In the midst of Oktoberfest and with the arrival of Autumn, there has never been a better time to enjoy a home-made sausage (especially paired with a favorite beer). While sausage making might seem daunting, and is indeed an artisanal craft, introductory equipment can be obtained with minimum of cost and will allow you to begin experimenting! With this introduction to sausage making by Chris Tavano, you’ll be cranking out hand-made wursts in time for the end of the fest – and the winter!
Make Your Own Sausage!
- KitchenAid 8-quart Stand Mixer
- KitchenAid Food Grinder Attachment
- Uniworld 5lb Sausage Stuffer
- Uniworld 15lb Sausage Stuffer
- Vollrath High-Capacity Meat Grinder
Hello. Welcome. I’m Chris Tavano, and we’re in the kitchen of Bar Lilly at The Broker Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. Today we’re going to do some sausage stuffing. Everything we’ve got here today for your needs is the good old, trusty KitchenAid artisan stand mixer that we sell at Tundra Restaurant Supply, as well as the grinder attachments that we also sell, the FGA2. This itself is the grinder. We’ve got the auger that actually spins your meat. We’ve got two dies that cut the meat. So there are two different sizes. You always want to start with the bigger size, go down to the smaller size. This is the actual cutting blade itself. And then for later on we’ve got the casing tools, as well as your feeder.
Right now we’ve got a plateful of some herbs that we’re going to mix in later. We’ve got doe meat, just like elk; deer; as well as some pork stomach casings to actually stuff the sausages in. Put in the auger, they make it kind of fail safe; just push it in as far as that can go. From there you’ll want to take your blade. It’s got a nice square end, fits only one way. And like I said earlier, start with your larger die, your cover, screw it on all nice and tight.
All right. So the most important part when grinding meat is coldness. You’re going to want to make sure your meat, in our case doe, female deer meat, that you freeze the meat, as well as the grinding attachment. Everything in here, your blade, your die cast, as well as the auger and the tube itself, the colder it is, the better it’s going to cut through your meat. So here we go.
Kind of start it at a lower speed, and just kind of place it all in the top, and you get your nice presser. You can put it up a little bit more. So again, we’re starting on the largest grinding attachment. So the first grind. You’re going to probably want to grind your meat a couple times, but not too many times. Twice is usually good enough, depending on how fatty your meat is. Then once you get all the meat through, just kind of hold it there for a second and make sure your auger pushes all your meat forward through the tube. And there we go. So that’s our first phase of grinding.
So we’ve got some fresh garden-picked herbs here, rosemary and thyme. What you’re going to do is just mince those up, throw it on your meat. Because remember we just went through one pass. We’re going to go through the second pass with a slightly smaller cut die. You’re pusher attachment also doubles as a winch to help get off your attachments here. So they can be a little bit tricky getting out once they’re dirty. Go ahead and set those aside, because you’re going to want to wash all these parts individually, and I would actually recommend taking the auger out, so that way you can clear out this entire canal. And now we can go back through with all your meat a second time. And this time we’re adding the herbs.
A good way, you’re going to grind it twice anyway at a coarse and then a fine, so it’s always nice just to add your herbs going into the last stage of grinding. Now that it’s already ground the first time, you really want to be a little bit patient and make sure all of your ground meat gets through there. So this last stage of fine grinding is a great stage to add your spices and your seasonings, your salt, your pepper, your garlic, your peppercorns, whatever you want to put in there to flavor your meat. Again, we’ve got a pretty gamy meat here that we’re using today, so it doesn’t need a whole lot of extra stuff to it, because we don’t want to take away or degrade from the quality of meat.
All right. So right here, I’m going to show you how to put on your casing attachment. Again, I took everything out, took it apart, just because it’s easier to work with, cleaned up the blade and die pieces that we needed to. We’re still going to use the auger. Remember that square bolt just pushes all the way into the back. Be sure you get it to recess all the way. We’ve got our little guide attachment. Only one way that can fit on. And we’ve got our caser, goes on the front, and then the nut that just holds all of this in place.
All right. So one thing to keep in mind when you’re working with kind of gamey meats like this, such as the doe, the deer, and the elk: The fat content. Gamey meats are really typically pretty lean, so you’re going to want to add an additional fat content to that, whether that be pork fat, or bacon fat, or even beef fat. The easiest thing you could do is just go to your local market and butcher or Whole Foods, and just mention that you want to set aside some fat for grinding, and very cheap, very affordable, very easy to make. Also, this is another great stage to add your seasonings, your spices, your herbs. So I just mixed the meat that we just freshly ground in with some pre-ground meat that we had from a little bit earlier that already had enough fat content in it.
So now we’re about to stuff our actual sausage, our hog casings. These are actually intestines to a pig. You can get these pretty much anywhere. Again, your local butcher, your local grocery store. They come in the fresh version like this that stays in a liquid, just a water bath. Or you can get some dried ones from an online retailer as well. So from here, what we try and do is we try and get all of our casing onto the feeder itself.
All right. So what I’ve done so far is primed the meat inside all of our attachment right here, so that way the meat is full in this tube, the hopper, and all the way through our casing attachment. And right now I’ve got a little bit of extra casing on the end. Tie that off in a knot. Now we’re going to start off real slow. And you can kind of just hold your sausage there nice and tight, so that way they get nice and plump. Just keep your casing in place. Don’t let it go too far yet. The casing’s going to stretch out quite a bit. And if you want you can put little twists in it every once in a while. Once you get all the meat through the hopper, just let it sit on, so that way the auger tries to push out as much of what’s left in the tube as it possibly can.
So one last thing I want to note and address to you about sausage making, is that your combinations are almost limitless, from the kinds of meat you use, the kinds of seasonings and spices, to the kinds of herbs that you use. Go ahead and get creative and experiment. Now that you know the basics, the options are limitless for you.
Today we used our KitchenAid stand mixer for this small volume that we created today. However, if you’re looking for something a little bit more grandiose, we do offer a commercial-grade Uniworld 5-pound and 15-pound sausage stuffer.
So I’m Chris Tavano for Tundra Restaurant Supply, joining you from the kitchen of Bar Lilly at The Broker Inn in Boulder, Colorado. Here’s to a better mise en place!