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How to Make Sausage

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This is how Christy and I made over 34 lbs of wild boar sausage using the food grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. There are tips specific to the equipment we used, and tips for making flavored sausage in general. Making your own sausage can be laborious, but is rewarding in that you finally know for sure what's in your sausage. Plus, all of your friends will be begging to try some.
 
 
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Step 1: Basic Sausage Recipe

Here's my basic sausage recipe:

1 lbs meat
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp sweetener (pure maple syrup, for example)

or

1 lbs meat
1 tsp sea salt
1 handful of flavoring -- dried or fresh fruit, pesto, roasted and chopped peppers, cheese, fresh herbs

if you choose to used dried spices or something especially strong, like hot peppers, go a bit lighter than a handful. While you obviously can't mix to taste, you can fry up small batches of ground meat and flavorings without casings to check your ratios.

Step 2: Sausage Making Overview

Since making sausage means working with meat that can potentially spoil, it's nice to have all the steps organized in advance. So, I put everything in one step here.

1. Collect equipment and non-spoilable materials (meat grinder, sausage stuffer, fruit, herbs, spices, salt, natural hog casings, etc...)
2. Get meat. If the meat is freshly killed, you'll only have a few days to get all the processing done before you should have the meat frozen
3. Carve the meat into 1-2 inch chucks suitable for grinding
4. Prepare flavorings
5. Partially freeze meat and flavorings
6. Grind meat and flavorings into sausage
7. Re-partially freeze sausage
8. Stuff sausage into casings
9. Fully freeze sausages

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Clean up and bleach all tools after use, and during any major pause between steps where you aren't actively processing cold meat.

If you're using a piston-type sausage-stuffer rather then the screw or auger-type Kitchen Aid attachment I used, some of your steps can be modified. For example, you may not need to mix your flavorings with the pre-ground meat. I found that my sausage stuffer was prone to clogging, so wanted to make sure everything would pass through smoothly.
BigCountry4 days ago

I'm always looking for new sausage recipes to try when we butcher. Last year I tried some OldBay seasoning and a little pearsauce. They turned out great.

hzxasdf1 month ago

好极了,很好吃的样子1

DIYDragon5 years ago
I'm honestly surprised we'd never attempted anything like this at my house seeing as my mom's first job was in a butcher shop. She must've known how much work this was. : P I am curious how good it would be to make some sausage gravy, and biscuits with some of this though. I have some hunter friends that might be persuaded into giving me a small portion of pig instead of the entire animal! : ) Would it be possible to forgo the annoying looking 'casing step', and just shape the ground sausage into small breakfast links? Oh, and what's the yellow stuff in the bowl? It's the last picture in step one.
ewilhelm (author)  DIYDragon5 years ago
I ate some of the uncased sausage this morning. If you can manage not to pierce the casing, it will help retain moisture. Since the meat is so lean, this turns out to be pretty important. When cooked like regular ground meat, the uncased sausage tends to be very dry and easy to overcook. At least in the batch this morning, which had uncooked garlic, the meat cooked before the garlic had a chance to mellow. The same sausage in a casing turns out better (but I would still recommend against uncooked garlic in future sausages. I think the stuff in the bowl is the roasted red and yellow peppers after blending. Or, the green chili sage. After so many sausages, it's hard to remember!
Little tip if you cook without casing, roll your sausage/patty in a little cornflour or just plain flour,it seals it, stays moist inside,crispy outside,fry gently.
I've put photonotes on all the bowls - check it out.
caitlinsdad5 years ago
Yum, I've always parboiled my sausages 10-15 minutes first and then brown them in the pan. It helps them cook faster/more thorough and I prefer the crispyness of the pan frying. You can then also add peppers/onions to the batch.
ewilhelm (author)  caitlinsdad5 years ago
I did that with a few, and found that the initial boiling reduced the flavor. When I add liquid to the pan, it's just enough to keep stuff from sticking -- more of a double amount deglaze than a final boil.
This is kind of strange to me that american people boil their sausages before frying them, I am french and live in england,and the only sausages we boil here are Frankfurters and the hot dog type sausages, all the rest we just straight pan fry gently for about 10/15 mins total depending on the size/thickness of the product. It is still very juicy and thoroughly cooked with all its flavours, trick is not to overheat your pan or sausages can split and loose their water content,do not pierce the skin unles there is an air bubble in, and use a pin, not a knife or the skin will crack open whilst cooking.
Come to think of it, the parboiling probably comes more from the uncooked pork/trichinosis fear and not knowing what cuts of meat went into it. I have seen some butcher areas where they grind the "trimmings" and have seen enough sausage at pepper sandwiches prepared from outdoor vendor carts at street faires to really consider making my own sausage. I guess making some with good flavor would be a bonus. It's funny that buying sausage casing in bulk form doesn't look that appealing.
solo.card5 years ago
The amount of partial freezing / thawing worries me slightly!
ewilhelm (author)  solo.card5 years ago
Why? Have you made sausage?
Not using the same equipment and ingredients as you.... It just worried me in terms of the "quality / food safety" of the finished product. Obviously the more times raw goods are frozen/thawed the more likely you are to introduce contaminants, etc, as well as the overall quality of the product! Obviously, cleanliness and promptness are going to reduce the risk, but I thought it was worth a mention! (Please pardon my "Food Safety" accent here, I work in the food industry and often wear my Food Microbiologist hat out side of work).
Hello there, i think these days too much emphasis is put on food safety and it turns to paranoia. Pardon my directness, but i have never heard my grandparents etc.. complain about food poisoning and the likes...i THINK MOST OF IT COMES FROM FACTORY FARMING,THE ABATTOIRS AND RESTAURANTS,most of which deal which so much work that they tend to cut corners and act carelessly to speed boost income.My grandfather was a farmer and made all his own products,everything was always clean but not 'over sanitized' and he took great care and pride in what he did and got to live to 94. Also cutting your meat on wood is good as it has a natural antibacterial agent.
As long as you buy or farm healthy meat and are a reasonably hygenic person there is no need to worry about contamination.
Also bare in mind that a little bacteria never hurt anyone,it helps strenghten your immune system,and by killing all bacteria,good&bad,you endanger your health more.
ewilhelm (author)  solo.card5 years ago
If possible, you should post an Instructable about your work!
Ah, I see the problem. The goal is to prevent thawing during the processing steps - mostly freeze the chunks in sauce, quickly grind and send the still-frozen ground meat directly back to the freezer. Pull out immediately before stuffing, stuff, and bag/return to the freezer ASAP. We basically apply sterile technique to all steps of processing, so I was quite comfortable with the low level of risk. My degree is cell/molecular bio, so it's kind of fun to get to use it at home. ;)
pearsonry5 years ago
I understand that this is for "fresh sausage." If one were to introduce smoke flavoring or smoke curing into this process, where would that step fall? I want to learn to make all different kinds, but I'm mostly interested in semi-dry sausage like pepperoni sticks or summer sausage. What is the difference between those varieties? When they are cooked?
A little late, but I just joined Instructables recently...  My wife and I have been making pork (and other types of) sausage for over ten years now and have this down to a "repeatable offense" at this point.  We processed 1100 pounds of pork last spring from our "mini-farm".  We take this very seriously ;o)

Just a few pointers:
1) Meat cuts better in the grinder when it is cold (nearly frozen).  A gallon sized freezer bag will take approximately 1 1/2 hours to chill in the freezer with just the corners frozen.  We have a much larger grinder (#32) but the meat cuts the same in either case - cut the meat into workable [grinder sized] chunks before you chill it.

2) When cutting meat, be sure to leave a quantity of fat in, else your sausage will be dry.  Add beef fat (from your grocer) to Venison or typical game animals - while you grind the meat, the idea is to intermix the fat with the meat in the grind.

3) perform the first grind (rough grind) with a larger plate (bigger holes), add seasonings (the web is full of recipies) and then reduce the plate size (remember to chill again prior to grinding.  Nothing is more annoying than having the meat turn into paste in the grinder when the knife (the four bladed thing) gets coated with sinew and goo. (this includes liquid smoke - smoking the sausage to cure it is carcinogenic, liquid smoke is not while it adds the same flavor).

4) After grinding, you MUST make small patties and taste the product to ensure that you have added enough of everything.  I generally add the salt gradually as I go forward because you can over salt very easily and make the entire batch less than great as a result.  The addition of compensatory spices will need to be mixed in well and completely through the batch before tasting (beer helps to clean the pallet between offerings). 

I will be adding an Instructable on this (hopefully in the near future) - GREAT PIECE!!  My compliments on the instructable!!
Hey there, i have also staeted to make my own sausages and found out that they are even tastier if you cube and marinate your cuts overnight with your spices covered in the fridge, it also allows to better mix it all when you grind the meat coarse and then medium of fine. There is an awsome book of sausage recipes which i found on Amazon by Jery Predika called simply 'The sausage-making book' (ISBN 978-0-8117-1693-2), it has more than 230 recipes from all around the world,and the guy is an enthousiast trying to collect all these recipes of home made and known sausages before they get lost as a lot of people sadly 'die before passing on their knowledge'.
I have tried about 10 different recipes so far and they are all yummy.
Good luck everyone,i hope this has helped.
Here's a nice Instructable on making Smoked Andouille Sausage that should explain the basics.
geoslim133 years ago
I have the book mentioned in Step5!
if i sued ground meat from the supermarket i should skip bleaching the equipment right?just clean it?
ewilhelm (author)  mastermakoko3 years ago
No, you should still bleach all your equipment. Arguably, ground meat from the supermarket might be even more suspect than wild-caught meat processed yourself.
zeebiz3 years ago
Thank u ewilhelm !! this is what i ve been looking for.

I m wondering is it the same to make fish sausage.

Since those fish is so different from meat ,which part would you think should be adjust that to make a same or even better taste? Could you give me some idea?
joesan4 years ago
 
Re Par Boiling - the best way to cook a sausage is to adopt some "sous vide" techniques - seal the sausages in a vacuum bag or zip-loc, cook for 20 minutes or so in 65C water. (Note: If the skin is pretty intact on the sausage you can also just add directly to the water).

Take the sausage out, pat dry, and sear in medium hot oil until nicely browned. This step is for the Maillard reaction or "tasty brown bits" as the sausage has previously been fully cooked in the previous step. You may also grill them at this stage instead of frying. 

Cooking the sausage in this way maximally preserves the natural juiciness of the sausage and it especially valuable for low fat sausages like wild boar or other game. It also transform normal pork sausages into something spectacular. 
Very cool instructable. Have you made sausage from other animals?
Not yet, but we definitely will.
SinAmos5 years ago
I love it. Thanks.
thats right that sausage was the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vidar_765 years ago
Good instructable! I like your idea of making so many different sausages! We usually do the same but 3-4 kinds divided into 5-10kg batches. Must try the "apricot, chevre, sage, garam masala"-recipe some time! :-) Did a few with hard strong cheese (Västerbotten) and grenpepper, the turned out great. "We highly recommend using meat that is either wild or pastured on a farm; factory-farmed meat just isn't good for you, and the taste bears this out" Couldn't agree more! Haven't bought factory-meat for years now, and if i have choose now between factory-meat and no meat at all it a easy choice. ;)
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ewilhelm (author)  Vidar_765 years ago
What animal is shown in the first image? Looks like you are using raw garlic in your sausage. How do you deal with making sure it gets cooked and mellowed?
Its a sheep. If you want to see the rest of the pics they are on: http://karlberglind.no-ip.org/?del=10&StrAlbum_Uid={8116A97E-C42F-4BCD-B3AF-FD94AB643D34}

We usually cook all the sausages before we freeze them, and the garlic was grounded together with the meat so it in really small piece. But they smell if it even when deepfrozen :-)
rimar20005 years ago
For me, this is too work for some sausages. Anyway, good instructable.
awang85 years ago
Yummy! Ever tried making "Krofta"? It's basically ground meat shaped into a sausage. It doesn't need skins but it looks abit... Shaggy.
What an amazing amount of work! Growing up in Iowa I've always eaten beef that was raised by a farmer that my family knew - frequently splitting a cow with the farmer who raised it. At the butcher shop almost all of the butchering process is visible from the front desk. I've never done this myself but there's no mystery to it ;-) Thanks for posting all of this info, and the sun-dried tomato, feta, rosemary sounds delicious!