This is how I spent my Father's Day. Went with a kit from Cabela's for this inaugural batch. Up until now, I've only tried breakfast sausage, snack sticks, and salami. This was my first time with Brats and also with natural casings, hog in this case. So it was a learning experience. Mainly in time management. Cleaning the casings took twice as long as I thought it would. I soaked according to the directions, and then rinsed the inside of each one twice with tap water. I found that they were the exact color and texture as my latex gloves, so those had to go, and I had quite a time finding the openings.
We start off with 25 lbs of pork butt.
Cut and deboned to order by the sausage maker. I got a tasteless new t-shirt too, btw.
Once again, using my KitchenAid to grind. It does a swell job, but the meat really has to be partially frozen. My first butt wasn't, and I had to run ice chunks through with the meat to keep it from gumming up the works.
I changed up the Cabela's recipe, replacing the water with one of my favorite local brews, Elysian Space Dust. As Alton Brown says, "Water doesn't bring anything to the party."
My supervisor, keeping tabs on my work again.
I found a lazy-susan came in handy with the sausage rolling. Stuffing took longer than I anticipated, too. Even carefully loading the casings onto the tube, I had a few blow outs that took time to fix.
The first 2 rolls. I think I ended up with about 9 or 10. After this shot I linked them all. Linking those hog casings was a breeze, after trying to link breakfast sausage with collagen casings.
Forgot to get a shot of them linked, but here they are taking up almost all the room in my mini beer fridge. Those are 2-1/2 gallon ziplock bags.
Letting them chill for a day or two, so the flavors can blend. Then I will throw a few on the grill to see how they came out.
Edited by mneeley490 - 6/20/16 at 10:12pm