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Homemade Sausages, Brats, Italian & Sage

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My grandfather ate with this fork!
Antique Walnut & Pewter Fork circ. 1880 Bohemia
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Top Left: Hot Italian, Top Right: Pepper and Sage (Breakfast Sausage), Bottom: Brats

Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!

History: I've been making sausage for years, especially trying to duplicate a breakfast sausage of my childhood. Dingman's Market made the best fresh ground sausage I've ever had.  It wasn't stuffed into casing, so you could just make patties as needed. The three recipes are for Brats, Hot Italian and my version of Breakfast Sausage, (Sage and Black Pepper.)

Need to Know: A Boston Butt or a Pork Butt is the rectangular upper portion of the pork shoulder. (The lower portion is the pork picnic.) It weighs anywhere from 6-10 pounds, with an average weight of 8 pounds with the 
blade bone still in. Since you need boneless meat to grind, it is important to remove the bone. This 
will decrease the weight of an 8 pound Boston Butt to 7 pounds. On average, the removal of the 
blade bone will decrease the total weight by 1 pound.

So buy it with the bone in and remove it yourself or buy a boneless butt. I'd rather have the butcher 
do the work for me, and you can even ask them to cut it into 1 1/2 inch chunks for no charge.
For making sausage it is the perfect cut of pork because the ratio of fat to meat is ideal, about 80% 
lean to 20% fat. This is even leaner than most hamburger meat! If you want to trim even more fat away you can, but be aware the if  the meat is too lean, then the sausage will be dry and a bit tough. I'm a fussy eater and don't like to eat a lot of fat, but with this ratio I'm totally satisfied with what I'm eating.

I prefer to season the pork while it is in chunks,  then grind it myself because grinding it first and then 
mixing it increases "hot" spots of seasoning that never really gets mixed in. Over-mixing of the meat 
creates a rather rubbery sausage, but if you don't have a grinder you can ask your butcher to grind it 
too, and then you just have to season it and fill the casing or make it into patties if you don't have a 
sausage stuffing device.

Important Note: These recipes don't explain how to stuff sausage casings. Go to the sites listed below to learn how, or search the web for more information on the process. http://www.sausagemaker.com or http://www.sausagemaking.org/ 

Serving size: 4 lengths or about 32- 4 inch sausages

Preparation time: 1:30

Amount/Measure/Ingredient:

7 pounds Boston Butt, boneless, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

For Brats add---

1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. mace
1 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
2 tbsp. Kosher salt---if you don't have any, buy some as it makes a big difference!
2 tbsp. clear corn syrup, Karo Syrup

1/2 cup ice 
1 cup white bread crumbs, made from Pepperidge Farm or other firm white bread, trimmed of the crust

Preparation:

Marinate the cut pork with the seasonings for 12 hours. Just before grinding, add the ice, mix and sprinkle with the bread crumbs, then grind, ice and all, using the small  size hole plate once;  refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare your natural casings, washing well. Push them onto the sausage stuffing tube and then fill 
them as the directions explain. They should fill naturally as you move the casing off the tube, if you 
slow down the procedure you run the risk of overfilling and breaking the casing.

For Hot Italian add---

2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. chopped garlic, fresh peeled
1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Kosher salt---if you don't have any, buy some as it makes a big difference!
2 tbsp. clear corn syrup, Karo Syrup

1/2 cup ice 

Preparation:

Marinate the cut pork with the seasonings for 12 hours. Just before grinding, add the ice,  then grind, ice and all, using the small  size hole plate once; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare your natural casings, washing well. Push them onto the sausage stuffing tube and then fill 
them as the directions explain. They should fill naturally as you move the casing off the tube, if you 
slow down the procedure you run the risk of overfilling and breaking the casing.

For Pepper and Sage (Breakfast Sausage) add---

2 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. Kosher salt---if you don't have any, buy some as it makes a big difference!
2 tbsp. clear corn syrup, Karo Syrup

1/2 cup ice 

Preparation:

Marinate the cut pork with the seasonings for 12 hours. Just before grinding, add the ice,  then grind, ice and all, using the small  size hole plate once; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare your natural casings, washing well. Push them onto the sausage stuffing tube and then fill 
them as the directions explain. They should fill naturally as you move the casing off the tube, if you 
slow down the procedure you run the risk of overfilling and breaking the casing.

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