Friday, December 29, 2006

Sausage Making: Round 2

It's Friday evening and for once I seem to be right on schedule for my plans in the kitchen. Today was round two of my efforts to make home made sausage. And, I am pleased to announce that not only did I complete the sausage as planned but PeterC had enough ground meat left over to make a really nice meatloaf for dinner.

I decided to try strips of meat rather than chunks. The corkscrew in the grinder would grab the strip and pull it in at the right speed. Not once did the meat get bound up and the grinding seemed to go much more smoothly.

Rather than seasoning the meat before grinding, we seasoned it after grinding much the same as you would when making a meatloaf. We measured the spices out and sprinkled them on top of the bowl of ground meat, then we mixed the meat and spices together by folding and then kneading it in the bowl.

We formed the sausage into the desired packaging. Some we made into patties while others we made into packages for adding to lasagna or evening frying up and crumbling over pizza. As with our first attempt on Wednesday, we followed the advice of those more experienced and gave the meat a taste test before we finished packaging it up and putting it into the freezer. This was an Italian blend and was by far the favourite of both of us.

We decided a nice pepperoni made from the beef was a great idea. We bought our Morton's Tender Quick Salt from Sharyn's Pantry and the gentleman behind the counter was kind enough to share Sharyn's own recipe for pepperoni with us. Much like the Italian Sausage, we ground the meat and mixed the spices with the freshly ground meat. In the end, this is a 5 day process so the spiced meat is sitting in the refrigerator curing like the recipe says. Once it is all cured it will be baked in the oven or possibly put in the smoker for 9 hours to cook fully.

So now we have 12 lbs. of pork sausage in the freezer and 6 lbs. of pepperoni curing in the fridge. If this experiment so well then I may just start making fresh sausage and my own hamburger meat. It may not be any cheaper and may be labour intensive, but in the end I control the quality of my sausage. I know what's in it and I know exactly how it is made.

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