Have you ever tried homemade sausage? Making homemade sausage can save you money. The meat used is typically pork shoulder (Boston Butt) and it can be found on sale for less than $1 per pound. The other supplies and ingredients you will need are seasoning and casings (casings are optional if you want loose sausage to make patties or crumbles with). You will also need a meat grinder or a meat grinding attachment for your mixer.
In all honesty, my results were just so-so. I’ve got the technique down, but I’m not happy with the seasoning. My last batch (a year or so ago) I mixed up my own seasoning and it just wasn’t quite right, so I decided to buy packaged seasoning this time. On the last batch I also made the mistake of trimming my pork, which actually makes the sausage too dry. In fact several of the recipes I’ve read have you ADD fat to get the right texture and flavor. There aren’t exactly a lot of choices when it comes to bratwurst seasoning. I went to Central Meats on Kempsville Rd. and got my casings and a package of Legg’s Old Fashioned Seasoning. (both come with enough to make 25 pounds of sausage, I was only making 10, so I measured out the pro-rated amount) The casings and seasoning came to just over $9. You can order both casings and seasoning on Amazon.
Guess what? The packaged seasoning wasn’t any better than my own! The thing is, while it’s not bad, I’m looking for something that tastes more like Johnsonville Brats, and these ain’t it!
How to make sausage (homemade)
Making homemade sausage isn’t complicated, but you do need a meat grinder. Mine is the food grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. If you’re gonna stuff the sausage in casings you need an attachment for that as well. I use the Kitchen Aid Sausage Stuffer Attachment.
- Cut the meat into 1″ chunks, including the FAT
- Grind the meat using a coarse grinding plate
- Mix in the seasoning
- Re-grind the meat using a fine grinding plate (if you’re not stuffing it, you’re done!)
- Attach a correctly-sized sausage-stuffing tube
- Grab an assistant and while one person stuffs globs of ground, seasoned meat into the meat grinder shoot, the other one catches the sausages and twists the segments. This can get a little wonky, best if the person with bigger hands and/or better coordination handles this part.
I like to let the sausage flavorings mull a bit before cooking. Usually a day in the fridge is fine. For the sausages I’m going to freeze, I pile them up on wax paper so they aren’t touching and ‘flash freeze’ so I can bag them later and still be able to only get out the number of links we’re gonna use for any particular meal.
I’m not going to post my bratwurst seasoning recipe, since I don’t think it’s that great. My Italian sausage and my breakfast sausage recipes are simple and excellent. Leave a comment or send me a message if you’re interested in those recipes. If someone has a Johnsonville-tasting brat seasoning recipe, I’d love to have it!
For more information about making homemade sausage visit Homemade Sausage Recipes and Tips at about.com