Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sausage Making 101

You just never know what goes into a store bought sausage, ding, ding, ding, ding, then make it yourself.  I bought the meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid recently and I had helped my friend Renata make sausages once, so no sweat, right?  Well, off I went to Uwajimaya for the pork casings...
OK, if certain things about cooking gross you out, do not make sausages, DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME.  I can break down a chicken, duck, whole salmon, but touching a pork casing is a little gross.  Slimey, slippery, whatever, I had to get over it.
So, I thought I had everything I needed to make sausage, but apparantly, there is another attachment I needed to conect to my grinder attachment.  Oh well, I looked around and decided, I'll just use a funnel.  Not a great idea if you want to stuff the casing quickly.  Well first I chopped up the the pork shoulder into 1-2 inch pieces.  I had read several recipes which pretty much said, 4 parts meat to 1 part fat.  I decided 4 parts meat to 1 part panko mixed with olive oil instead of pork fat.  There's no avoiding some filler if you don't want all the fat.  I actually confirmed this with the executive chef at my work, who said he remembered making sausage at the CIA and "there's a lot of fat in sausage!"

OK, so I seasoned the chunks of meat, put it through the meat grinder, then it got UGLY!!!  I have a meat grinder, but I do not have the other attachment that makes makes stuffing the casing a little easier.  I couldn't take any pictures at this point, it was a mess.  Anyway, I had already put the slimey casing on the funnel, knotted the end and now I was shoving the ground meat by hand into the funnel, then into the casing.  STRESSFUL!!!  At this point, I announced, "I don't care if sausages are a million dollars a pound, I'm not making them again!!!"  So, the sausages were safe in the fridge, so we took a little BREAK!!!

We drove up to Snoqualmie Falls.  If you haven't gone to the Falls at Snoqualmie on a sunny day, do it.  Even if the path to hike to the bottom is closed right now, will re-open 2013, seeing the falls gave me just the break I needed to forget my kitchen.  We had a little time, so we went up to The Attic, the more casual pub at The Salish Lodge, right above the falls.

This is such a great place, you can sit by the window and check out the falls.  A lot of fun drinks and a fun pub menu.The Attic at Salish Lodge on Urbanspoon
Perfect place for a little snack.  We didn't want to have too much, after all we are grilling sausages later.
Well, good news, the sausages were better than we expected.  I need to make the sausages again and write down the recipe, I have to say, I wasn't expecting such awesome sausages the first time.  I'll share next time!

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