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Displaced Texan

The OFFICIAL Displaced Texan’s homemade sausage thread, part 2

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Howdy y’all, and Happy New Year! 

Many of the food threads I have started here over the years are based on my family recipes or traditions. I’d like to take a little time and share another one with you. One of my favorites! 

It has long been a tradition in my family to make sausage on New Years Day. For over 50 years, we have hunted deer and hogs between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and NYD was always our sausage making day. It was always fun, and a great way for the family to get together and enjoy each other’s company. 
Since my dad passed away in Feb 2020, it’s now up to me to carry on the family tradition. 

While I didn’t hunt this year to make deer sausage..I decided to adapt and overcome, and make something equally as tasty. 
I made 2 varieties of sausage., we’ll get to that in a bit. 

Earlier this year, I bought a cookbook called ‘Food Lab’. In it, is a section on grinding your own meat, and making sausage. After reading it, I discovered after all these years, we had been doing it wrong! Oh, the horror! Our long held family tradition was in error! 

To set the correct course, I incorporated the lessons I learned in Food Lab. I have to say, it’s been a great education, and we turned out a better product. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a LOT of pictures, but I’ll give you the general idea. I don’t know why they didn’t post in order...but you guys are smart enough to figure things out. Lol

As I said, we made 2 varieties of sausage. Sweet Italian pork sausage, and chicken, Parmesan, and parsley sausage.
I’ll briefly walk you through the procedure, and the recipe, in case you want to try this yourself at home. I highly recommend it...you’ll make a better sausage than you can buy from your butcher, AND have the added bonus of knowing exactly what goes in your food. 

First, the sweet Italian sausage. 
I bought a pork ‘picnic’ from the grocery. I chose this because it has a good ratio of meat to fat. 
This is extraordinarily important. 
You’ll want a 80% meat to 20% fat ratio for ANY sausage you make. This will ensure your finished sausage stays moist and tender.  Nobody likes to have a dry piece of meat in their mouth! A good kitchen scale is vital to getting the proper ratios of meat/fat. 
The other important fundamental of making sausage is the ratio of meat to salt. You should have 1.5-2% salt to the total weight of your meat/fat. A scale also comes in handy here. 
Additionally, the salt and spices you choose to add must have adequate time to ‘work’. This is where my family sausage making went wrong..we didn’t allow enough time for the salt to do its job of breaking down the myoglobins in the meat. We would grind meat, season, and stuff it in casings all in the same day. This is not the best way to make sausage, as I have learned. 

The basic Italian sausage recipe is as follows. Note that the meat/salt measurements are metric. It’s much easier to calculate the ratios that way. For what it’s worth, I doubled the recipe below.

1 Kg pork with at least 20% fat content. Cut into 1” cubes. 
15g kosher salt. 
2 medium cloves of garlic. Finely minced. 
1tsp dried oregano.      
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg.     
1tsp fresh ground black pepper.     
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.  
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (if you want to make hot Italian sausage). 

At least 12 hours before, and up to 24 hours before grinding the meat, cut it into 1” chunks, and season it with the salt, spices, as red wine vinegar. Mix it well, and let it sit in the refrigerator until it’s time to grind it. It’s extremely important that the meat is very cold. Not quite frozen, but close. This will prevent the fat from melting in the grinder, and becoming an emulsified mess. You don’t want your beautiful sausage the consistency of a cheap hot dog. 
I have found that it helps quite a bit to put the metal bits of your meat grinder in the freezer for a few hours. The blade, grinding guide, auger...the whole kit and kaboodle. This will help keeping the fat nice and firm.  
I use an electric meat grinder, and (now) a separate sausage stuffer tool. A manual grinder works too. 

Grind the meat using a medium grind. If the fat starts to get sloppy looking, STOP! Put it back in the freezer for awhile until it firms up again. Again...you want an even grind of meat/fat. Not a sloppy, gloppy mess. 

You can stuff the ground meat into sausage casings, or make them into patties. Your personal preference. I like to use natural hog casings. They are usually available in the frozen section of your grocery store. Be sure to rinse the salt they come packed in.      
Some people use synthetic casings, but I think the texture is horrible. 

The chicken sausage used the same ratio of meat/fat/salt. 
I used chicken thighs, but you can use breasts if you prefer. 

1Kg chicken of your choice. I used boneless/skinless thighs. I used raw bacon to add the proper amount of fat (20%) to the meat, but some people use the skins. Or, you can use chunks of pork fat. Personally, I wanted a little bit of smoky bacon goodness in my sausage. 
15g kosher salt       
3 cloves of finely minced garlic     
1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese   
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley    
1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper. 
3 tablespoons dry white wine. 

Procedure is the same as for the pork sausage. 
Stuff into casings, make patties, or whatever turns you on. 
I know some people who like to cold smoke their sausages...I’ve done this once or twice, with great results. For this batch, I’m keeping it simple, and going with non smoked. 

It was a fun day of making sausage!! We even had the infamous Zeke(sadly, banned from this forum), and his lovely girlfriend come over to help.....well, help isn’t quite the word. They ate, drank, and chatted with Mrs Tex and I while I did the work!!!
They took home a few pounds of fresh sausage. Seems to me, they got the better end of the deal!!!:p


I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tutorial. 
I encourage you to try this!! It makes for a fun day, and great eats!! 









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10 minutes ago, voyager9 said:

Give me a call next time. I’ll come over and drink and take home the product of your work.   I won’t even bring a crockpot. 

Oh come on, you KNOW mom won’t allow you out of the basement! 

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1 hour ago, Displaced Texan said:

Damn...you’re twisted. 

I should expect this from a man who lets Jimmy Dean ‘take care of it’ for him. :rofl:


It’s your fault for letting this thread get out of hand.  What do you expect when you admit to providing food and beer to political expatriates?

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13 minutes ago, voyager9 said:

It’s your fault for letting this thread get out of hand.  What do you expect when you admit to providing food and beer to political expatriates?

You sound like my wife. Lol

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