Sausage Making 101

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Each month a member of our Italian/American club gets to host a cooking class of their choice, its called Cucina Italiano. I did one here. This past week I attended a sausage making demo at a members home. Homemade Italian sausage made “old school way” with a hand cranked meat grinder.

She was very prepared and had her pork shoulder all trimmed and ready to go, leaving it about 80% lean to about 20% fat. The meat was then cut into chunks and passed through the meat grinder. Seasonings such as salt, pepper, fennel and red pepper flakes were then added to the ground sausage. At this point I would cook up a tiny bit to see if your seasonings are to your liking, if not, you could always add more before you start stuffing.
Next the sausage stuffing attachment was put on and the casings were placed over the stuffing tube. It worked great with 2 people as one was cranking and feeding the sausage meat into the hopper, and the other was guiding it in the casings.

Grills and ovens were going as everything got cooked up and taste tested! Its nice to know what’s actually in your sausage. Quality meat with no fillers! Years ago I use to make my own sausage, it inspired me to try it again. I’d like to try making some of those gourmet sausages that cost a fortune, maybe a chicken sausage with sun dried tomatoes and artichokes. Yumm!

The possibilities are endless!


Well I have to give a big shout out to the hubby he has proved he has a green thumb!

Our tomatoes are coming in like gang busters. Vine ripened juicy tomatoes of several different varieties, a joy to eat with our dinners. Eggplants are almost ready to be picked and the zucchini has all been perfect, we make sure to pick them before they get to big.

I’m sure gonna miss this when the cold weather comes around!

These are little Japanese beetles going to town on our grape leaves. We have a small vine on our fence and they’ve been destoying all our leaves. They feast on the tissue between the veins and leave it looking all skeletal, nasty little creatures!

Enjoy your weekend, and Buon Appetito!

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  1. My mom had a meat grinder which I remember using as a child. Since they have gone vegetarian I wonder if she would consider “donating” it to me.

  2. What fun to make your own sausage – and you know it’s tastier and healthier than store-bought. Yes, do tackle those fancy types that cost a fortune. Your hubby’s garden results are wonderful. nothing like fresh tomatoes from the yard.

  3. Those DAMN Japanese beetles!!!
    They are eating all of my roses and all of my basil!

    Nice sausage n peppas!

  4. I’ve never tried to make sausage but I’ll bet it is delicious. What a fun club that must be to have classes like that. I remember when I was a little girl in Connecticut going around with jars and picking the Japenese beetles off the bushes with my brothers. We don’t have those out west so I haven’t seen one since I was a kid.

  5. That garden looks beautiful!

  6. The photo reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies “Moonstruck”! What fun! I’m not a sausage fan at all– except for gourmet sausages. There’s a sausage place where I live that makes fabulous chicken and apple sausages with sun-dried tomatoes. Go for it! It’s delicious. As for homemade tomatoes, we are blessed to have lots this year. I’ll be grieving for the sweet taste of homegrown tomatoes and having to buy anemic store bought ones.

  7. O, I feel like I have been swept away to some remote little Italian village. Great post and that lovely crop from the garden is just the cheery on top!!!

  8. The sausage make sounds fun – I’ve never made my own.

    What a bounty your garden has brought you.

  9. Wow a very interesting evening…and such a fun club too!!

    Well done to your husband, veggies look good 🙂

  10. Wow! The sausage making adventure sounds amazing. Those tomatoes are gorgeous, too.

  11. My mom used to use the meat grinder, but I’ve never made my own sausage. Boy I’d sure love to, though! I bet it smelled heavenly at that get together! Speaking of which, what a cool idea … getting together and sharing heritage that way! Kudos to your hubby’s green garden thumb! Those beetles are nasty little dudes! Glad they stay away from your veggies!

  12. Beautiful salsicce and peppers. It sounds exactly the way we make them.

  13. Wow, thanks for the memories. We used to make our own sausages when I was much younger. Not only Italian sausages, but summer sausages as well. I think that I am going to have to dig out that old meat grinder and give it a whirl. I bet Jacob would really enjoy that. ~ Robyn

  14. Great post! I love the idea of making your own sausage, but never had the nerve to try. This cooking club sounds like so much fun! I can hear the Italian music playing in the backround.
    Also, this is first year in quite a while that I haven’t had a small garden of my own, you are making me miss it.

  15. The sausage looks amazing. My parents made sausage, I have the grinder but sadly I haven’t tried making it myself. I love the idea of the cooking get together, sounds like a lot of fun.

    You have a wonderful harvest! Enjoy

  16. Wow, gorgeous photos! I love the idea of a cooking club. We had some homemade sausage while on vacation in Maine and it was the best sausage I’ve ever tasted. We’d love to try to make our own, but don’t know where to get the casings.

  17. What a great idea, to make sausages at home: you control the quality of the meat and also the seasoning. Maybe one day I will try. What beautiful tomatoes you have!

  18. What a fun tradition! I’d love to try making sausages.

  19. The sausage looks wonderful. Great garden pictures. I even like the picture of the beetles.

  20. Sausage looks great. Nothing like homemade sausage. Kuddo’s to hubby. There’s always some critter invading the garden!

  21. oh I wish I lived near you!!! I could learn so much!!! the sausage looks so good!!!

  22. What a beautiful harvest, Marie. I have tomato envy! You’re lucky not to have the late blight that hit the Northeast this season – even the farmers markets’ tomatoes are lacking in flavor. Yours look full of sunshine and good taste – che bella!

    And how nice you gather with your club members for Cucina Italiano night – what a wonderful way to keep those traditions alive.

  23. Oh that looks delicious, and the garden is fantastic! LOVE all the yummy colors! Now, I thought ladybugs were the greatest for gardens..? I guess they eat more than just other bugs, huh?

  24. Always been afraid to attempt sausage making. But oh it looks splendid! And your garden! How hard is it to not just go out there and munch?

  25. Really nice to see that. My dad use to make his own sausages and they were just terrific!

  26. We love Italian sausage, but rarely find any that is just “right” for our tastes. We love lots of fennel and even in Italy, could not find it, though we did find plenty of sausage that tasted just great. Have been thinking of making some ourselves since my Kitchenaid has a grinder attachment. Perhaps, one day.

  27. My husband bought me the Kitchen ide food grinder attachment so I am tempted to try some sausge making when the weather is cooler. My sister-in-law does the curing and drying to make soprasatta, but that requires an advanced degree in sausage making …lol

    Kudos to your husband! Your veggies look fabulous!

    Boo on those beetles — can anything get rid of them?

  28. Your group sounds fantastic, what a great way to learn new things and get together with friends!

  29. How fun to make sausage the old fashioned way. I love your tomatoes – looks like some heirlooms there along with the zucchini. We’ll all miss them this winter.

  30. HOw lucky to see homemade sausage prepared right in front of you and then you get to eat it! I want to belong to an Italian cooking club!

    I envy your tomatoes. The three tiny tomatoes that managed to make it to quasi-maturity in my balcony garden have just ripened now. Actually only two of them are ripe. I almost don’t want to eat them, because they will be the only ones I’ll get.

  31. YAY for Hubby’s garden. Those tomatoes look awesome.

    Yeah, I got some creatures destroying my rose leaves, called the rose slug, does the same thing as those beetles.

    Sausage making looks like a lot of fun.

    Come by my site in a few days, your Chicago Chef Stephanie Izard cooked dinner for us, I am in the process of writing about it. She ROCKS! She is opening a new restaurant in the West Loop called THE DRUNKEN GOAT at the beginning of the year.

  32. I love making sausage. I wish I had your garden.