I’ll keep this short and too the point. I’ve gone sausage crazy! To date, I’ve made and stuffed the following all in the name of Charcutepalooza (page numbers refer to Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn):
Mexican Chorizo (substituted NM red chili powder for cumin) p 127
Breakfast Sausage with Ginger and Sage p 120
Sweet Italian (not stuffed) p 122
A modified Brian’s Holiday Kielbasa which I smoked (added pink salt, nonfat dry milk, and 2.5 tsp mustard powder) p 118
Master Recipe Fresh Garlic Sausage (adjusted seasoning with 1/4 C red wine vinegar) p 117
I did them in that order and I have ingredients ready to go for 4 more 5 lb batches. Planning to do a breakfast sausage with just salt, pepper, and sage, a green chile and sun dried tomato sausage with garlic and onion, a chicken sausage with basil and tomatoes, and an all beef version of the kielbasa.
All of the recipies have been great, but in this house everyone has a favorite. Mine is the Kielbasa (smoke may be the reason).
In making all of this sausage I’ve learned some important lessons.
Using the right knife for the job and keeping it sharp is imperative.
Natural casings are tougher than they feel, you can (and should) man handle them when cleaning and loading on the stuffing horn. Never clean more than one at a time or they will tie themselves in knots that can take a long time to untangle.
Stuffing with the KitchenAid grinder attachment sucks!
Stuffing with a vertical stuffer is a piece of cake!
A little water in a sheet pan makes twisting the sausage into a spiral as you stuff easy and it’s easy to clean.
Grilling whole spirals of sausage will impress family and friends, but turning it on the grill takes practice.
Natural casings are easier to twist links in, are tougher, and hold their link twist better than edible collagen.
Edible collagen is ready to go on a moment’s notice, but it doesn’t spiral as you stuff it.
Braiding big loops of sausage for smoking is harder than it looks… I gave up and tied them with string (had to take this of frozen sausage).
Be careful raising the bowl of your mixer, sausage can break it, but A larger more powerful mixer means more sausage (and bread, lots of bread).
Sausage pizza after a day of making bread really hit’s the spot. (I rolled the crust with the pasta maker for a thin cracker like crust.)