First attempt at making sausage

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Original poster
Apr 8, 2014
Made my first sausage on Saturday. The recipe I used was adapted from one I found on

3-lb pork shoulder
1/2-lb chopped onion (yellow)
2-habanero peppers (seeds and membranes removed)
1/2-tsp minced garlic (dried)
1/4-tsp dried thyme
1-tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2-tsp hot smoked paprika
1-tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2- Tbsp Tender Quick
1-Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4- cup beer (I used shock top)

Cut up pork while still pretty frozen. Chopped onion, parsley and habanero in food processor. Ground pork with coarse plate (8mm) and mixed with other ingredients. After a rest in the freezer for about 45 min I ran it through fine plate (4mm) and back in freezer for 1.5 hrs. Stuffed into hog casing.
Cold smoked some of it for 2hrs with mesquite (only chips I had on hand). Left some loose and some unsmoked. Flavor wasn't what I was expecting. It was still amazing though. Next run I will reduce onion to 1/4 pound and add habanero or chiltepin for a bit more spice. May add a little fat.
My biggest disappointment was texture. It was a little too fine for my taste. I don't like big chunks of fat, but I don't want it like a hotdog either.
I'm going to save this recipe as an onion sausage instead of the habanero sausage I wanted it to be.
Next time grind only about 1/4 of the meat through the fine plate.  You may be able to remove only the seeds from the Habs so you get the heat from the membrane.  

You can grind your vegs through the fine plate if you don't want to get the food processor dirty.

They look great,  Good Job!
Well, you're finding out what you don't like.....I, too, prefer the coarser grind on my sausage. The finished product looks well done. I still use the Kitchen Aid grinder attachment and they only have 2 plates available but some brands offer more choices. I believe Tender Quick is 1 Tablespoon per pound of meat so as you start to make more & more poundage and types of sausage just be aware of the amounts......Willie
It looks pretty good to me. If you don't want it, just send it here!

I'm with you on the coarser grind but the missus likes finer. Guess which I make more?

Your sausages look good man 
  I'm with you - that's an awful lot of onion. I make a lot of sausage & when I make a style such as that I never grind through the fine plate - you get a much better texture if you don't. Other types benefit from grinding 1/4 (as alblancher said) 1/2 or even all the meat through the fine plate - you will have to determine what you like best. I also use cure #1 instead of TQ as it is much easier to control the salt levels in your sausage. That being said you did a fine job with your first sausages 
Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.  I have done some thinking and a little reading (both can be dangerous) and have come up with an approximation for the next batch.  The neighbor and I are going to try to make a batch of sausage a week from Saturday.  The exact amounts may change a little bit between now and then.  I'm also open to suggestions.

9.75-lb pork shoulder

1/4-lb fat

1/2-lb chopped onion (yellow)

9-habanero peppers (seeds and most of the membranes removed)

1/2-Tbsp minced garlic (dried)

3/4-tsp dried thyme

1-Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1-Tbsp hot smoked paprika

1-1Tbsp fresh ground black pepper

5- Tbsp Tender Quick

3-Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2- cup beer

I'm going to mix the ingredients while the pork is still cubed then run it through the grinder for two passes before stuffing.
Last edited:
I made another batch of sausage using a modified version of the original recipe.  I have only tried the test fry so far.  I think it is great.  Sausage was made on Saturday and some of it cold smoked this morning.  Sorry, no qview right now.  I didn't take any pictures while I was making it.  Will post pics later if I remember to take some out of the freezer.  This time I solicited the help of my neighbor since I'm still using my electric grinder to stuff.  Eventually I will be buying a dedicated stuffer.

I broke the recipe down and converted it to a one pound recipe so I can make whatever size batch I want.  Below is the recipe:

1 pound pork shoulder (untrimmed)

28.24 g Yellow Onion (chopped)

1 Habanero Pepper (chopped) seeds and most of membrane removed

0.72 g Dehydrated Minced Garlic

0.11 g Dried Thyme

0.18 g Dried Parsley

1.04 g Hot Paprika

1.17 g Black Pepper (fresh ground)

8.48 g Tender Quick

0.71 g L&D Seasoning

4.8 ml Apple Cider Vinegar

12.8 ml Beer (I used Shock Top)

The L&D seasoning is a "Spanish Style" seasoning that is a mix of several different spices.  It is made in Northern CA and I don't know how widely available it is.  I cubed the pork and mixed the ingredients then let it sit in the freezer.  Ground through an 8mm plate followed by a 6mm plate with a rest in the freezer in between.  My wife is not a huge sausage fan unless it is in the form of biscuits and gravy or cooked into spaghetti sauce.  I gave her a taste of the test fry and she loved it. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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