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Making sausage

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I want to make sausage at home.  Not interested in the casing, but plain sausage meat that I can use to cook in food or make patties.  But it occurs to me that I don't know anything about seasoning sausage and what seasonings to use in different sausages.  I'm most interested in breakfast sausage and italian sausage.  What to put in there besides pork?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 26

Breakfast: garlic, sage, cayenne or other chile source such as flakes, or hot sauce. salt, perhaps black pepper.

 

Lots of italian varieties but for the generic stuff in the US: garlic, salt, oregano (but many dried green herbs work well), Skip the fennel seed in my opinion.

 

I've used generic breakfast sausage in many italian dishes with good results. I do this for convenience and to skip the fennel flavor which I don't often want in my italian food. Easy to doctor up with some extra herbs or other flavors if I want to tilt it some.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 26

Sage is by far my favorite addition to breakfast sausage.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #4 of 26

Check these out;

 

 

(In English) http://www.sausagemania.com/

(In English) http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/index.htm

(In German) http://www.onkelheinz.de/wurst

post #5 of 26

There are many companies that sell a premeasured  spices in small bags. Find them on line

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 26

And remember the fat. As a rule of thumb, you want about 20% fat so the sausage has good flavor, moisture, and binding. This is about the amount you get in buying a whole pork shoulder. And the meat is good for that too.

 

Certainly there are reasons to use less fat. If you need to cut down on the fat,  you can replace about half of the fat with plain cooked rice by volume (more of those darn volume measurements. This gives a similar mouthfeel to the sausage and helps keep the sausage moist as a final product but isn't a perfect replacement.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 26

According to "Ratio, The Simple Codes behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking", by Michael Ruhlman, page 131-142, the base ratio, by weight, is 3 parts meat to 1 part fat or about 25% fat by weight.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #8 of 26

If you've not done it before, here are a couple of tips.

 

1. Do not, as you might find yourself inclined, use the fine grind. Sausage is, comparatively, a rough grind. Go no finer than medium. \

2. Add your seasonings to the cut up meat before running it through the grinder. This assure more even distribution, and helps to not overwork the meat.

3 As noted above, the mix should include 20-25% fat. A good way to start, when using lean meat (i.e., beef, lean pork, lamb, venison) is to add two pounds of fatty pork to three pounds of the other meat.

 

Caution: Making your own sausage can be as addictive as mainlining heroin. So make sure you have time for a new hobby before embarking on what can be a very exciting culinary experience.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 26

I have also been wondering what other things I might add up to my sausages. But now I know. Thanks alot guys!! licklips.gif

post #10 of 26
The response by our esteemed member from the great state of Kentucky implies that you will be using a meat grinder, not buying preground stuff.

I agree that grinding the meat yourself is the best way to go. If you don't have access to a grinder, one can use careful pulsing in a food processor. The texture won't be quite the same, though, but good enough to get you started on learning the basics of seasoning sausage. Some sausages are better with varying chunk size in the mix.

If you do get hooked you will definitely want a grinder! Besides, if you grind your own hamburger you don't have to cook it to well done like store bought ground meat.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #11 of 26

A little trick when grinding in a real grinder .Make sure meat is really cold , and if possible place grinder in fridge prior. You can also run some ice through with the meat you are grinding. This stops meat from getting to soft do to friction caused by grinding, and helps maintain a steady temperature of meat for food safety issue.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 26

For pork breakfast sausage untrimmed pork butt usually has the right fat to lean ratio.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

How do I prep the garlic for the breakfast sausage?  Is it minced?  I'm not a fan of sage, are you sure sage is an ingredient in breakfast sausage?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #14 of 26

Minced or paste is best for the garlic. And yes, I'm sure it's sage. Doesn't take much sage to flavor it.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #15 of 26

For once, I disagree with Ed:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

A little trick when grinding in a real grinder .Make sure meat is really cold , and if possible place grinder in fridge prior. You can also run some ice through with the meat you are grinding. This stops meat from getting to soft do to friction caused by grinding, and helps maintain a steady temperature of meat for food safety issue.


The heck with food safety. If you allow your mixture to rise in temperature more than trivially above dead cold, it will break. When you cook it, the fat will run out and leave you with crumbly blah that tastes dreadful. Everything you use, ingredients and equipment, should be and remain COLD. The pieces of the grinder can be frozen; the meat can be frozen just until barely crunchy, but straight from the fridge will be fine. Grind into a bowl sitting in another bowl filled with ice and water. In fact, you'll only break a mixture, even if you don't do these things, once in a while, but if you do you will be very sorry, because there is no fixing it: once it's broken, it's pet food. On a related note, once your mix is fully ground, you must bind it: beat it with a spoon or a stand mixer or whatever until it is sticky and binding together. Again, if you use a mixer, keep everything COLD: refrigerate the bits and pieces after grinding for 30 minutes, then mix in a chilled bowl. You will often add liquid (wine, water, etc.) during this mixing: make sure what you add is ICE-COLD.

 

I strongly recommend Ruhlman and Polcyn's book Charcuterie for learning the fundamentals. Bruce Aidell's various books are also excellent and provide far more recipes.

post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

I think that's what Ed is trying to say, keep it cold.  I didn't realize making sausage has to have such severe temperature control.  I was just gonna mix up some meat like when I make meatballs.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

I think that's what Ed is trying to say, keep it cold.  I didn't realize making sausage has to have such severe temperature control.  I was just gonna mix up some meat like when I make meatballs.


Yes, they are both saying keep it cold, Ed added the bit about food safety and Chris is saying food safety is not the issue. They both are saying that letting the grind get too warm will cause texture problems. Electric grinders tend to generate more heat than hand grinders. I wish I had an electric one, though. I tire of the process when I do more than a few pounds in my hand grinder. Besides, mine is an odd size and I have trouble finding different plates for it.

But when starting out you can do it just like making meatballs with preground meat, some texture issues but you can get a good tasting sausage patty hat way.

One cookbook I have about Russian and Balkan cuisine lists a recipe for a sausage with pomegranate seeds in it, I've been meaning to give it a try someday.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #18 of 26

Aidell's  books are an excellent source of most of what you have to know to do sausage of all types. The guy knows what he is doing and is modern in his approach. And again I am talking on a commercial basis not one's home re. food safety. taste and everything else Chris says is also valid and true.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

What do I have to bind it with?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #20 of 26

This is getting way too complicated.

 

Your intuition was correct.  You can do breakfast sausage patties the same way you'd do meatballs providing you're buying the pork already ground.

 

All that cold rigamarole is a way of dealing with the fat's texture and applies if you're doing huge quantities or grinding your own meat.  If you are grinding, you want that meat and fat as cold as possible.  Even semi-frozen is good.  When grinding very cold, the connective tissue cuts cleanly and the fat retains its integrity without becoming  greasy.  Cold will not only give you a better grind but the grinder and the surrounding zip-code will be easier to clean afterward.  Cold is even more important using a food processor.

 

When I grind for sausage, I mix the seasonings, liquids (if any) and binder (if any) into the first grind, chill all, and let time and the second grind take care of marrying the ingredients.       

 

Breakfast sausage doesn't need a binder.  "Sausage grind" pork, sage, a little maple syrup, salt, a few red pepper flakes and perhaps a drop of liquid smoke cover the situation nicely.  But if you wanted a different texture you could for instance go with a finer grind along with some bread soaked in half in half and shredded.

 

Hope this helps,

BDL

post #21 of 26
Here's some seasoning suggestions from Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ. All are for 2.5 pounds ground pork, 20 - 25% fat content.

Breakfast

1 T salt
2 t ground black pepper
1 t ground sage
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t dried parsley
2 slices crumbled cooked bacon


Italian

1 T salt
1 T fennel seeds
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/4 t cayenne


Kielbasa

1 T salt
1 1/2 t white sugar ( I've never put sugar in mine )
1 1/2 t ground black pepper
1 1/2 t marjoram
1/4 t ground allspice
6 finely minced garlic cloves ( Yum! )


These are from a book I happened to have at hand, and give reasonable starting points for some basic styles.

A local sausage specialist makes a Tuscan red wine style I really like, similar to Italian but with no fennel and a good dose of garlic, and obviously some red wine. It is one of my favorites.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #22 of 26

Koukouvagia   !  Commercially  Textured soy protein is used to bind.(and add cheap weight) Home if you like you can add some bread crumbs .Blood in meat also coagulates and forms a bind when cooked

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #23 of 26

I've not worried about binders in the ones I've made at home. They stick together enough before, during and after as it is for my needs.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

Koukouvagia   !  Commercially  Textured soy protein is used to bind.(and add cheap weight) Home if you like you can add some bread crumbs .Blood in meat also coagulates and forms a bind when cooked



 laser.gifNnnnnnnnnnnno none of that sounds appetizing.  Maybe an egg white.  Maybe no binder at all.  But definitely not soy and not blood.  Sorry Ed!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #25 of 26

As I stated commercial only  does not apply to your home, stomach,or taste. They do this for the sake of more profit. Which cost them less soy, crumbs, blood, soy  or meat. But this is what is sold already made in supermarkets. Frankfurters are even worse when it comes to ingredients. Ask yourself, why do Ball Park Brand blow up and get larger?  All manufactures of most everything  avoid egg of any kind as it goes bad quickly and shortens shelf life of product. Reality is sometime NOT appetizing.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

This is getting way too complicated.

 

Your intuition was correct.  You can do breakfast sausage patties the same way you'd do meatballs providing you're buying the pork already ground.

 

All that cold rigamarole is a way of dealing with the fat's texture and applies if you're doing huge quantities or grinding your own meat.  If you are grinding, you want that meat and fat as cold as possible.  Even semi-frozen is good.  When grinding very cold, the connective tissue cuts cleanly and the fat retains its integrity without becoming  greasy.  Cold will not only give you a better grind but the grinder and the surrounding zip-code will be easier to clean afterward.  Cold is even more important using a food processor.


You've never broken a mixture, I take it. Yes, sure, if you're using pre-ground meat, you don't have to worry --- assuming you trust your butcher. But you'd better have a very good conception of what the fat ratio is. As to grinding your own, you can warm that stuff darn quick if you don't pay some attention, and if you do that you will have a broken mix. It's not just greasy cutting or messiness --- it's a sausage that weeps huge quantities of fat and leaves you crumbly nasties to eat.

 

Think about it like emulsion, to which it is related. If you break a Hollandaise, no amount of saying "well, it's all the same flavors together" will stop it being a mix of curdled eggs and greasy fat. Similarly, if you break a meat mixture, you will have dry, crumbly meat nasties and a puddle of fat. A good sausage keeps it all bound together so it's juicy and delicious. If you ever make an emulsified sausage, like a hot dog, you'll quickly see just where the line lies: emulsion = hot dog, broken = disgusting.

 

It's not complicated at all. Keep it cold. That's all. Same with pate: if you've ever had a dry pate floating in a puddle of grease, you broke the mixture; if you'd kept everything dead cold every step of the way it wouldn't have happened and you'd have had good pate. KEEP IT COLD.

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