Author Topic: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020  (Read 934 times)

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Offline Yellowyak

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Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« on: January 04, 2020, 03:42:42 PM »
My son got us a meat grinder with a sausage stuffing attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas. I've never ground meat, much less stuffed sausage before. As a total beginner, I purchased a book called "Homemade Sausage: Recipes and Techniques to Grind, Stuff, and Twist Artisanal Sausage at Home" at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1631590731/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

Today I purchased an 8.5 lb. pork shoulder and some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to process. We didn't get around to grinding the chicken, but we did grind and make some spicy Italian sausage and some Bratwurst, using recipes from the above book. We used hog casings for the Italian sausages and bratwurst and will use sheep casings for hot dogs and chicken sausages. The sausages are resting in the refrigerator for now, but were going to cook some of the Bratwurst tonight, boiling in beer and then sauteing in a pan. Looking forward to it.

It was a fun process, especially making them with my son, who was totally into the process.

Looking forward to making 2020 the year of meat processing, especially smoking and grilling. Tomorrow, chicken sausage and breakfast sausage with extra sage.

Bratwurst before twisting into links:



Edit to add: If anyone has any go-to recipes they'd like to share, I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 03:59:01 PM by Yellowyak »

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 06:22:12 PM »
awesome Greg, I bet it will taste great. theres so many different seasonings out there to try. I haven't settled on just one. I did like the deer and pork Brats cindie and I made a few weeks ago. We put beer, cheddar, and jalapenos in ours. The Jalapenos were to green, taste like green bell peppers
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 06:40:37 PM »
That is great Greg, glad to hear your son is eager to do it with you.  I have never made sausage but what you did sure came out looking like something good to eat.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 07:09:35 PM »
Excellent looking sausages there, Greg! :thumbsup:    I gave Heather a Kitchenaid Mixer for Christmas many, many years ago....WOLFY APPROVED!  :stir:   The attachments I bought to go along with it included one of those grinder/stuffers and, like Stan, I have never stuffed any casings with it yet. :shrug:   I guess I always tend to make too much of a science of things before I actually do them, so your post is goading me on to unexplored territory! ;D

Did you find the casings locally or did you order them online? ???
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 10:32:45 PM »
Looks good, YY!  I've done some sausage, too.  Ground with an old 1965 Kitchenaid (when they were still made by Hobart) and stuffed with an antique Enterprise stuffer.  Pictures on the forum here somewhere so won't try to resurrect them.  I haven't graduated past breakfast sausage, though.  And I need to make some more.  I might have to get that book you referenced.  My breakfast sausage recipe doesn't include sage as I'm not a fan, but it could certainly be added.
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Offline madmax

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2020, 03:40:55 AM »
Wow!  That looks great!
At least it's not a femur through the pelvis.

Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2020, 03:54:26 AM »
awesome Greg, I bet it will taste great. theres so many different seasonings out there to try. I haven't settled on just one. I did like the deer and pork Brats cindie and I made a few weeks ago. We put beer, cheddar, and jalapenos in ours. The Jalapenos were to green, taste like green bell peppers
Thanks Spyder. Yours sounds great with the addition of beer, cheddar, and jalapenos. The recipe we made had some milk and two eggs, I'm assuming to help in the emulsification?

That is great Greg, glad to hear your son is eager to do it with you.  I have never made sausage but what you did sure came out looking like something good to eat.
Thanks Stan. Yes, my son took over the whole process, I was just his helper.

Excellent looking sausages there, Greg! :thumbsup:    I gave Heather a Kitchenaid Mixer for Christmas many, many years ago....WOLFY APPROVED!  :stir:   The attachments I bought to go along with it included one of those grinder/stuffers and, like Stan, I have never stuffed any casings with it yet. :shrug:   I guess I always tend to make too much of a science of things before I actually do them, so your post is goading me on to unexplored territory! ;D

Did you find the casings locally or did you order them online? ???

Thanks Craig. I got the casings at Amazon, and have plenty leftover:

Hog Casings (32 mm / 1.3"): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001RQOY94

Sheep Casings (19-21 mm / ~.75"): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FFAGFGI

Looks good, YY!  I've done some sausage, too.  Ground with an old 1965 Kitchenaid (when they were still made by Hobart) and stuffed with an antique Enterprise stuffer.  Pictures on the forum here somewhere so won't try to resurrect them.  I haven't graduated past breakfast sausage, though.  And I need to make some more.  I might have to get that book you referenced.  My breakfast sausage recipe doesn't include sage as I'm not a fan, but it could certainly be added.

Thanks Nuke. I seem to recall a thread here somewhere that had your breakfast sausage recipe - without Sage. I'll look it up. I highly recommend the book.

Wow!  That looks great!

Thanks Tony. These were some very good brat's, super tasty, definitely will make again. Boiled in a couple of bottles of Killian's Irish Red Lager and then pan seared in a cast iron skillet. Served on a toasted, freshly made hot dog roll, yellow mustard (my German mustard is MIA), diced sweet onions, and topped with some warm German sauerkraut.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:01:43 AM by Yellowyak »

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 06:16:33 AM »
Looks and sounds awesome! :drool: :drool: :drool:

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 05:29:47 PM »
I've made a lot of sausage.  Most of it was made and stuffed without the aid of mechanical means beyond arm power. 

I've tried lots of recipes and the various spices. 

The first time I made sausage it was pure home raised pork sausage for my great grandmother.  She was full blooded Italian and knew exactly what she wanted and didn't put up with any arguments from whippersnappers. 

She wanted course ground pork and she seasoned it with salt and black pepper, .... that's it.  I stuffed it and put the smoke to it for three days (that's about all the sausage hanging weather we get at a stretch down here). 

I used her old hand cranked grinder and it had a sausage stuffer attachment on it which was nithing more than just a funnel attached to the grinder.

I got about three inches of coals in a bucket and stuffed as much mesquite bark in on top of it as I could get.  I set a garbage can lid on top of it and let her smoke.  One bucket's worth in the morning and one a night. 

Then I wrapped it and put it in the freezer.   Good stuff. 

I had my own hogs so sausage was cheap.  We had lots of pork and the byproducts that come with it. 

I did a lot of deer sausage too and mixed it 1/4  deer to  3/4 pork but for the price I was getting the pork, the addition of the deer meat was hardly worth it.  The pure pork sausage tasted much better.

Eventually I rigged up a contraption using a foot feed (made out of a gate hinge) on a variable speed drill with a pulley to drive the grinder and stuffer.  It made grinding faster and stuffing a lot easier being able to load the grinder with one hand and guide the casings with the other.

Time went by and I finally reached a point where a Cabelas pro grinder was attainable.  Haven't made a link of sausage since....

But my sons have started making some.  I'm the only one who eats it in this house and I just don't eat enough to warrant making it myself.  Besides, these days I prefer a nice pan fried snapper fillet.


Alan

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 06:20:53 PM »
Over the years when I was making lots of sausage I fine tuned the process to my liking.

When I first started I just chopped up the meat and ran it all through the grinder.  That's what a grinder is for right?  No, you'll spend a lot of time cleaning the blades of chopped up sheath and sinew.  The when you eat it you spend more time picking the same stuff out or your teeth.

I would bone the pork and then muscle it out.  Then I would take every bit of sheathing, sinew and fat off of the muscles leaving only pure pork.  The trimmings went in the rendering pot.  After a good lard frying all those little things are crunchy and they have a bit of meat with them too.  Then I would slice the meat cross the grain about 3/4" to 1" and cube from there.  Then I would chill the meat.  Cold meat grinds, warm meat mushes.  I liked a coarse grind. Then in a huge stainless bowl I'd add seasonings to taste.  It is easy to add a bit more seasoning and very hard to take it out (especially salt).  If you get too much, it is amazing how much more meat you have to add to get it back to good. 

I would usually under-season because as the sausage smokes the flavor runs through it and gets a bit stronger. 

To test, as I was mixing I'd drop a dollop in a frying pan and give it a taste test then drink some water or other watery substance....

I don't remember the proportions because each batch was it's own.  I almost NEVER followed the recommendations on the packaging when using ready mix seasoning.  I always put less.

Then I'd pull the blades out and stuff the casings, giving them a few twists about every 18".  You want to leave plenty of room between links because each twist is two ends to tie the string to and you want to have plenty of casing held by the sting (I used only cotton twine).  You don't want to walk out to the smoke house one morning and find your hard work laying on the floor because the casing slipped out of the string. 

It is possible to get too much smoke on the sausage.  Some people only put smoke once a day, and that is probably enough. 

As the sausage is smoking you have to check it periodically to look for bubbles in the casing.  Poke them with a needle when you find them.  Also hang the links so that they are not touching each other or anything else.  If they are touching it will create a bad spot.  On the morning of the fourth day, pull it out of the smoke house, chill it, wrap it and freeze it (don't forget to label and date).  Don't forget to leave a link or two out to eat that night.  Two days is probably long enough and the sausage won't dry out as much. 

I've probably left a few things out but as I said earlier, it's been a while since I made any.

Yy, It looks like you got a good start on the sausage making.  It is a lot of fun and tasty too!


Alan




Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 07:25:55 PM »
Alan, thanks for the great feedback. Obviously you have a lot of experience grinding and processing meat, and I appreciate your input. As a beginner, I'm taking baby steps for now.

We cooked up some of the Italian sausage we ground yesterday and had a great pasta meal tonight, excellent flavor, better than any restaurant food.

Cooked Italian Sausage:



Italian Sausage, Pasta with Marinara Sauce, and fresh Garlic Bread and fresh parsley from the garden:



We also ground up some chicken thighs and stuffed them in some casings. We have them setting up in the refrigerator for now. I'll get some pictures up tomorrow.


« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 08:02:36 PM by Yellowyak »

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 08:21:38 PM »
One thing to remember about sausage, especially if you don't use saltpeter (I didn't), is that things can go wrong.  A bubble in a casing is no big deal.  Visibly swollen links is a sign that something went wrong.  You really probably have better things to do instead of what you'll be doing if you eat bad sausage. 

Keeping the work area clean and the meat relatively cold (cool) is the best insurance against growing a culture of bad stuff.  If the weather goes warm, you've got to get it in out of the smokehouse.

This is not an issue for your Italian sausage (unless you smoke it which most people don't). 

I would be careful with the poultry sausage to keep it clean and cool. 

You've got to disassemble and wash your whole grinder every time, preferably immediately after grinding before any of the meat dries on it.  Running a little clorox over it in the sink doesn't hurt it either.

I've never made any poultry sausage but I love Turducken sausage.

The method I described is called "cold smoke". Hot smoke is actually cooking the sausage and temps are very important.  I've never done hot smoke.  It takes more than a plywood smokehouse and you have to keep the temp right or you'll make everyone sick at best and kill them all at worst.

When you grind meat you increase the surface area for bacteria growth.  Then you seal it up inside a casing.  The probability of a screwup is pretty good.  The colder and cleaner you can keep the meat and surroundings and the quicker you can get it frozen reduces the chance of a bad batch considerably. 

If you ever suspect that by look, feel, or smell that any of it has gone bad, do not hesitate to trash it. 



One of the big problems with making sausage (like a good number of other things) is that once you get into it, it kinda becomes an obsession.  Some of the guys I know of German descent put up a lot of sausage each year (400-500 #).  Their sons were some of our best football players. 

Everybody is a beginner at some point in anything they do.  The learning is the fun part.  I'm learning all the time and I'm by no means an expert at sausage making.  I have made some edible sausage.  And when my boys were at home it was a necessary part feeding them.  I've never made any dried sausage but I would have a hog and a deer made into dried every year.  Those boys would eat a link(each) every day after school and before supper. Man, when they all finally left home I started having money in my pocket.  It took #1 wife about five years to stop cooking so much food for each meal.  I was pushing 270# trying to keep up with the leftovers. 

Good luck.  Next purchase will be a bigger freezer.


Alan

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2020, 08:22:36 PM »
Alan, thanks for the great feedback. Obviously you have a lot of experience grinding and processing meat, and I appreciate your input. As a beginner, I'm taking baby steps for now.

We cooked up some of the Italian sausage we ground yesterday and had a great pasta meal tonight, excellent flavor, better than any restaurant food.

Cooked Italian Sausage:



Italian Sausage, Pasta with Marinara Sauce, and fresh Garlic Bread and fresh parsley from the garden:



We also ground up some chicken thighs and stuffed them in some casings. We have them setting up in the refrigerator for now. I'll get some pictures up tomorrow.

That really looks good! 

Alan

Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Meat and Sausage Grinding 2020
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2020, 02:31:44 PM »
Thanks for the feedback Alan. Have already considered a larger upright freezer :). We placed the meat grinding hardware in the freezer for about an hour before using. All of the meat was cubed and placed on a single layer in 1/4 sheet pans and placed in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to grinding. Everything cleaned with hot soap and water, rinsed, then sprayed generously with Clorox Cleanup, wait 3-4 minutes, then washed and rinsed again. This is our typical procedure for cutting boards, counter tops, etc. that have come in contact with any meat or poultry.

The chicken sausage made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs came out really nice and flavorful. Vacuum packed the extra chicken sausages and placed in the freezer for another day. I'm going to smoke a few over the next weekend. Used hog casings on these, but did make up a small batch of breakfast sized links using the sheep casings. Will cook those up tomorrow for a test.