Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sausage Making Party

In late 2014, and again in the Spring of 2015, DH got together with a buddy of his and they made a small batch of sausage.  DH had been making venison summer sausage and venison hunter sticks for several years, but this was different; it was pork sausage.  As in Polish sausage.  Hot Italian Sausage.  And one kind that he tried to convince me was kielbasa (my favorite sausage, as well as one of the few my digestive system can tolerate--my gut has a thing about pork sausage and I still haven't nailed down which ingredient it is or if it's the pork concentration specifically), but it was not smoked nor did my belly appreciate the one taste I took of it.

This past Fall, DH started talking, off and on, about getting some more pork and making more sausage.  Lots more sausage.  The Polish and Italian he had made before, plus he wanted to try a smoked kielbasa (with a recipe I found that includes beef as well as pork in the ingredients list) and chorizo too.

Then DS2 mentioned that he would like to have make some sausage whenever DH was going to do it.  And then DS2's roommate, whose Polish grandfather used to make sausage, asked if he might be invited to the sausage making event.

So DH and DS2 began to compare work schedules and they decided that since they were both off between Christmas and the weekend after New Year's Day, that was when the great sausage making would occur. A date was set, recipes chosen, and the required amount of pork (100 pounds!!) was purchased.

Word got around, and when Sausage Day arrived, there was not just DH, DS2, and Roommate in my kitchen ready to cut, season, grind, and stuff the meat, but also DS1, DD1 and Honorary Son (DD1's boyfriend of 4.5 years), plus two more friends (and fellow college alumni) of DS2.  You could say it was a full house.  I'm glad my kitchen is larger than average.

the book with the kielbasa recipe
(and many printed off recipes for other sausage flavors)

pork butts and beef knuckle

an entire case of pork butt (64.6 pounds)

scale and seasonings 

cutting board and knives at the ready

many hands cutting pork butts into cubes

hand mixing the spices into the meat

grinding the seasoned meat

this batch will be chorizo;
note the bright orange color

the casings, soaking and waiting for use
(we used natural hog casings rather than collagen ones)

putting the casings on the stuffing tube

supporting the stuffed casing as the meat comes out of the stuffing tube

sometimes there's a blowout

lotta kielbasa

carefully hanging the kielbasa on a dowel for smoking

the smoker, full of kielbasa 
(this was it's inaugural run; it was a bargain we found while Christmas shopping-- about 60% off!)

back in the kitchen, K3 and Toad wanted to watch

twisting the Polish sausage into links

lots of links

smoked kielbasa

packaged kielbasa and Italian sausage

50 pounds, give or take, of Polish sausage

chorizo, left as bulk sausage, all wrapped up
(it's awesome in omelets)

Phew!  It was a long afternoon and evening of sausage making, but it was fun.  The engineering jokes were flying (5 engineers and one engineering student present), hands got messy, the grandkids were in and out as their curiosity piqued and waned again and again, we shared a crock potted meal of pulled pork, and everyone took home packages of sausage for their freezer.  Rough estimate of cost came to $2 per pound, which isn't bad at all if you compare it to the price of chorizo, smoked kielbasa, Polish sausage, and hot Italian sausage from the store.  And this has no fillers; every ingredient was recognizable and pronounceable.

Our sausage making party was a huge success.  Sounds like it might become an annual event.

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