Introduction: Balloon Animal Sausages
What if Jeff Koons had become a butcher instead of an artist? What do clowns eat on the 4th of July?
Nobody knew the answer to these questions until now!
Adults always say it is rude to play with you food but who needs adults?
We had a a sausage making day in the Instructables test kitchen balloon animals seemed like a great way to celebrate. Maria Finn, Meredith Scheff-King, Coby Unger and Will Doenlen were instrumental in making this possible.
Step 1: Meat Preparation
Not too long ago Maria and a bunch of other Instructables artists and staff butchered a whole pig and we are still enjoying the meat from it.
Before making sausages the meet must be ground. We used an electric grinder because grinding the amount of meat we used for sausages would have been a real chore with a hand grinder. It is best to keep the meet semi-frozen when grinding in order to get the correct consistency. If you are making hot dogs rather than sausages grind the meat multiple times to get a finer, more homogenous texture.
Step 2: Prepare the Sausage Filler
You can get sausage casing from most butcher shops. They will often sell it in extremely long lengths all bunched up on a tube. If it has dried out at all soak it in water first before transferring the casing onto the nozzle of your sausage press. This is by far the weirdest part of the process.
Next, simply fill the hopper in your sausage press with the ground meat and place it under the plunger. In our sausages we added a variety of different types of spices and fruits for extra flavor. Peaches and apples were the most delicious but blueberries and cherries were pretty great as well.
Step 3: The Fun Part
Filling sausage casings is always the fun part of the process, but we made it even more fun. Rather than trying to explain every bit of the step by step method for making a balloon animal dog you should check out this Instructable.
The biggest tip for this step is to switch the direction of twisting with each section. If you always twist in the same direction you will untwist the links behind you as you go. Also, leave more room at the end of your sausage casing than you think you will need to tie a knot. It's slippery stuff and pretty hard to tie.
Step 4: Prepare to Cook
The balloon animals needed a bit of adjustment after filling and a little stabilization. We used skewers between the links (but not through any of the casing) to hold the legs and ears upright. The flower didn't really need any extra support, it was beautiful on it's own.
Step 5: Cook
We decided baking was the best way to make sure the sausages were cooked all the way though. After baking we also pan seared them in garlic and oil for a little extra flavor.
Step 6: Arrange and Enjoy
In the restaurant industry people say that presentation is one of the most important factors in the success of a meal.
Once again, don't let adults tell you not to play with your food. Adults ruin everything.