Monday, December 27, 2010

Sausage Making

A present to myself this Christmas was Michael Ruhlman's book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.  Yesterday was my first attempt at  a couple of the recipes.

I purchased a pork shoulder from BJ's (same cut I purchase for BBQ pulled pork) and split it in half so I could try both the "Fresh Garlic Sausage" and "Mexican Chorizo" recipes.

Both sausages were juicy and delicious with a very smooth consistent texture inside.  Not chunky like supermarket sausages.  The process was fun and the results were excellent.  You could easily skip stuffing the sausages into the cases if you wanted and just use the sausage meat in recipes or make patties.  The hassle with the case wasn't the cases themselves, they were suprizingly easy to work with.  The issue was with keeping the hopper on the Kitchen Aid filled with sausage meat while guiding the links out.  Tough to do with just two hands.

Here's some photos....  

Hog casings soaking prior to stuffing

Diced, seasoned pork shoulder in the freezer waiting to be ground

Ready to begin grinding


First length of casing complete.  A little inconsistent, but not bad for a first try.  Reminds me of that scene in Good Fellas.....

Twisting into links

Last night we simply sauteed some of these in a pan with some carmelized onions and served with some dijon mustard (very good).  Tonight I'm going to smoke some to see what that does to them.

Next challenge from the book will be home cured bacon or pancetta.  Would also like to try some salami, saucisson sec or brasaola.  Time, temp and humidity are critical for those.  You might see meat hanging from the rafters next time you come over!


  1. looks interesting, another thing in cooking you've mastered.. good work

  2. Certainly haven't mastered it yet!