Making sausage is one more way to save money and get what you want

close up of sausage

Homemade sausage is better than any sausage you will find at the super market. Our perfectly balanced seasoning packs for both fresh and cured sausage can't be beat. You don't need an expensive sausage stuffer and no other special equipment is required when you ask your butcher to grind the meat for you. It's that simple.

You can make great sausages using patties or rolled links. Good sausage requires better ingredients. You can use pre-ground beef or pork from the supermarket but a better choice is select whole meat from the case and have the butcher coarse grind it for you. Pork butt and beef chuck roast are the best choices.

Making un-stuffed sausage links is easy. After the meat and seasonings have been blended according to the recipe, roll the meat into a log about 1-1/4 inch thick. Wrap the log tightly in foil and twist the ends closed.

You can prepare your own ground meats for sausage using an electric or hand grinder. This will give you complete control over freshness and degree of grind. Depending upon your equipment, dice the meat to fit your grinder. Usually 1 inch cubes are about right. Weigh the meat and the measure out the correct amount of seasoning. Place the meat cubes into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the seasoning while you toss and tumble the meat. Make sure all sides of the meat come into contact with the seasoning. Add all of the seasoning. Cover the seasoned meat and refrigerate for one hour. Cold meat will grind easier and have better texture. Toss the meat again and then grind as quickly as possible. The moisture produced by letting the meat rest in the refrigerator will aid in the grinding process. If no grinder is available, you should select fresh cuts of meat from your supermarket and ask the butcher to grind them for you.

Most sausage recipes will call for two or more types of meat. The primary meat type is the one we most associate with a sausage style. Examples are pork for bratwurst or beef for pepperoni. The second meat is used for flavor and as a binder. The binder is ground very fine, almost in to a sticky paste. It holds, or binds, the sausage together. As a rule the ratio of binder to primary meat is 15 to 20%. An easy way to arrive at the right blend is to use 1 pound of binder with 4 pounds of primary meat. This will provide for three pounds of sausage which matches the recipes in our booklet. The primary meat in a recipe should be coarse ground in order to provide meatiness and firm texture to the sausage.

Note: When using red game meat like venison you must compensate for the very lean nature of the meat. You will need at least 30% to 40 % pork binder in wild game recipes. Using 1 pound of pork binder in 2 pounds of lean red game is a good place to start. Very lean and healthy sausage can be made from poultry. Turkey is an excellent source of nutrition and very low in fat. So low, that you will need to add some fat for flavor and even cooking. We recommend using the skin of poultry rather than the fat. Bird fat is very oily and offers little or no flavor on its own. Adding 10 to 15% skin as binder is a good place to start. You will need to adjust your recipes to your personal taste.

Prior to weighing and blending individual types of meat, the ground meats need to be mixed well to assure an even distribution of the lean and fat particles. Weigh the two meats into a mixing bowl according to the recipe and mix them together for 1 or 2 minutes prior to adding the seasonings.