Friday, March 25, 2016

Sausage Making 101

Earlier this month we made our first sausage!! Our first on farm butcher experience gave us the opportunity to learn this new skill and make our own nitrate-free ground sausage and patties. (This "101" is not necessarily a tutorial on sausage making, but rather our 101 in making it!) In total we put close to 40 pounds of sausage in the freezer.

First, the meat needed to be ground with the right ratio of fat/lard.  Then we used a mixer to blend some of the ground pork with an Italian seasoning, some with a breakfast seasoning and we left some plain (seasonings are listed at the end). We were able to use herbs we dehydrated last summer, as well as some dehydrated onions. A huge thank you to Jason Moody for lending us the great equipment and showing us the ropes.

Ground pork, ready for seasoning.
Some pork was wrapped in full pound, and half pound, portions, the remainder was formed into patties. We used a regular canning ring to shape them. Another thank you goes out to Larry helping! It really was fun to share the experience with friends and family, plus it made relatively short work of the project. Thank you to the boys - John, Jason and Larry - for doing the work with the meat, I was happy to work on the packaging and labeling instead.  ;)

Sausage patties formed with a regular canning ring.
After forming the patties they were frozen on large baking sheets. They needed to be completely frozen before we packaged them in vacuum sealed bags. Patties were packaged in bags of 4 or 6.

Mmmm. So far we have enjoyed some delicious breakfast sausages, pasta with Italian sausage and zuppa tuscana (potato-sausage-kale) soup! It really is such a treat to put so much ground pork in the freezer, we always run out. I think a sausage quiche may be in order this weekend!

Italian Mix

per 2 lbs of meat
•2 tsp parsley
•2 tsp Italian seasoning
•1 T garlic
•1 tsp onion
•1/2 tsp fennel
•1-1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1 tsp red pepper
•2 tsp salt

Breakfast Mix

per 5 lbs of meat
•2 T salt
•1-1/2 tsp sage
•1-1/2 tsp thyme
•1/2 tsp ginger
•3/4 tsp nutmeg
•1/2 tsp white pepper
•1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
•1/2 cup water

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