Monday, January 19, 2009

Picture a Day-Day 47

Most normal couples when faced with a three day weekend are going to plan a little getaway or get around to cleaning out the cupboards or wrestling Bigfoot and Nessie in the same ring (okay maybe not so much the last one).

Us, we decided it was a perfect time to make sausages.This was our first attempt at making a fancy sausage with not only the kit (which comes with everyone's favorite Polish spices, cure and natural casings) but also a stuffer (seen later). So it was a learning experience for both of us.

Word of warning, if anyone is grossed out by pictures of meat or anything meat in general you may want to click away. If there is one thing sausage making is it's a whole lot of meat being manipulated and shoved into small weird areas it doesn't want to go into.

The first order of business with Mr Polish sausage was to get out the natural casings and get them soaking. Then while my hubby cubed up the meat we'd chosen (3 lb's of brisket, we're gonna have some fancy sausages) I attempted to mash up the spices that became congealed in the box.

After all that we were ready to start grinding. As you can see by this picture I have a horrible secret, I actually have four arms!
The first stage of grinding over it was time to move onto carefully mixing in the spices and cure into our ground up mess. I have since come to find out that this is a very delicate and artsy process that we probably completely bungled in our first attempt.

Oh well, live and learn.
Now onto more grinding! That's right, you don't get to grind sausages just once you get to do it over and over and over again (okay so really just twice). The first time is to get it to a manageable size to then turn it into tiny chunks of ground hamburger.

And if you just can't get enough grinding here's a little movie clip of us doing just that.
The sausage has been chopped and pulverized down into a fine small brown goo, time to move onto the smelliest portion of our sausage making: the natural casing.

For those not in the know, natural casing = pigs intestine. And who boy does it smell like pig offal. Here's our little pig intestines all hanging out in the bowl ready for their next big life.
Which is to be carefully smooshed onto the tip of the stuffer (It looks pretty naughty too, but then again those pigs intestines are known for getting around).
Okay so we got the ground meat, we got the natural casings on the horn. All that's left is to combine the two together. Sounds easy right?
Yeah not as much as you'd think. Talk about back breaking labor trying to force meat through that tiny little hole. I was generally on the sausage catching end trying to be encouraging yelling out "Push, honey, push. I can see the head crowning."
After about two hours of hard labor, tons of grinding, and a kitchen that smells like pigs here is our final display of sausages.
They get to sit in the fridge overnight as the cure sets then tomorrow a nice warm smoke to get tasty and preserved.

Dare I ask has anyone else attempted the making of the sausages in your own home kitchen? Or better yet, just what do you do on your three day weekends and how much meat is involved?


Leslie said...

Didn't you learn anything in meats class? Of course sausage making is a bitch. Anyway, Is this the first time he's used the sausage maker you got him? And just how do you plan to smoke them?

Linda said...

Yum! I think you can get casing that's not pig intestine. In case you decide to try again.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I didn't know that making sausages was so involved. I think I'm happy to let other people continue to make my sausages.

A weird question: the brown stuff in the bag in the first picture is... what exactly? It looks like something unpleasant.

melissa said...

Yum, I love sausage! But not sure if I would want to make my own after seeing your pics....

Also - I saw your comment about my e-ring photos. I would love to have you help. I sent you an email...

Katie said...

Holy LOT of work! Hope they're delicious as they look.

Cate Subrosa said...

Yum! Will you post an update when you eat them? I want to know how they look cooked and if they're yummy :)