This time on Dude Food, I’ll show you how to make your own Italian sausage at home. The basics for making this sausage are the same for almost all sausages – you season chunks of meat and fat, grind it, then stuff it into hog casings. It’s that simple, and the variation between different types of sausages relies on the types of meat used and the seasonings.
And I can’t recommend the purchase of “Charcuterie” by Michael Ruhlman enough. When it comes to Dude Food, it’s the bible.
• Make sure you cook some of the finished sausage before stuffing. This recipe goes light on salt, so you might want to add more. Just be careful not to over-salt. You can always add it, but over-salting is hard to recover from.
• Soak the hog casings for at least 2 hours. The longer they’re in water, the more pliable they become, and it makes it easier to get the casing over the stuffing tube.
• Keep your workspace clean. Clean everything that comes in contact with the meat and the casings. This includes your workspace (counters, cutting boards, etc.). And wash your hands a lot.
• It’s important to keep the meat between 35-40 degrees when grinding and mixing. Otherwise, the texture of the sausage will become mealy. Heat is not your friend, so keep the meat cold at all times.
• If you don’t want to invest in a grinder, you can ask your butcher to grind the pork shoulder and pork fat for you, as long as the meat being ground is near freezing. You made friends with your butcher, right? If not, go buy that man a beer.