Sausage making is not as hard as it seems. With a little practice you can be making links as good as the local butcher at your meat market. There is a growing number of ordinary every day people that make their own sausages. In fact it can become somewhat addicting. You should start with making a simple style sausage such as Breakfast sausage or even some Brats. As time goes on you will start making several types and you will get better as well.
Sausage is made from ground meat, ground pork fat such as fatback, salt, herbs and spices. Typically the sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed afterwords. Sausage making is a traditional food preservation technique. Sausages may be preserved by curing, drying, or smoking.
A Little Sausage History
Sausages are a result of economical butchery. Traditionally, sausage-makers put to use tissues and organs which are perfectly edible and nutritious, but not particularly appealing such as scraps, organ meats, blood, and fat - in a form that allows for preservation: typically, salted and stuffed into a tubular casing made from the cleaned intestine of the animal, producing the characteristic cylindrical shape. Hence, sausages, puddings and salami are amongst the oldest of prepared foods, whether cooked and eaten immediately or dried to varying degrees.
Traditionally, sausage casings were made of the cleaned intestines, or stomachs in the case of haggis and other traditional puddings. Today, however, natural casings are often replaced by collagen, cellulose or even plastic casings, especially in the case of industrially manufactured sausages. Some forms of sausage, such as sliced sausage, are prepared without a casing. Additionally, luncheon meat and sausage meat are now available without casings in tin cans and jars.
The most basic sausage consists of meat, cut into pieces or ground, and filled into a casing. The meat may be from any animal, but traditionally is pork, beef or veal. The meat to fat ratio is dependent upon the style and your liking. Some use fillers, the filler is used in many sausages it helps them to keep their shape as they are cooked. As the meat contracts in the heat, so the filler expands and absorbs the moisture lost from the meat.
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