Sunday, May 15, 2011

Breakfast and Dinner Sausage

Beer: necessity for making sausage?

Is it really already the fifth month of Charcutepalooza?? This fine month we worked on our grinding. Again, I give thanks for Charcutepalooza, because my two old hand-cranked grinders were gathering dust in the basement, waiting for me to use them. I promised them I would, but they keep on getting shuttled into a darker, farther corner of a cabinet or box. After the challenge was issued, I dutifully went downstairs and cleaned them off. Would they work? Did I have all the pieces? Was I crazy for collecting these things? Well, yes and no.

The bad grinder.

I started off with a beer, standard for sausage making, no? And the younger of the two grinders. I'm not sure what I might be missing, or if this thing is just a stinker, but boy was this grinder the worst. A pencil sharpener would have worked better. I promptly dispatched it to the sink and feeling downhearted, drank my beer. My husband cheered me (knowing if he didn't, dinner might just be peanut butter and jelly and not sausages), and I rallied with the next, older, ancient-looking grinder, also a Universal. The meat waited in the freezer while I gathered courage to try again.

The good grinder. More beer.
 This one worked. Quite well, in fact, in comparison to the hell that was the other one. I am SO glad I didn't do five pounds, though. And once I was done, it smelled incredibly good. I think I saw my husband wipe the sweat from his brow. He knows it's bad news if something pisses me off in the kitchen. And he didn't want PB&J's for dinner.

They are cool looking, though, aren't they? 
Breakfast (or Dinner?) Sausage Recipe:

2.5 pounds of pork butt shoulder
1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon thyme
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of Meyer lemon zest
ground pepper to taste

I followed the breakfast sausage directionsin Charcuterie for making this.

Glorious pork.

The Meyer lemon zest was an after thought. When I opened the freezer to pull the meat out, there was my little container of zest in there. Perfect, I thought! It really added a fresh tanginess to the sausage, that went along perfectly with the fresh lemon thyme from my garden.

Who doesn't love a log of sausage?

I stuck this little log in the fridge alongside it's friend, the Canadian bacon. Now I have two more awesome breakfasts to look forward to. I know it's not exciting, but we had the sausage patties for dinner, with some fresh eggs and local asparagus. It was so delicious, I think I may rename my sausage dinner sausage. I really wanted to make the merguez, but I got caught up in some life stuff and so had to stick with the single challenge this month. Those grinders slowed me down a little, too. My next purchase is an electric grinder, because I need to make a LOT more sausage. Good thing it was my birthday the other day, so I can squeeze one last present out of it. 



  1. This is awesome! And very funny. If anyone could figure out how to make sausage with a pencil sharpener -- well, I'd bet on you. Lucky Steve. And now I want a beer.

  2. Nice job with the old hand crank grinder... I can only imagine the arm strength you could build with all of that :-)

  3. That looks delicious! Bummer about the first grinder.

    What does it say about me that I saw the first photo with the beer and the word breakfast and I immediately thought "I miss breakfast beer." :|

    Come to my house and cook me sausage, please.


  4. We loved our sausage so much! And I agree...why only eat it at breakfast?! Let's definitely get together for the stuffing challenge...I am gonna need your help!

  5. We inherited a meat grinder much like yours not that long ago. Looks like I will have to break it out and dust it off. With a beer (or two), naturally.

  6. I am a wimp. I ditched my mother's hand cranked grinder after hauling it around for 10+ years. I don't even remember her using it. Now I use the grinder attachment to my Kitchen Aid mixer. You should be a wimp too.

  7. Nice job persevering. You know I bailed. I wanted to grind because I have (I think) the same grinder in the basement collecting dust that was my grandma's. It is so cool looking. Canadian bacon and sausage and fresh eggs? I'm coming there!

  8. Shae- Thanks! The pencil sharpener made me giggle all night.

    Kimmy - I tell ya, it was serious! You are so psyched you got that attachment!

    Mamachromatic - Aloha! You know what it says? It says I want to know you better!

    Winnie - Your sandwich looked SO SO good. And yes, I need your help for next month!! Let's do it.

    Hey Kate - The beer is essential. Grind some potatoes or something cheap in it first!

    Two By the Sea/Pat - I will! Thank you for the encouragement. As always!

    Meg - Please!! That would be the bomb. We could ignore the grinders and have drinks instead!

  9. Hooray! Hand-crank-grinder charcutepaloozers unite! I had to do the same and am left wondering how I'm going to handle stuffing this month without a stuffer...

  10. Samantha - Thanks!!

    Stephfret - Woo hoo! Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm not doing that!

  11. You've shamed me into getting out my electric grinder out of the basement.

  12. Love your pics. I have the same grinder, but have only used it to grind summer fruit for jam. Definitely in agreement that beer is a fine companion to sausage making!

  13. So rad! My husband has been wanting to make sausages for such a long time but never seems to get to it. When we get back home to California, we need to make sausages!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Mmmmmmm. Beer.

    So, everyone on the planet has an ancient grinder in their basement except me? What's up with that?

    Oh, wait. I don't have a basement. That probably explains it.

  15. Adventuresindinner/Jane - You have an electric grinder?? Go get it!

    MyPantryShelf/Karen - Indeed!

    Yummy Supper/Erin - Wow, I'm going to miss all the wonderful Asian things you write/shoot about. I wonder when you're coming back...

    Kaela - Ha! It's true. Everybody wants them, but no one wants to use them. You could have one of mine, if you want...