One of the things I like to make with left over turkey is turkey gumbo
so this year I decided to make the sausage for it too. I used a recipe from the cook book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Revised and Updated)
. It is a great book all about curing and smoking meat. Defiantly worth the investment. This time I also decided to use real hog-casings, which I hadn't done before.
Making the sausage is fairly simple but takes time. and when it's done it tastes so good.
To get the recipe you'll have to buy the book or do a search for sausage recipes.
I found a deal on country style ribs, which are basically a pork butt sliced down into strips. I cubed them up froze them so they would go through the grinder better. I have found freezing the meat (not completely solid) and the grinder parts helps to keep the meat from smearing when you grind it. the night before I was going to make the sausage I put all the spices with the meat and mixed it up so the flavors could work into the meat.
|Waiting for the grinder.|
When I was ready to start I followed the instructions on the casings to bring them "back to life." this involves soaking them for about 30 minutes to an hour. While they were soaking I ground the meat using the coarse grinder.
|What a grind... but somebody has to do it. |
Of course, after it is ground you have to do a taste test. Luckily it was close to breakfast, so I made sausage and eggs.
|Frying up the testers. |
|Breakfast is served.|
The taste test passed a panel of three judges with flying colors. Great flavor, not too spicy and god texture.
I finished cleaning the casings for stuffing and stuffed the sausage. I made three rounds of it, instead of links and put it in the fridge for a couple days to dry out a little and cure.
|Ready for the smoker.|
This was a few days before Thanksgiving so I figured I would put them on the smoker when I cooked the turkey. I smoked them to a temperature of 150° and then put two of them in the freezer. The third one I kept out to eat with the turkey. I put that one on the cooker for a bit longer.
|Ready to eat.|
The sausage was a hit with Thanksgiving and with the mac and cheese I made later. I have one more round waiting for the gumbo when my family is all together.
|Served up and ready to go.|
If you have never made your own sausage give it a go. It is a satisfying rewarding experience. You can make a variety of it and make it to your own liking.
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