Homesteading: How to Make Sausage

Whether you hunt your own meat or get it from the store, making your own sausage is a great way to save money and be more self sufficient. Even better, making your own sausage is easier than you think.

Here's what you need:
-5 pounds of meat with a fairly high fat content (Pig is popular, but you can use whatever you want.) This should break down into about 4 pounds meat and 1 pound fat.
-Ingredients for your favorite sausage recipe
*recipe ideas at the bottom of this post
-15-18 feet of sausage casings (if you plan to stuff your sausage)
-Meat grinder
-Sausage stuffer (If you plan to stuff your sausage)


Prep Work-
All good projects start with just a little bit of prep work. Sausage making is the same.
1-The first thing you want to do is cut your meat into 1-2 inch chunks. Your fat should be somewhat smaller than your meat chunks.
2- Next, freeze all of your meat and equipment- even the grinder for 1-2 hours. You want to keep the fat and the the meat as separate as you can. Warm meat and warm equipment can soften the fat and mix it with the meat.


Making The Sausage
1-Once you have very cold meat, quickly mix it with your dry spices (according to your recipe), saving the salt and sugar for the end of mixing.

2- Place the meat in a covered bowl back into the freezer for 15-30 minutes. You don't want it frozen through, just extremely cold.

3- While the meat is re-chilling, mix your wet ingredients. Chill these in the refrigerator.

4- If you are using casings, immerse them in warm water.

5- Remove grinder from the freezer and set up. Make sure your meat isn't frozen, but is chilling as you do this. This is when you attach the casing to the sausage stuffer. The more prepared you are, the better you can grind the cold meat.

6- Immediately push meat through the grinder. Make sure it lands in a cold bowl.

7- Put the ground meat back in the freezer for a few minutes.

8- Using the paddle from you mixer (you can use a wooden spoon), mix your wet ingredients into your ground meat.
If you aren't stuffing your sausage, you're finished. Simply seal and store safely. Meat should be
good for about a week in the refrigerator, and a year in the freezer.

9- It's time to stuff your sausage. Place cold ground meat into your sausage stuffer (with casing already attached). Follow directions from your stuffer. (Each one is different.)






Sausage Recipes:

Breakfast sausage
4 pounds pork butt
1 pound fat
4 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp fresh black pepper
4  tsp freshly chopped sage
4 tsp freshly chopped thyme
1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pepper flakes
Mix together and add to your cubed meat. Grind together and form into patties (or keep it ground). Cook on the stove top.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Food Network recipe

Hot Italian Sausage
4 pounds pork butt
1 pound fat
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 cup ground paprika
1/2 tsp anise seed
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Recipe reference- Allrecipes Hot Italian Sausage

Images and References:

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