Feel like showing off this Thanksgiving? This recipe is a great way to do it. Don’t let the fact that it is “homemade sausage” intimidate you! You can totally handle this!
Homemade sausage is great on a number of levels—you can control the quality of meat, the type of seasoning, and you get a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The smoke in this version comes from smoked salt (either store bought or homemade). If you are not a smoke fan, see the Variations for more easy sausage recipes.
2-3 pounds ground beef (75-80% lean)
¾ cup cold water
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons mustard seeds, toasted and ground
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
¼ – ½ teaspoon red chili flake
2 tablespoons unrefined smoked salt
1 tablespoon Prague Powder #1 (This is potassium nitrate aka “curing salt”, aka “instacure”, aka”saltpeter” – it inhibits bacteria growth, and keeps the meat from turing gray – which is gross. Be careful, as this salt is only for curing, not seasoning–it’s toxic in large amounts.)
- In a large bowl, or a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together meat and water until well emulsified. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Roll the meat into 2-3 thin logs (sausage shaped) and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 F, and line a roasting pan with a rack to elevate the meat above the drippings. Unwrap the sausage, set them on the rack, and bake for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F. Serve immediately as a warm sausage, or cool, re-wrap, and chill completely in the refrigerator for cold sliced sausage.
Game Meat – This same recipe can be made with any ground meat you have on had. It is particularly nice with venison. Be sure to check the internal temperature recommended for the type of meat you chose.
Andouille – Spicy Louisiana style sausage can be approximated by using ground pork (either all or part) and adding to the existing spices an additional teaspoon of freshly ground toasted cumin, paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, and a pinch each of clove and allspice. Cook this to 160 F as well.