My super awesome husband, knowing my love of random kitchen gadgets, got me a meat grinder and sausage stuffer for Christmas! Even though I knew he bought it for me before I opened it Christmas morning because he can’t keep a secret to save his life when it comes to gifts, I was ecstatic! On more than one occasion a recipe that I’m making has called for ground meat of some sort and I can’t find it at the grocery store. It’s pretty much always pork. Grass fed ground beef, ground turkey, and ground chicken are typically easy to find, but I often can’t get ground pork even from my local natural food store. Whole Foods always has it but I’d rather not drive an hour or more just to get some darn ground pork. And now I don’t have to! Is it weird how excited I am about the fact that I can make any cut of meat into ground meat?
Anyway, I knew the first thing I wanted to make was breakfast sausage. I absolutely love breakfast sausage because it’s always so full of flavor (and salty…I have a thing for salt). However, it’s pretty much impossible to find breakfast sausage without sugar and nightshade spices like paprika even among the cleaner, more natural brands. And when you’re on the autoimmune protocol or simply avoiding sugar, avoiding these ingredients is a must! So what do you do? Make your own of course!
Now I obviously used my sausage stuffer to make these sausages but it’s absolutely not necessary. I was making this recipe for months before I got the stuffer. I’ll just brown ground pork and add the spices, or form it into patties or meatballs. Anyway you do it will be tasty, but having the sausage in the casings just makes me feel fancy and I like that.
Tips when using a sausage stuffer:
- You want your meat thoroughly chilled before trying to stuff it into the casings, otherwise it tends to get stuck in the tube that feeds the meat into the casings. I learned this the hard way.
- Make sure your casings are thoroughly soaked (about 30 mins) prior to using them. If they are dried out at all they will not be flexible enough and will likely crack or puncture.
- You don’t want the casings so wet though that there is water inside them. So make sure drain the water as you load the casings onto the stuffer attachment.
- Maybe this is totally common knowledge and I’m just a total dummy or something, but you will load your casing all the way onto the stuffer attachment, leaving just a few inches on the end to allow you to tie it off when you’re done. You will then slowly pull the casing off the stuffer attachment as the meat is loaded into it.
- Don’t tie off the end of the casing until you’re done stuffing all the sausage into the casing to avoid air bubbles in your sausage.
- Don’t worry about your sausage looking perfect when you initially stuff it into the casing. You can squeeze it around when you’re done to create more uniform sausage links.
- Stovetop: Cook over medium heat, turning every couple of minutes until fully cooked, about 12 minutes. Make sure sausages aren’t touching.
- Grill: Sear the sausages over moderate direct heat until browned on all sides. Move the sausages away from the direct heat, cover, and allow to cook until they are cooked all the way through.
- Oven (my favorite!): Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and add sausages. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake for another 10-15 minutes until fully cooked.
- 1½ Tbs sea salt
- 1 Tbs sage
- 1 Tbs thyme
- 1 Tbs rosemary
- ⅛ tsp mace
- 2 lbs ground pork, turkey or chicken
- 2 feet of sausage casings
- Combine spices in a small bowl
- Add spice mixture to meat and mix thoroughly until combined
- Place in freezer until thoroughly chilled but not frozen (1-2 hours)
- Stuff sausage into casings according to manufacturers instructions
This is the meat grinder and sausage stuffer that I use. It just attaches right to my kitchen aid stand mixer which works like a charm! And because they are attachments and not standalone appliances, they take up much less room in my kitchen. Just remember you need the meat grinder in order to use the sausage stuffer. The sausage stuffer is an attachment to the meat grinder attachment. Fun times right!
Am I crazy for taking the time to stuff my own sausage? Or is this something you would do as well? I hope I’m not the only one around here who loves random kitchen experiments!
In vibrant health,