There are a number of old sayings that sum up roughly to “you don’t want to see how sausage or laws are made.” Perhaps this is true if poor ingredients are used but it need not be that way. You can use top quality ingredients and you’ll get top quality sausage, and perhaps laws too.
When we make sausage we use good meat. There are no snouts, ears, eyeballs, organs or the like in the mix. We do not grind in the bones. Rather we use quality de-boned ham, shoulder and other delicious pork. One sausage maker with over 50 years of experience told me that our hot dogs taste so good because we use good quality meat as the foundation. Good ingredients means delicious hot dogs, kielbasa and other sausages.
I’m not going to tell you how to make sausage here, that’s another discussion and there are some excellent books listed at the end of this article. What several people on the Kickstarter asked about are what are the various types of sausage we make now and what kinds of sausage do we plan to make once our on-farm meat processing facility is completed so that is today’s topic.
Note that some butchers sell ‘sausage’ which is spiced ground meat but not linked or even pattied. To me that is simply spiced ground and should not be called sausage as it causes confusion. When I think of sausage I think of links or at least patties and I find that this is true of virtually all of our customers too. If it is going to be called sausage then it should be in links or at the very least patties. Our Hot Dogs, Hot Italian, Sweet Italian and Kielbasa are all linked and in natural casings.
I also am of the mind that the ingredients† list should be kept very short. Don’t make mud by over spicing or blending in too many different things. Keep it simple.
- Hot Dogs – Linked, 7 per 1 lb package – These are our premier sausage. I began with a German beef frankfurter recipe for my foundation. I changed the meat to pork, the sweetener to maple syrup which is traditional in our region and eliminated the nitrates, nitrites and other artificial ingredients. The result was an all natural pastured pork hot dog that is juicy, delicious and healthy. The natural sheep casings provide a delightful snap when you bite into them. But that’s not all – We smoke these hot dogs which gives them an extra unique flavor. Excellent for bonfires, chopped into chili, corn dogs or just a quick meal. Ingredients: Pork, Water, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Maple Syrup, Salt, Spices. Made with natural sheep casings.
- Hot Italian Sausage – Linked, 2 per 1/2 lb package – I started with a traditional recipe again but doubled the hot spices for a more intense flavor. Again, no nitrates, nitrites or the like. Just good meat and spices. In natural hog casings. Excellent for spaghetti sauce, sausage subs, stir fry, goulash, breakfast, etc. Ingredients: Pork, Salt, Red Pepper, Fennel and Paprika. Made with natural hog casings
- Sweet Italian Sausage – Linked, 2 per 1/2 lb package – This is a traditional sweet Italian recipe made with our all natural pastured pork. In natural hog casings. No nitrates, no nitrites, no MSG or the like. Excellent for spaghetti sauce, sausage subs, stir fry, goulash, breakfast, etc. Ingredients: Pork, Salt, Fennel, Black Pepper and Sugar. Made with natural hog casings
- Chorizo Sausage – Linked, 2 per 1/2 lb package – A traditional fresh pork Spanish sausage. No nitrates, no nitrites, no MSG or the like. Just good meat and spices. In natural hog casings.Ingredients: Pork, Chili Pepper, Salt, Spices, Garlic Powder, Spice Extractives and Hog Casings
- Kielbasa Smoked – Linked 1 lb to 1.5 lb packages – In natural hog casings. Excellent for eating fried with saurkraut, in chili, goulash and sandwiches. No nitrates, no nitrites, no MSG or the like. Ingredients: Pork, Water, Rice Flour, Maple Syrup, Salt, Fresh Garlic, Black Pepper. Sodium Erythorbate. Made with natural hog casings. No MSG. [2017 Note that some of our formulations have changed such as our kielbasa which no longer includes Sodium Erythorbate.]
- Kielbasa Fresh – Linked 1 lb packages – In natural hog casings. Excellent for eating fried with saurkraut, in chili, goulash and sandwiches. No nitrates, no nitrites or the like. Does contain MSG. Ingredients: Pork, Salt, Dextrose, Spices,Monosodium Glutamate, Garlic Powder. [2017 Note that some of our formulations have changed such as our kielbasa which no longer includes MSG and dextrose.]
- Breakfast Sage Sausage. – Bulk 1 lb packs – These are in patties for frying pans but we also do them as links sometimes. Delicious with eggs fried, scrambled and as an egg & sausage sandwich. Ingredients: Pork, Sage, Salt, Black Pepper, Sugar, Cloves.
In the Future
Once we have our brine room, smokehouse and curing rooms with proper temperature and humidity controls we’ll be able to do all sorts of other interesting charcuterie including:
- Smoked Kielbasa – One of my favorites – rarely in stock right now.
- Breakfast Maple Sausage – With real maple syrup!
- Summer Sausage
- Salami – Various types
- Pork Jerky
If you would like to make your own sausage at home it is quite easy. You can order whole cuts such as ham, Boston butt, picnic shoulder, pork belly or jowl and then grind them by hand or with a home power grinder. Chill the meat before grinding and between each regrind. Or you can simplify it one step by ordering ground pork which is made from the above. Then spice it and mix it by hand before stuffing it into casings which can be found at most hunting stores and online from companies like:
- Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by Stanley and Adam Marianski
- Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman
- Great Sausage Recipes by Rytek Kutas
- Complete Sausage Book by Bruce Aidells
- The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Outdoors: 72°F/48°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/66°F
Daily Spark: “The making of laws is like the making of sausages— the less you know about the process the more you respect the result.” ~Attributed to Otto von Bismarck but it may have originated a century earlier.
†All ingredients are subject to change as we adjust formulas over the years as we continue to improve the recipes. Rest assured, we’re a NoWeirdStuff.org farm.