Sausage Making Techniques January 16, 2011, Brooklyn Kitchen/The Meat Hook, Instructor/Sausage King: Ben
These are the basics of sausage as I understood it:(this first part we were talked through....) -start with good pork shoulder with a ratio of about 70 lean/30 fat -freeze meat grinding blade for about 1/2 hour, the colder the blade the better -when preparing the meat to be ground, cube the meat into small pieces, about one inches -grind the meat with a 3/8 plate grinder, you can use a larger blade and then move to a smaller blade -chill
(...but started at this part, which is similar to baking-dry ingredients first) -gather all dry and liquid ingredients separately and measure in grams (for precision) using a small scale, meanwhile soak the casing in water - knead dry ingredients into the ground pork - once well blended, slowly add liquids -continue to knead until the meat is firmed up and springs back to the touch*be sure not to over knead or under knead*this part is delicate (do this to check: take a thin layer of meat, make a patty, turn your hand over - if it sticks for a few seconds, 3 to 5 you are ready to move on!) -take the patty and get ready to test cook it! -cook the patty in a tin foil wrap so it can collect the rendered fat -once cooked, remove from pan, open packet carefully -gently slice patty watching how it handles being cut: if it stays together you are good to case, if the patty crumbles knead a little more -taste test! decide if you like the ratios of spices and adjust as desired *This is where is gets more like sausage making, not just kneading and seasoning ground meat* - get ready to case: running a bit of water, probably about a tablespoon or so, through the casing to help open it up by administering water through it by watching the water bubble flow through while wrapping it around your hand -one the casing has been opened attach it to the sausage stuffer gently and paying attention that no excess air is squished on to the tube -take the seasoned meat and put it in the cylinder of the stuffer, wind down the top to press meat down -as the meat winds down, put a finger near the opening of sausage spout but not so close as to create a vaccum -once the meat has arrived at the opening of the spout tie a knot and begin to slowly fill the casing with meat - you want the casing to be filled to a firmness but not so much that it's about to burst and not so little as it creates air bubbles -continue to fill casing as one long log, link making comes later -once sausage casing log has been filled, tie off the end and prick any air bubbles with a sausage pricker, you are ready to make links! -begin by measuring out what you think to be a link and gently massage the casing to ease the meat out of the way then twist -as you measure out links, alternate the way you twist either away or towards you to keep the links from falling apart -let the linked log sit over night in the fridge to allow the twist to dry out a bit (and to let the meat soak up all the seasonings -cut the links, share, cook, eat, enjoy!