I like kielbasa, brats, and elk sausages. The first two I can get at my local butcher, the last only occasionally when someone will bribe me to put their meat on the smoker. Have thought it would be nice to make my own but that's a bridge I've yet to cross.
in a manner of speaking i was kinda forced into sausage making , i grew up in the deep south an down south they have a distinct smoked sausage
that simply can't be found outside the southeastern part of the country , so when i moved to Colorado 18 years ago i was shit outa luck when it came to smoked sausage , i could only get it when i went back to visit family and could only bring a limited amount back with me
my wife is from Michigan and and after her 1st bite of it she was hooked and started hounding me to find a way to get more of it or figure out how to make it , so i started doing research on sausage making , bought a meat grinder that came with a stuffing attachment and gave it my best shot , it wasn't a total disaster but it wasn't what i was looking for PLUS it was a hell of a lot of work to make a small amount
i finally got the nerve to call the meat market back south where i had been buying the sausage that i loved so well and asked him how to get the seasoning right , hell he was kind enough to send me enough seasoning to make 50 lbs of sausage AND he sent it in the original bag that he got it in from his supplier, after that my sausage was good but still had a few problems that i had to figure out on my own , after a few batches i finally got it right.
i bought the right equipment ( to make it easy ) and now i totally enjoy bring a taste of the south to friend and neighbors
I'm from Michigan also. Grew up just north of Detroit. Between the local Italians and the Polish, there were always great butchers to get amazing sausage.
I love hot Italian sausage from Buschimi's and would only eat natural casing hot dogs from Kowalski's in Hamtramck. They were amazing along with their kielbasa.
Those were the days!!!
I would love to learn to make my own. I really miss that "old world" flavor. Now I settle for Johnsonville. I think they are the best off the shelf and love the hot Italian in my pasta sauce.
To learn to make my own sausage would be a real treat!!!
My father would applaud me from his grave if I did. His father owned a butcher shop when he was a child. Dad had to cut meat, grind the trimmings and slaughter the chickens out back!
He and his sister as pre teens ran the shop as my grandfather would run a "blind pig" in the back room during prohibition. We were a mile off the lake and the rum runners would bring it in at night from Canada. It helped pay the bills during the depression!
Just thought I'd add some colorful history to the discussion!
i promise you or anyone that once you start making your own sausage you will NEVER go back to store bought sausage again EVER
let me know what kinda sausage you want for your first try and i will find a good recipe for you
this is what i almost always use , sometimes i will "fine tune it " if people ask, such as adding Habanero pepper for a REALLY HOT sausage , or add extra sage but mostly i use it right out of the bag using a ratio of 3.8 oz per lb of meat
i use this sausage to make " real " red beans and rice or as a breakfast sausage or i put it on a hot dog bun with mustard ..
my wife WILL NOT eat store bought sausage anymore period!!!
my friends put in their requests for the next batch as soon as i hand them the one i just finished
but be very careful with the Habanero powder !!! this is some powerful stuff !!!....
use NO MORE than 3 measured teaspoons per 5 pounds otherwise it will be to hot to eat
also i buy my casing from a place called " the sausage maker " you can find them online, and once you order once they will send you a catalog in the mail , i like buying the casing from them because i can get them "pretubed " and they are high quality casings but they are kinda pricey this way
the size casing i use are 29-32 MM
the meat i use is ALWAYS Boston Butts , it has the right fat content for sausage making , and i DO NOT trim any fat... i grind it all
I've been doing some reading on the art of sausage-making and most of the articles I've read recommend a 70/30 lean to fat ratio as a starting point. Where do you think an off-the-shelf pork butt rates in terms of the lien/ fat ratio?
i don't really know the ratio of off the shelf meats , but i have tried pork shoulders and they are way to lean , the Boston Butts work really well but i have talked to some that add additional fat to even those , also a lot is going to depend on what kind of sausage your making ,
i know that if your going to make pepperoni for example you would have to have a very lean cut
your sausage making is not limited by what i like to make...far from it !!! your choices are limitless
Guess it also depends heavily on the individual cut of meat as they all vary. Once I give this a whirl, I guess I'll follow your advice & start with a "butt" & grind it as is.
I'm learning so much from this Group. Thanks to all who have contributed!