Friday, June 20, 2008

Crazy talk

We browsed the East Nashville Farmer's Market this Wednesday. When my husband saw that local organic sausage costs $5/lb, he suggested we buy the Kitchenaid sausage attachment.

"And grind what?" I asked.

He has childhood memories of venison sausage. As a new bride, I could barely swallow it, even out of sheer politeness.

I know I should have a pioneer spirit, but I'd rather stretch the Farmer's Market sausage over a couple of meals instead!

Anyone make your own sausage? Is it as messy as I think it would be?

43 comments:

Nancy said...

I don't make my own sausage nor have I ever tried. Like you, I think it sounds like a terribly messy job. My choice would be the same as yours--stretch it out over a couple of meals. However, if your husband would like to be the one to make the sausage then it might be worth considering that KitchenAid attachment!

Missy-O said...

I stood over the grinder *once* to help a very red-neck friend grind up his deer and it was the nastiest thing I have ever done. I had raw meat in my hair, clothes and on my face. NASTY! Some things are worth the money, like packaged meat!

MoneyDummy said...

I've never been able to get behind the whole venison thing. Yuck

Jane said...

Only if this sausage promised to cure cancer or stretch marks would I be able to handle making sausage.

I do want a crinkel cut French fry blade for my food processor. Make your own fries. That's more my style!

Love your photos!

Anonymous said...

My husband hunts and we process our own deer the majority of the time. It does make a mess, but not nearly as bad as you would imagine.
With the sausage stuffer, would you be grinding your own meat, or just mixing and stuffing seasoned, ground meat into casings? If that is the case, it shouldn't be too bad.
Andrea

Mary Ellen (Carolina Momma) said...

Sorry, couldn't do it! I don't even have the stomach to cut up a whole chicken. My husband's friend grinds his own beef. He seems to enjoy it.

Andrea said...

Well...it IS messy. But it is also worth it: you aren't putting the salts and preservatives in your homemade sausage that are in the ones at the store. $5 a pound for sausage is just ludicrous, but you do have to consider your ROI...

I'd suggest reading up on it and maybe helping someone out who makes their own sausage - that would give you a great idea of what it is like. It isn't easy, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never buy sausage from the store again!

KimC said...

We bought the meat grinder attachment for our Kitchenaid after a friend gave us a hog. We didn't do the whole sausage-stuffing experience, but we did find that the attachment allowed us to use the fatty scraps that would have been wasted otherwise for a delicious ground sausage. It might also be useful for allowing you to use clearance meat in other ways.
The attachment also does a nice job of grinding carrots and other firm veggies, so making carrot cake is a breeze now. I bought a 50# bag of carrots at wholesale for less than $10, and used the attachment to grind them, then froze 4 cups at a time.
Even if you only use it occasionally for meat, you might find it a worthwhile and versatile addition to your kitchen for other purposes.

Candace said...

We would have homemade sausgae, jerky, amd smoked meat some of fall, all winter and through the spring growing up in TX. My Father, two brothers, and uncle, and a friend of the family would hunt together and then split the venison. Occasionally there would be a turkey bagged on a hunt. My grandfather provided havelina as well. Hy father's friend made the sausage out of venison or havelina. My father made the jerky out of all three. He had a double abthtub smoker that he smoked meat for the whole family in....man, I miss my dad. He truly was a barbecue king.

Candace said...

drat. My 17 month old hit enter or delte, I cannot figure out which. Delete that last comment if it seems incomplete..

I have made sausage it isn't that bad. I have also skinned a deer and prepared chicken from live to platter...so maybe that is why the sausage didn't seem that bad.

Diane said...

I've made excellent sausage from pre-ground meat (pork or venison). My husband's mom had an old, sturdy hand-driven meat grinder that he inherited. Homemade sausage is much, much tastier than what you usually get at a store. The farmer's market probably had great stuff, too.
I've also ground up beef tallow to render and use in making soap. Messy but worth it as a once-a-year project! I was once squeamish, too, to the point of not wanting to cut up a whole chicken. I learned to get over it.

Bev said...

I made breakfast sausage using our electric food grinder that I got at a yard sale for 2.oo and I tell you what it was absolutely great! I bought a pork roast on sale, and now I have a lot of breakfast sausage in freezer! I haven't tried making sausage in casing yet, but my husband would like to! It helps that he likes to do all of that so he does most of the work, I just add seasonings!

Sarah said...

I have to agree with you and the others who have commented. I come from a very Polish family and one of the things my grandparents always did was make their own Polish sausage. I haven't been able to eat it since I was 9 (I'm almost 35). It is a gross nasty process, the casings, meat everywhere. IMHO not worth the trouble.

Michele said...

Yes, it is incredibly messy, in my experience. My parents used to make bear sausage when I was a teenager (they live in Alaska). Wow... it just wasn't worth it to me.

I compromise by making my own turkey "sausage" breakfast patties from ground turkey (using the recipe in the book "Nourishing Traditions"). It's quick, easy, and yummy!

(The other thing that just isn't worth it to me is cleaning clams. No matter how frugal it really may be, I just have no motivation to have truly "homemade" clam chowder anymore!) :)

Your Farmer's Market looks lovely! We try to go to ours every other week or so throughout the summer. I'm hoping to go this weekend.

Blessings,
Michele
www.frugalgranola.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, Yeah, it is messy Meredith. Your life will never be the same - Take it from someone who spend 3 hours afterward cleaning the kitchen and trying to stop sliding from one counter to the next from all the residue (FAT RESIDUE) on the floor - Just b/c I had a brand new kitchen aid mixer and wanted all the attachments (8 yrs ago) -
Save your money, like me, and buy the sausage - Freeze some in ziplock and then ration it out - so much better --- And the stuff on your hands! ewwww...
I'd also visit the local butcher too= I've paid them to 'sausage' things up for me at a minimal price - because of the good relationship we have --- After my husband's kills, (doesn't that sound bad?) we take the meat over and they package and sausage it up -
Thank God for the local BUTCHER!
Working mama in the NW!

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, Yeah, it is messy Meredith. Your life will never be the same - Take it from someone who spend 3 hours afterward cleaning the kitchen and trying to stop sliding from one counter to the next from all the residue (FAT RESIDUE) on the floor - Just b/c I had a brand new kitchen aid mixer and wanted all the attachments (8 yrs ago) -
Save your money, like me, and buy the sausage - Freeze some in ziplock and then ration it out - so much better --- And the stuff on your hands! ewwww...
I'd also visit the local butcher too= I've paid them to 'sausage' things up for me at a minimal price - because of the good relationship we have --- After my husband's kills, (doesn't that sound bad?) we take the meat over and they package and sausage it up -
Thank God for the local BUTCHER!
Working mama in the NW!

Molly said...

We have the grinder attachment for the kitchen aid. We made our own ground beef, It really wasn't messy at all. I don't think sausage would be any messier. The nice thing about the kitchen aid, is that all the pieces come apart and can go in the dishwasher. That makes clean up very easy.

Meg said...

I mix my own bulk sausage using already ground meats. Our family doesn't eat pork, so I most often use ground turkey. Don't worry about putting it through a grinder, just mix it like meatloaf and either form into patties or logs for cooking or just cook it like any bulk sausage.

Try www.thespicysausage.com or www.lesleycooks.com/sausage/sausage.htm for recipes.

pinkexplosion said...

I could never bring myself to make my own sausage. Luckily my husband who loves sausage enjoys a particular brand that I can purchase in bulk from Costco, he also understands that while I enjoy cooking and making anything from scratch that would not be one of them.

When he hunts we pay the bit extra to have others do it for us as well.

Roberta said...

Venison sausage...yumm!!!! My Father in law has perfected the art of making sausages. Venison or Elk are somewhat dry, he adds bear for the fat, and they are incredibly delicious!

angela said...

I made my own bulk sausage this year. By that I mean it was not in a casing. I made Venison Italian and Venison Breakfast sausage. It wasn't bad at all to do. My husband was away last year when I did it. This year he will be home and we are planning an attempt at link sausage.
angela

Chris is *Refining Life* said...

I have made my own sausage. I used pork and turkey, but I bought it pre-ground at the butcher & just mixed in my spices. Then I made patties, have never stuffed casings. Sounds like fun to me...

My brother makes the best venision brats!

Kathleen Grace said...

I remember my grandmother making sausage, I just can't get over the idea of the casings being pig guts. Ewww! As my husband often says, "There are two things you should never watch being made, politics and sausage.

Jennifer said...

I don't make my own, but we love venison sausage. My parents butcher their own deer and have a grinder. We just love it!

Meredith said...

My husband's favorite venison sausage does have a good flavor, but it was the *texture* I could not get over.

It is kind of hard with visible fat specks from added pork, with a hard but rubbery casing.

Now sausage patties? Perhaps I could compromise and do those.

Y'all have the best ideas!

Jan/lost-strayed-or-stolen.blogspot.com said...

Meredith, I have made sausage several times using ground meat and my own seasonings. I don't think that grinding meat is all that messy--I've done it with a hand grinder. But using ground beef, pork, and turkey is easier. I make the sausage into logs, wrap in waxed paper and then in foil, put the logs in zip bags in the freezer until ready to use. I have also made my own summer sausage and bologna--I don't use sugar and many premades have sugar or corn syrup in them--not so good for diabetics.

Ewokgirl said...

You have to really know what you're doing. When we lived in Norway, my dad missed sausage, so he kept trying to make his own. Not one of his attempts ever came out right.

From a financial standpoint, I'd think making your own sausage would only be good if you hunt your own meat. Otherwise, you're still having to pay for the meat to grind into sausage. I doubt there would be much by way of savings.

Anonymous said...

I recommend wearing food server plastic gloves while processing venison. Not actually handling it helps alot.
-katmaxx

Anonymous said...

The Fresh Market has the best, leanest turkey sausage. So lean! I cook it and then put it on pizza. I believe they would even sell just the seasonings if you wanted to make your own.
Mrs. L.

Anonymous said...

For clarification: That is bulk turkey sausage, not link, and if you bought the spices, I would also recommend buying their lean ground turkey - it's not even turkey breast, but still so lean because they do not grind the turkey skin as some places would.
Mrs. L.

Carrien said...

Yes, it is that messy. but if you can just devote an entire day to grinding packaging and freezing, and then bleach the heck out of your kitchen after it's not that bad. It's only one day. It definitely tastes better. And if the meat was free because someone in the family can hunt, so much the better.

BUt you can find people who will do it for you for a fee. Which can work out in the end if the meat was free to still being cheaper than buying it.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

I love to make my own sausage patties with ground turkey or pork. I make my own Italian sausage, too, for things like lasagna. I always take off the casings anyway- yuck:)

Kari & Kijsa said...

Not something we could handle!! the farmer's market looks great!!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Anonymous said...

I bought the grinder attachment for my Kitchen aid mixer..the first time that I used it the beef was dry, like sawdust, I had trouble forcing myself to add fat. About a year ago I rediscovered the attachment in a cupboard and decided to give it another try..I now buy Beef Chuck roast when it is marked down at the store, (usually $2.79 a lb.)...I grind the meat twice using the largest hole grinder..I then freeze it in one lb. packages, saving money right away because... how often do you want 1 lb. of meat but they sell the packages in 1.24 or 1.32 and you buy them and just use that amount..this way a pound is a pound..Anyway, they often have pork butt for .99 cents a pound at my store, you may find it for less..It would work great for sausage patties. Is this messy? A little, so is baking a cake,but, I wear an apron, which goes straight into the wash...The other ground beef just seems awful once you make your own. We also buy beef tenderloins and cut our own steaks...the butcher will do it for you but we like cutting them the way we want them...a little thicker a little thinner.. I've wanted to make my own sausage, I bought some fennel,you have given me the push to give it a try.
Carole

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree with many of you but, $5 a pound for the sausage was a good deal. I wish I could get some. I grew up on the homemade kind and do know just how much work it is.

Meredith said...

Ha ha ha! Yes, I suspect the whole sausage suggestion was a reason to go out and bring home some bacon, literally speaking, on my husband's part.

I thought $5 a pound was reasonable given the quality of the meat. It's raised naturally by a homeschool family and processed without additives.

It's just not something we could do for every day, given the fact that I can't bulk up all my husband's meals with rice and pasta.

Amy said...

If the meat is already ground, making bulk sausage is a lot like mixing up meatloaf, mess-wise. I can't even think about casings, even though you can buy non-gut casings, I'm not sure what they are made of though.

Making your own sausage from ground turkey or pork cam be worth it if you get the meat cheap enough. It takes a bit of experimentation to get the spices like you want them.

We bought half a hog once and making sausage was a bit of a mess, but really tastey. If we do it again, we would do more of the meat for sausage instead of trying to make our own bacon and ham, which did not turn out well at all.

Melanie said...

My great-grandmothers made their own sausage, and my parents have made sausage (but not for a number of years). I have fond memories of helping in the kitchen! ;) The worst part was blowing out the pig intestines that were used as casings, they were soaked in brine. We never made venison sausage, it was always pork. My great-grandmother Rose was raised on a farm in Hungary and lamented the fact that she didn't have any pigs to slaughter, but instead had to buy the meat from the grocer in the US.

VoiceInTheWilderness said...

This is so ironic... my husband just bought a $90 electric meat grinder clearanced to $20. He called to tell me about it and said that I didn't sound nearly as excited as he expected I would. We've decided he will be the meat grinder, and it will work out well. I'm okay with that; I just don't want to do it.

Hildie said...

I iused to have a Oster Kitchen Center with a meat grinder. I ground up some beef with spices and made sausage patties. My husband does not eat pork and it is hard to find non-pork sausage organic or not. Also the casings tend to be pork anyway so defeats buying non-pork sausage. I froze the patties on a tray and then when they were completely frozen put them in a container. I didn't think it was that messy, but I have never used the kitchen aid sausage maker.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

We made venison sausage this year. The guy who processed the deer for us ($40 a deer) made a bunch into ground meat per our request, so we just mixed in ground pork and spices (venison is too lean on it's own, you have to add pork). So it wasn't really any different than making a big meatloaf. Then I just made it into patties and meatballs. We didn't try casings.

As far as the mess, if you tape a triple layer of newspaper all over your counters first, then when you are done you can just chuck it all into a big trash bag, squirt down the counters underneath with some bleach water, clean the mixer and you are done. It's not so bad that way.

But as with all things frugality related, each of us needs to do what we feel comfortable with. If the raw meat thing skeeves you out than don't feel bad about not doing it. Specially in your preggo state!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Never say never, but I hope I never have to make sausage. I too would rather see how far my $5 could stretch.

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest finding a local farmer to buy from if you aren't up for making your own sausage just yet. We bought a lamb from a friend and had a local business slaughter and process it. We got some lamb chops and such, but most of it was either link polish sausage or just ground lamb. We went with ground lamb instead of seasoned bulk sausage because of the cost and to control what goes in it (no msg, etc). All of that cost us less than you'd pay at farmer's market. It was some of the best sausage we've ever had.

Angela