I love making sausage. I know, I’m an odd duck. But there’s just something about all that squelching that makes me happy. I love the way it feels under my fingertips, the way it looks when it’s being ground, the way it smells when it’s being cooked and of course how it tastes (most of the time.)
Even though you might think that making sausage at home, from scratch, is quirky at best, it really is a lot easier and tastier than you might think. Look at it this way; pretty much anything you could make with any other meat could be replicated in a sausage, cheaper, easier and don’t forget; portable. Alright, take these sausages for example; I decided that I really wanted to try to make a chicken curry type thing in a sausage. I had grandiose plans of using coconut milk and fresh ground spices, but ended up using a spice mix and upping the ginger and garlic. Then I got the sweet coconut flavor it was missing by using ground up raisins. Granted this isn’t a literal translation, but it sure is good. It’s also pretty economical, I got at least couple dozen sausages for under $10.* I know exactly what’s in them. And I enjoyed making them every step of the way.
Thai Spiced Chicken Sausage
5 lbs chicken thighs with skin
1 1/2 c golden raisins, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 T thai spice mix, or curry paste
1 T ginger
2 – 3 t salt
1 1/4 t Amsphos
Cut meat and skin from the thigh bones. Put in freezer until it’s on the verge of starting to freeze. Grind up your chicken thighs with a meat grinder of some sort.
Add in your spices and cook off a patty or two to taste. (Return meat to freezer while you’re testing.) Adjust spices and whatnot and cook off more to taste until it’s right (and if necessary.) Send through the grinder again. Change grinder plate to your smallest and grind one last time.
If you are stuffing your sausage into casings;
tie off one end and prick it with a pin.
Take open end and scrunch it onto the feeder tube of your stuffer. Put a cookie sheet down to catch the sausage as it comes out. While holding on lightly to the casing end crank the meat into the casing slowly and so that it’s not particularly tight (assuming you want to tie individual sausages off rather than have one big one.)
When the sausage is out of the stuffer, cut the casing and tie off the end. To measure out links; I start with the tied end at my wrist and then make an indent in the sausage with the tip of my thumb and twist. Then I put my wrist down at the twist and again measure up to the tip of my thumb and twist in the opposite direction. Keep doing this until you’re done.
There are a number of ways to cook off sausage, out of being too busy running around doing other things, I just piled the sausage into a bamboo steamer and steamed them, but you could also smoke, bake, grill or whatever floats your boat.
* I also roasted the bones and made stock with them, so I got that too.