I want to show you how to economically make sausage at home. Sausage flavor is a personal thing and can be customized to your tastes. Cajuns add rice to make boudin sausage. Some German sausage is made with pig blood for blutwurst. Some cultures even use seafood and some use potato. I will be using a mixture of pork lard, deer and buffalo.
I am going to cheat a little, and use my Kitchenaid with a grinder attachment and sausage stuffer. Yes, I do own all the hand operated machines, but the power is still on, and I am feeling a bit lazy. This is also the best way to do things when making a presentation.
As you grind the meats, add your lard, or suet and spices. I am using dried tomatoes, dried jalepenoes, sea salt, Alpine touch, and my home made hotter-than-heck scorpion powder.
Grind the meat, spices and whatever else..potato, cheeses, rice, seafood...whatever. Remember, do not cook this first. After the mixture has been ground, I like to make a small patty and fry it to check the spice and salt level, as well as the fat level. Remember, fat is flavor and is needed to make a good sausage. If your sausage needs adjusting, do it and mix the meat up.
At this point, cool the meat down. Remember cold and clean even when grinding is important. Change your attachment to the sausage stuffer. Now we will prep the casings. In a survival situation, I would have saved the intestines out of the deer. In this case, power is on, the stores are open, and sausage casings are $7.00. These are hog casings and have a shelf life of forever. They are stored in salt. Rinse them well. Inside and out. The best way to rinse them inside is to slip them over the water faucet nipple and let the cold water flow through them. Make sure to clean the sink beforehand.
We want to slip our casing over the nipple on the stuffer. Lube the nipple with some lard or olive oil. Do not use Crisco. I am not trying to be explicit, but imagine putting a very long condom on a your finger. It has to be scrunched up. Make sure to leave enough hanging off the end to tie. Use a very fine needle to punch one of two holes in the overhang. This will allow the air out, but the stuffing to stay in.
Stuff the sausage. Slow and methodical is best, periodically putting a needle sized hole in the casing to let air out. The casing will automatically curl into a coil.
At this point, you can leave them in a coil, or twist them every so often to make brautwurst sized links. I prefer links. You can package and freeze at this point, or you can smoke these. I will smoke them.
Smoking The Sausage
The key to smoking is cold weather, and cold smoking. We are curing the meat, not cooking it. I use an old manual smoker with apple wood. Just 3-4 charcoal pieces and water soaked wood.
Smoke them and periodically turn them. Take your time. Keep the temp between 90-110 *F. The sausage will dry out a bit and will turn dark brown. This will help extend the shelf life in the event the power goes out. Get some beers, or vodka and make an afternoon of it.
Now, in the event things do turn bad, you know how to make sausage out of meat or other items. After you made it, enjoy a piece as a reward!!! Prepping is about storing things, but it also about learning how to do things to make yourself more self efficient.