Easy homemade skinless sausages

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I started making homemade sausage a few years ago, learned the tips và tricks of the trade from countless butchers và then developed my own recipes. Use my guide and learn the steps.

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I"ve always been a foodie và following my passion for barbecue I"ve always wanted khổng lồ tackle charcuterie of which I guess making homemade sausage can be counted as one discipline. Moreover it would appear that many of us barbecue enthusiasts are (just lượt thích me) fascinated by charcuterie, especially making homemade sausage and home cured bacon.

For my part I started out making sausage at home for my own consumption & once perfected I swiftly moved on to commercially making homemade sausage for my barbecue catering business & that"s still the case today.

Following excellent feedback from many of my catering customers I also tried to sell my sausage commercially. This proved not lớn be financially viable because most people buy sausage when visiting their local butcher rather than from a dedicated sausage maker like me. Well you live và you learn.

Now however I"m lucky enough to lớn have all the necessary equipment & skills to lớn make all sorts of sausage. The equipment is exclusively for me và my bbq catering business but my experience of making homemade sausage is free to share.

Sausage History

Sausage making is pretty much as old as the hills. The word itself is derived from the Latin salsus meaning "seasoned with salt" so that puts us at least 2000 years ago.

Just as the smoking of meats came about as a method of preservation, the same can be said for applying salt to lớn meat. When animals were slaughtered & the meat salted for preservation it was found that the cleaned out intestines, bladder và stomachs of the animal made excellent containers. No doubt it"s this same evolution of discovery that led to lớn Haggis.

Far from being Scottish however it is believed that the first sausage makers were Sumarians living in what is now called Iraq sometime around 3000BC. That said the first historical documentation of sausage comes around 500BC in trung quốc and also in ancient Greece.

From there it"s been a steady evolution to lớn what we see today. Sausage making in hot dry climates has given us dry cured sausage và salamis and all over the world sausage is made & prized for varieties using local seasonings. 

Sausage Making Equipment

There are two essential (and one optional) pieces of equipment that you need for making homemade sausage:

A Grinder - this is the machine which pulverizes the meatFood mixer - to lớn mix the meat và the other ingredients, this is optional & can be done by handA Stuffer - the machine which forces the prepared sausage into the casing

I started out with a food processor to chop the meat và a very small "sausage making machine" like the one in the picture below... What a disaster.


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Making homemade sausage with this type of stuffer is a nightmare

The food processor cut the meat too fine which meant that the finalsausage was too dense and the "sausage making machine" wasn"t really fitfor purpose. If you"re serious about making homemade sausage in the long termthen it pays lớn invest in some proper equipment. You don"t have to spendthe Earth but getting it right first time can save you a lot of time,money and frustration.

Having decided to lớn investthe next question to lớn ask is how much sausage vị you intend to make andhow often? I quickly graduated khổng lồ a hand grinder & a Trespadestuffer.


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Meat Grinder
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Trespade sausage stuffer

Grinder

Depending on the type of sausage you plan to make you will want to lớn vary how coarse you grind your meat. Over and above sausage meat sold in the supermarket, it also allows you khổng lồ vary the fat content of your sausage so a grinder is essential and not too expensive to lớn buy.

All meat grinders work the same way. Diced pieces of  meat are added khổng lồ the hopper & drop down into the barrel where an auger forces the meat across a rotating blade and out through the holes in the back plate. The aperture of the back plate holes determines how coarse a grind you make so your grinder should come with at least three plates - 4mm, 6mm và 9mm will give you a good spread.

A manual grinder is perfectly good enough, buy one with a table clamp as opposed lớn one which sticks lớn the worktop with sucker cups. For ease and speed then an electric grinder wins on speed, convenience & clean up (it won"t win on noise), especially if you are making homemade sausage frequently.


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My first electric grinder. Noisy but worked well.

You can buy electric grinders that also have stuffer attachments. Idon"t lượt thích these because I like more control over the stuffing processand so prefer khổng lồ have a separate stuffer.


To prepare your meat andfat for grinding, cut it up into 1" - 2" cubes. Put the fat through atthe same time as the meat & this makes everything go through a loteasier.


I also grind my meat twice, the first cut I use the 6mmplate và after mixing I run the sausage meat through again using the4mm plate once the seasoning has been added.

Food Mixer

An important step that I will talk about later in this article is the mixing of the meat with the seasoning khổng lồ help release a binding protein called myosin. This mixing process can be done by hand but it"s a darn sight less strenuous if done in a food mixer. I use a mixing bowl & a dough hook because generally the set is too thick for a beater.


Note: A powerful food mixer is an essential piece of kit for making frankfurters and this will be covered in the emulsified sausage section below.

Sausage Stuffers

As I said previously, my first sausage stuffer was a disaster and frankly should be considered no more than a child"s toy.

My second purchase was horizontal barrel stuffer which I found khổng lồ be robust, reliable & perfectly adequate for home use. Like the grinder, this type of stuffer comes with table clamps however chú ý that you have lớn clamp it to the over of the table otherwise you can"t turn the crank handle.

As you grow you might want to consider a vertical barrel stuffer. These work pretty well to và hold a larger batch quantity of sausage meat. You can therefore make more sausage before having to refill the barrel but there are a couple of points khổng lồ take care of:

A larger barrel means more waste because there"s always a residue of sausage meat left in the stuffer.Take a close look at the mechanics và you"ll see that the piston isn"t driven directly by turning the handle, there is a gear in there. If this gear is made of plastic then excessive force will break the gear.

It"s for these reasons that I prefer to lớn use the direct drive horizontalstuffer for home use & just accept that I have to lớn refill the barrel acouple of times.


I then moved onto a commercial electric stuffer. Not only is it larger & quicker, the drive of the piston is operated by your knee leaving you both hands free to control the stuffing. These babies are expensive but wholeheartedly recommended if you are preparing 10kg (20lb) or more in a batch.

Casings

Most homemade sausages are prepared using natural casings, in other words the cleaned small intestine of the animal.The inner intestinal lining is removed and so is any muscle fibre from the outside. Natural sausage casings are then graded according khổng lồ diameter.

The advantage of natural sausage casings is that they are relatively easy khổng lồ come by, they are easier to liên kết and (if making a dry cured sausage) shrink at the same rate as the sausage meat as they hang to lớn dry. A hank of casings is usually enough khổng lồ stuff 45Kg (100lb) of sausage.

Most casings are supplied as a "hank", threaded và knotted through a coloured ring (which identifies the size) & then bagged with dry salt & refrigerator stored. When you mở cửa the bag, firstly untie the knot around the ring and then start to lớn separate the lengths.

Thereare other options khổng lồ natural sausage casings however this is wherewe"ll concentrate as this probably covers 99% of most needs for makinghomemade sausage.

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Hog casings (from the pig) usually come in four size options:

29 - 32mm32 - 35mm35 - 38mm38 - 42mm

In short, a relatively wide diameter casing for larger sausages (such as Cumberland). The main advantage of hog casings is that they are relatively cheap & easy to liên kết without breaking however the downside is that the casing texture can be described as a little chewy.

Sheep

Smaller in diameter than hog and more tender, dependent on kích cỡ a hank of sheep casings will be 2 khổng lồ 3 times more expensive than hog. Being more tender on the palate also means that they are more prone to splitting during stuffing & linking. The size range is typically:

20 - 22mm22 - 24mm24 - 26mm26 - 28mmBeef

Used in the my homeland for đen pudding links. Too tough to be considered edible by my standards.

Collagen

Collagen is the protein extracted from beef bone & connective tissue and is the same as that used lớn make gelatin.

Because they are formed they come in a variety of sizes and are sold dry, they are more expensive than the wet casings above but because of the ease of use they have become popular in automated mass production.

To prepare, soak the casings in oil for 24 hours before threading onto the stuffer nozzle.

They are tender when cooked & tough in raw size making stuffing easy but I find them very difficult to link (traditionally) without breaking because they don"t have the flexibility. That said & speaking as a caterer the collagen casing doesn"t bend & this makes cooking large quantities on my charcoal grill a little easier.

In summary, fine for the commercial sausage makers but I don"t recommend for making homemade sausage.

Muslin

You"ll find muslin casings used for some salamis. For the purposes of this article I"m not going khổng lồ discuss them further at this stage.

Preparation Of Hog và Sheep Casings

For the reasons stated above most people making homemade sausage will use either hog or sheep casings.

Take the number of casings that you require. 1 kilogam (2.2lbs) of sausage meat will require approximately:

2 metres of sheep casing1 metre of wide diameter hog casing

Takea bit more casing than you think you will need because any leftoverscasings can be covered in dry salt and refrigerated. That way they canbe kept indefinitely.

To prepare the casings soak them in coldwater to rinse off the salt, change the water a couple of times. Openthe kết thúc of the casing (blowing into it makes this easier) & submergeso that you get water inside the casing và let it flow through to lớn rinseany salt out. Finally soak for 30 mins in lukewarm water - this softensthe casing & makes it easier lớn thread onto the stuffer nozzle.

Note 1:A professional may advise using cold water for health and safetyreasons but then they apply the "do as I say và not as I do" rule.

Note2: Some will recommend soaking the casing in water with a splash ofvinegar overnight. The addition of vinegar certainly makes the casingmore puffy và supposedly makes for a more tender eating experience but Idon"t bởi vì it for 2 reasons:

The puffy casing is more difficult to thread onto the stuffer nozzleAny unused casing prepared this way must the thrown away because the vinegar fundamentally changes the structure of the casing.Threading the casing onto the nozzle

Firstly ensure that you fit the appropriate size nozzle to lớn your stuffer dependent on which casing you are using.

As when rinsing the casing, mở cửa the end & dip it into the water, this will make the casing easier khổng lồ thread onto the nozzle.

Coat the nozzle with water & then thread the casing onto the nozzle. If the casing fails to slide onto the nozzle, grab the other end và hold it up so that any water in the casing slides down khổng lồ the nozzle, you should no find the threading somewhat easier.

Always put the casing on the nozzle before fulling the stuffer to ensurethat the sausage meat is given no opportunity to lớn warm up.

Meat Fat Ratio

There is no one form size fits all answer khổng lồ this question other than to say that there has to be some fat in there. If you"re making homemade sausage so that you can reduce the fat content then great but it"s worth noting that the more fat you take out, the more solid the sausage will be when you have cooked it.

You have to lớn have fat in the recipe because this is where a lot of the flavour is. As the sausage is heated up, the fat renders (melts) và the meat is cooked in the fat. This is the reason why you don"t prick a sausage before cooking it - use this links for more of my sausage grilling tips.

I think that optimum phối is approximately 70% lean meat : 30% fat. It can be roughly achieved by a 50:50 phối of pork belly và shoulder.

To be more consistent from one batch to the next you can achieve this mix ration using my basic breakfast sausage recipe:

6 kg pork trim (shoulder off-cuts)1.2 kg fat1 kg rusk (breadcrumb)2 kg waterSeasoning

Note: You don"t have to địa chỉ cửa hàng rusk, it depends on the type of sausage that you are making. For gluten allergy sufferers you can replace the rusk directly with soy protein (also known as textured vegetable protein or TVP), potato flake or leave it out altogether.

A quality Sausage Doesn"t Need Expensive Meat

Now"s the time to get a few things off my chest & cut through the sale drivel that you see from sausage makers.

"Weonly use the prime cuts of meat" - The fundamental reason for thesausage was khổng lồ use up the remains of the carcass so that there was nowaste following slaughter. Moreover, you are grinding up the meat soselecting the more tender cuts of the animal is irrelevant.

Pork - Shoulder, belly and head trim are fineBeef - Chuck or FlankLamb - Neck fillet, muttonChicken - Leg including the skin

"MadeFrom The Finest Rare Breed Pigs" - Now I"m not going to lớn deny that rarebreed pork is succulent, tender và with a better defined fat marble inthe meat và that"s fine & dandy if you"re eating a pork chop orsteak...but this is sausage. We"re adding seasoning for flavour andwe"re controlling the the meat / fat ratio ourselves. Rare bread pigsare more expensive lớn rear (that"s why they are rare) there"s no need touse them for making homemade sausage.

Fat

Sausage needs a fat nội dung so get over it. Fat plays an important part in the science of both making và cooking sausage, fat is important for the flavour, fat is important for the juiciness. If you want a sausage with half the fat of a regular sausage, just eat half the quantity.

Yes I will give you some low fat sausage recipes but in my book they are still the poor relation khổng lồ a good unique homemade sausage.

That said, making homemade sausage gives you the choice over what fat to use. For example, if making sausage using poultry you might want to showroom pork fat because it has a higher melting point than poultry fat which is important when it comes to lớn cooking. Likewise game fat isn"t lớn everyone"s taste & there is precious little of it on game meat anyway so the addition of pork fat is advisable.

Seasoning

Making homemade sausage and not using your own seasoning recipes would be a travesty in my book.

Making your own seasoning is rewarding because you can eliminate all the nasties that are put into commercial sausage seasonings:

Carmine – a pink colouring that givesthe impression of a higher meat contentMaltodextrin – a bindingagent that gives that rubbery texture to many sausages. (Coeliacs shouldtake care because maltodextrin can be derived from wheat or barley) Stabiliser (E451) – these phosphate salts helpemulsify fat & also aids water retention therefore making thesausage heavier & more profitable. It also dilutes the flavour so not relevant when making homemade sausageFlavour enhancer (E621) – Monosodiumglutamate, it"s only needed because of the amount of water added aboveAntioxidants E304i và E307 – addedto extend the shelf life of the productPreservative (E221)

All the seasonings recipes that I have developed contain no preservative of colouring so there are a couple of points to note:

A shop bought sausage will typically have a shelf life date 5 days hence because it contains preservative. If you"re making homemade sausage without preservative then use the freshest of meat (and fat) and consume within 3 days or freezeThe lack of colouring will mean that your sausage will start to turn grey after a couple of days in the refrigerator, this is natural & nothing khổng lồ worry about.

Finally always use fresh fat, old fat will look OK & will be safe to lớn put in your sausage but it will give the sausage a bitter after-taste.

The Mixing Process

All meat used for sausage should be fresh và well chilled prior to lớn grinding và subsequently refrigerated during each stage. Once you have finished grinding, place the meat back in the refrigerator while doing the washing up.

The mixing isn"t just about getting all the ingredients equally distributed, this is the difference between a moist sausage và a dry sausage.

Critical to successfully making homemade sausage is the order in which the ingredients are mixed, for how long they are mixed và at what temperature. You"ll notice that most recipes điện thoại tư vấn for an amount of water or liquid và it"s vital that the seasonings are mixed into the liquid prior to lớn being added khổng lồ the sausage. By doing it this way you ensure that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the mix.

In addition the liquid is is needed khổng lồ penetrate the meat cells và carry in the salt which is responsible for both texture, preservation & the release of the myosin protein. Having the salt already in solution means that it can enter the meat cells quickly.

Note: Some will tell you not to địa chỉ water & to be fair thereare a few recipes that don"t need water but I always recommend that youuse water.

Myosin is a binding protein, (like gluten in bread)it helps bind và gives texture to the sausage and it also acts as an emulsifier (binding liquid và fat together). When you extract enough myosin it will bind with liquid that you"ve added thus helping lớn retain it, in addition your liquid also disperses the myosin,allowing it to khung a matrix structure that traps fat particles, preventing them from being leached from the sausage meatmix when it"s cooked.

You"ll know when myosin is being released because the sausage mix will turn gloopy as you mix it. It may take some time but once you"ve reached that gloopy stage you can địa chỉ cửa hàng rusk or another filler if you wish.