Raise your hand if you are squeamish about what might actually be in store-bought sausage. Everyone? I thought so. Me too.
I love the idea of breakfast sausage and get a craving once in a while but when I buy it and cook it up.. it's just not the same as it was in my hungry imagination. Gristly bits and goodness knows what, over-salted and bleh.
So, being a bit of a DIY foodie, I set out to make my own!
I chose the Weston Number 22 Manual Meat Grinder from Cookware.com to try grinding my own top-quality meat for the first time and was very happy with it. I chose the bolt-down model and my husband bolted it to a heavy plank that I could in turn clamp to my kitchen island. It was easy to use and gave great texture to my sausage. I ground 3 pounds of meat in one go, about as much as I would want to grind at one time, with no problems at all. Clean-up was simple - it just comes apart for cleaning and I used a bleach/water bath to soak the cleaned pieces before rinsing them. The body can drip dry but the disks and cutting blades need to be hand-dried right away.
I was so impressed with these first sausages, and my son was raving about them. I chose not to use casings, I don't care for them much, and made the sausages into small patties and logs. (My son insists that all sausages must be in log form!)
If you like to use casings, by all means, stuff this sausage into casings according to your sausage stuffer's instructions.
All the pieces shown in the photo come with the Weston Number 22 Manual Meat Grinder, fine and coarse grinding plates, a grinding blade, and sausage stuffing accessories.
So, when are you going to start making your own ground meat and fresh sausages?
Basic Breakfast Sausage (A Fresh Sausage)
Home Sausage Making, Susan Mahnke Peery & Charles G. Reavis
2½ pounds lean pork butt
½ pound pork fat
1 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
1½ tsp dried sage
¾ tsp freshly ground white or black pepper (fine grind)
¾ tsp brown sugar
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried marjoram
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp crushed red pepper (I used ¼ tsp)
Cut the meat and fat into 1 inch cubes. Freeze the cubes for about 30 minutes to firm them up before grinding.
Grind the meat and fat together through the fine disk of a meat grinder.
In a large bowl, combine the meat, salt, sage, white pepper, sugar, thyme, marjoram, cloves, and crushed red pepper. Mix well, using your hands. Freeze the mixture for 30 minutes.
Grind the seasoned mixture through the fine disk of the meat grinder.
Cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavours meld. Shape into little patties or logs and fry to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C)