Fresh Dinner Sausage Recipes
Some of the best fresh dinner sausage recipes on the web, each one is complete with easy step-by-step instructions to help you make the best homemade sausage ever.
Dinner sausage is a type of fresh sausage made with ground pork and sometimes beef seasoned with salt and various herbs and spices. Because it's a raw sausage, it must be refrigerated and fully cooked before serving. It’s not surprising that those individuals who reveled in the making of bulk sausage are now enthusiastic about advancing to the next level of this intriguing craft. As a long-time sausage maker, I know first hand that nothing is more self-gratifying to a novice sausage maker than a backyard grill, laden with plump, sizzling-hot links, exuding a subtle flavoring of spices and fresh meat, carefully crafted with his or her own hands. Both the aroma and flavor is more intense when it’s made by hand from hand picked ingredients.
Fresh sausage should contain enough fat to insure a succulent bite but it must also have enough flesh to satisfy your appetite for meat. I suggest you experiment with a lean-to-fat ratio until you find a combination that suits your palate. The amount of fat in a particular fresh sausage formula can have a decided effect on the quality of the finished product. A 70/30 ratio of lean-to-fat, for instance, will produce a juicy sausage link that spits and sputters beneath the broiler. An 80/20 ratio of lean-to-fat, on the other hand, produces a moderately juicy sausage with much less sputtering.
Unfortunately, high cholesterol forced me to alter my ways and cut down on my fat intake. After enduring a major heart operation I reluctantly succumbed to the forces at will and switched to a more healthy 85/15 ratio of lean-to-fat. While this proportion may seem overly lean it produces less than half of the grease commonplace with most store-bought sausages and it’s easy on the palate.
Some people flush each strand of natural hog and sheep casing with lukewarm water prior to stuffing it with seasoned sausage meat. This overrated procedure is mega time consuming and not really necessary since the natural casings available from today’s suppliers have already been pre flushed. I prefer to select the hog and/or sheep casings I expect to use and place them in a large non-corrosive container nearly full of fresh cold water. Vigorously slosh the casings up and down in the water several times in to remove as much of the salt from the casings as possible. Discard the salty water, replace it with fresh water, and then allow the casings to soak three or four days in the refrigerator. After soaking, remove the casings from the refrigerator and put them into a small container of warm water. After minutes or so slide one of the casing strands onto the sausage funnel. Casings prepared with this method are soft and pliable and slide easily onto the sausage funnel.
It’s no secret that natural casings are the first choice for a number of present day sausage kitchens, primarily because they deliver the traditional sausage “look” and “snap” wurst enthusiasts have come to expect from their sausages. Home wurstmachers (sausage makers) similarly appreciate the aforementioned permeability which allows the encased sausage to breathe, permitting an intermingling of rich flavors inside and outside the product, whether sizzling in the skillet, under the broiler or over a charcoal grill. Moreover, a natural casing permits a uniform smoke absorption throughout the entire sausage during the smoke cooking process, further enhancing the fusion of flavors and aromas.