So brunch was good that day I made bacon. The way the meat and fat just melted in your mouth it was great. So as you can see I was in the mood and I had a ton of pork butt to use. So what did I do??? I MADE SAUSAGE. Not just any sausage, I made Andouille. (Its gone now, I need to make more)
The process was rather simple. I now know that anyone can make sausage; but only a select few, like me, can make it that damn good. (Sorry, that was kind of rude, I am just proud of what I did. ) No really, it is not that hard, one just needs a few tools to get the process going. The Tools: Grinder, Stuffer, Smoker, Love, and a lot fo MEAT. I also used my Meat Bible. A book by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn called Charcuterie. I would like to take you through my steps.
We started out with a ton of pork butt. In fact we have been able to get three meals with leftovers out of that pork I posted in the previous post. We made these sausages, carnitas, and pulled pork. What a very economical way of
cooking. My step 1 was to cut off 5 pounds of pork so I could make this recipe. You can see the rest of the butt has been cut off as well. I am very clean when it comes to this hobby so as you can see I have plastic wrap down on the counter for an added level of food safety. That of course was after I cleaned the counter in the first place. I also only use that one knife to cut before I clean it. And the cutting board was cleaned as soon as I was done with this step. No one is going to get sick or die on my food!!!
Nikki, my sous chef, helped me mix the meat with all of the spices and salts. We then had to let the cubes of meat form this..for lack of a better and uncopy righted word..glaze on it with the spices.
We actually let the meat mingle overnight rather than just the 2-3 hours. By the way, I really suggest buying cheap plastic gloves. I wash my hands a lot so I am not worried about contaminating the meat rather I like the way they help keep my hands clean of the meat and spices.
Before I go onto Step 3, I want to let you know the importance of keeping your meat and your tools as cold as you can. While I was mixing the meat and letting it set I had my meat grinder in the freezer to keep cold. When I used my grinder the meat fell into a bowl that was set in ice. The reason this is important is because if the meat is not cold you will get broken meat. This is where the protein and fats kind of blend together. It will come out as a paste not as strings of goodness. So keep your tools cold and your meat as cold as it can be without freezing.
Step 3: The Grind
Now this was one of the best parts of the process. It was so cool, at first, to see the meat go into the hopper and get
sliced and extruded through the grinding die. Know that it is this simple I can take better cuts of meat and make my own hamburger as well. That way I can know what is going into my mouth. About three sentences ago I said “at first.” Let me explain what I mean. While the act of grinding is awesome and fun to do, it does get tiring. You are holding very cold tools in one hand and grabbing almost frozen meat with the other. Then you are shoving cubes of meat into a hole smaller than a golf ball. While I was not sweating or about to throw up because of the exertion, it was tiring. But in the end all was well and I had my meat in hand. (I know that sounds bad!)
Part 2 of Step 3 was to mix the recently grinded meat into a very rough paste. It was not really paste as it was more of a combining of the meat strands. This is important part because one wants a pectile to form on the meat. It is a shiny coating that starts to happen the meat gets a chance to dry a little bit.
Step 4: The Stuff
So now our meat is mixed together and has a little shine to it. We now have to put it in our hog casing. I used two 5 foot long hog casing for this sausage. Yes…it was the intestines of pigs. I know we all think that is a little gross but really its
on most sausage you buy and heat up at home. That snap you hear when you bite down is your teeth breaking through the intestine. Its natural and freaking good. The casing can also be sheep or cow depending on what sausage you are making. You have to soak and rinse the casing to get the salts off it plus soaking makes it easier to work with.
Now jus like grinding the meat you put it back in the machine and have it pushed into the casing. It is best to have two people at this point. I used Nikki to hold my sausage (I know…sounds bad) and help curl it around. You want to have the entire casing filled before you twist the knots.
Step 5 is pretty easy at this point. All you have to do is hang your sausages to dry for up to 4 hours. I know this because we decided to go see Beauty and the Beast 3D as my sausage was drying. Since I do not have a drying room at this moment I hung my sausage using some sanitized clothes hangers and hung them from my ceiling. When I came home I started my BBQ smoker and my stand alone smoker. Since I made two sections of sausage I tried smoking one by hanging them from my wire rack in my stand alone and I smoked the other on their side using my BBQ. Honestly I liked using my BBQ smoker for this. I was able to control the heat better and it actually smoked the sausage faster. I had both on for about an average of 1.5 hours. And as you can see they came out looking great.
The color changed from that raw meat look to a wonderful red color. The smell was an explosion in your nose. And the taste…well I will just leave you with one word -FOODGASM.
Nikki went to the store to get rolls and veggies so we could put on our dinner. While she was there she came across a package off Andouille. It cost over $6.00 for 4 sausages. We figured that based on that price and the number in each package I had made over $30.00 worth of sausages. Now the pork
butt was just above $20.00 and with that I made all that sausage and carnitas and pulled pork. If you want to try some of these sausages let me know. You get the materials and I will make you some great sausage.