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Sausage - Small Scale

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
A recent conversation started out along the lines of,

"we are having pasta for dinner.....I need a pound of Italian sausage for the sauce".

Well, I had used it all. Assuming I wanted a pound of this or a pound of that, and didn't have time or energy to ramp up for a full batch, what to do? (assumption is the store bought stuff is not an option)

The quick and dirty way is to buy a pound of ground pork and spice it up yourself. A variation on this is to buy some fatty looking pork steaks or a small pork butt and grind and spice them up yourself.

Here is what I did to whip up a quick batch of breakfast and Italian sausage (these will be left in bulk).

It started off with a pork butt, which when trimmed, came to 6 pounds. Going to be 3 pounds of each. Since most spice recipes are made to 5, 10 or 25 pound batches, getting them scaled back is a problem. Go ahead and mix up enough spices for a bigger batch, then weight the total mix, and divide it by the pounds intended:

For the breakfast stuff, I have the recipe scaled back to 3 pounds, so I pull out my sack of perfume and measure it out:

For the Italian, I have a bag of commercial spice mix (trying to use this up.....not nearly as good as my own) that was sized for 25 pounds of sausage. It comes to around 12 grams per pound x 3 pounds, or 36 grams. A small digital scale to the rescue:

Measured for the breakfast and one for the Italian:

The butts go through a small, #5 hand grinder with 3/8" plate:

Second grind with small plate after the spices are in:

From cutting up the butts, measuring spices, mixing, grinding, packaging and cleanup, total time was an hour and a half.

For a couple pounds of bulk, using pork steaks (which is pork butt sliced into pork steaks), probably half an hour to 45 minutes.

Had I picked up some of the $2.09 a pound ground pork, less than 5 minutes.

The small digital scale is a big help in doing these small batches.
post #2 of 7
Now thats s an interesting way to do a small amount of sausage for sure. I did something like it but I wanted about 8-9 lbs of sausage last night. I did it all but with a new grinder and my first time so it took me alot longer to figure everything out too. It was fun but harder than I figured. I do have to get a good scale this time I just went off of what the packaging said 8.67 lbs. and off I went to figure the spices needed. It all went well and now I have a handful of sausages to eat some to night for dinner.
post #3 of 7
That is using your head..........PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #4 of 7
That is a great idea, looks like a nice batch of sausage too...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
BTW, one pound test batches, with measured spices, is a good way to perfect your recipes, or test new ones. For this batch, I used a new source of crushed red pepper, which was hotter (fresher) than what I had been using. Fine for me but too hot for others trying to eat it. I can lighten it up a little with more pork. Or, if too mild, I could bump it up with a little more pepper.

Once you get it the way you like, write it down for next time.
post #6 of 7

Great way to make a meal

Hey Hog,

I lifted this from Len Poli's website. If you want to make small batches of fresh sausage meat, he has some great general guidelines for those of us who own a small scale. According to Mr. Poli, a general formula for any fresh sausage is this: 80/20 ground meat, 2.5% (of your meat weight) water, 1.5% salt, and .75% other flavorings. He uses 1kg as his example, which works out to (roughly) 7grams salt, 12g water, and 5g other flavorings per 1 lb of meat.

So for me its now possible to use a 1lb package of ground pork to make breakfast patties fairly easily, just add a little of this spice, and a little of that until the scale reads 5g.


post #7 of 7
I use this recipe conversion, which is online but you can print it out. It has worked very well for me.

Read it carefully when using, and check the amount you want to reduce/increase it by. Good luck my friend.
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