semi frozen in the freezer
AC Leggs Bratwurst and #10 seasonings. Kitchen scale $10 off Amazon.
Natural Hog casings from PS Seasonings 32mm-35mm.
-Rinsed salt off
-Soaked in warm water for 50 minutes
-Drained and soaked a second time for 40 minutes
Brand new Cabelas Commercial 1/2hp #8 Grinder....$160 (display model)
Set up with coarse plate
Ran the semi frozen cubes through the coarse plate.
After grinding the the coarse plate, I placed the meat back into the freezer while I cleaned the grinder components.
I then re ran the meat through the grinder, this time using the fine plate....then back into the freezer for the meat and cleaning for the grinder.
Next, I divided the finely ground meat. 3.5 lb reserved for brats and 3 lb for breakfast patties.
For the brats, I weighed out the correct amount of seasoning and mixed with some ice water. I then added the mixture to the meat and hand mixed for 2 minutes....then back into the freezer.
Putting the casing onto the stuffing tube proved to be the most difficult part of the process!
Time for stuffing. Surprising, it went fairly easy. I do think I will need to invest in a foot control switch and some better stuffing tubes. Oh yeah, the "bread" trick didn't work too well in getting the last of the meat through the tubes.
One problem... I think I stuffed too much meat into the casing. It was very difficult to twist into links.
Cutting into individual links was also troublesome. Most links unraveled or split as I cut them.
As for taste, I am pleased with the AC Leggs Bratwust seasoning. It seems to be missing something, though. For cooking, I poached them in water for 10 minutes (not quiet to a boil) and then placed on the grill.
Anyway.... thanks for reading.