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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 2


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#61 snowangel

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 02:56 PM

I'm in absolute awe of everything presented. So, my questions make me feel like well, a novice (which I am).

I'm planning on making sausages tomorrow. The kids are home on spring break, and it seems like a good project. So, my questions:

Can I dice up the meat and mix everything together today, stick in the fridge to grind tomorrow? (Peter's question)

Can I grind and stuff on the same day?

I'll be using a KA meat grinder and stuffer. Any tips, hints and potential pitfalls welcome.

Should this be a successful and fun endeavor, I'll think about investing in more equipment, but a friend leant me the KA attachments, and I thought I should give this a go before I think about buying more stuff.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#62 Chris Amirault

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 03:55 PM

Can I dice up the meat and mix everything together today, stick in the fridge to grind tomorrow?  (Peter's question)


Sure can. Gives the spicing a chance to sink in deeper, and makes grinding easier.

Can I grind and stuff on the same day?


Sure can. Just make sure everything is frostbitten-fingertips coooooooold.
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#63 Bombdog

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 04:05 PM

...I'm planning on making sausages tomorrow.  The kids are home on spring break, and it seems like a good project.  So, my questions:

Can I dice up the meat and mix everything together today, stick in the fridge to grind tomorrow?  (Peter's question)

Can I grind and stuff on the same day?

I'll be using a KA meat grinder and stuffer.  Any tips, hints and potential pitfalls welcome.


Susan, I think for the most part all of us here are novices at this adventure, with the exception of Jason.

I have chopped and mixed and left overnight before grinding a couple of times. I can't see where it makes any difference at all.

You can certainly grind and stuff on the same day (depending on what you are making). Unless your choice calls for an overnight rest before stuffing...go for it. The only suggestion I have is to let the grind chill real well before stuffing.

I know that others have had bad things to say about the KA grinder/stuffer. Personally, with an extra set of hands, I haven't had any real issues. It's not the most professional set up, but HEY, I'm still a rookie too.

I would clean your grinder atachment after grinding and put it in the freezer while the ground filling chills, just to make everything as cold as you can. AND, even though Ron thinks I am really talented at tubing, stuffing the grinder and taking pics all at once, I found that having an extra set of hands feeding the grinder/stuffer while I tube seems to work pretty well.

Just take your time during the tubing process...don't be afraid to turn the machine off and make adjustments to your process. Keep your filling COLD and you shouldn't have any problems.

Good luck

Dave
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#64 jmolinari

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:24 PM

Dave, what grind did you use for the tuscan salame? It looks nice and coarse.

Abra, i read about hte double cure on Len Poli's site...and i just kept using it. Don't know why really:)

#65 snowangel

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:34 PM

So far, no one has mentioned how unbelievably tedious it is to remove the silverskin and tendons. Is there an easier way? BTW, I'm doing the chicken sausage with tomatoes and basil, which is what the kids chose.

I'm used to smoking whole cuts of meat, the process of which just leads these undesireables to simply dissolve.

Back to work I go!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#66 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:13 AM

So far, no one has mentioned how unbelievably tedious it is to remove the silverskin and tendons.  Is there an easier way?  BTW, I'm doing the chicken sausage with tomatoes and basil, which is what the kids chose.

I'm used to smoking whole cuts of meat, the process of which just leads these undesireables to simply dissolve.

Back to work I go!

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By chance, I made this very sausage yesterday, and i don't know what you're talking about re: silverskin. The connective tissue in chix thighs is not that tough, nor does recipe call for this. I just check the thighs for missed cartilage and then dice, fat connective tissue and all.

I like the description higher up of noticing that the fingers on the hand you're feeding the grinder with should be uncomfortably cold. you know then your meat's cold enough.

re: kitchen aid grinder stuffer. this does work (I believe judy rodgers uses a similar grinder-stuffer arrangement, or for years did), but it prevents three things. First, it doesn't allow you to create a good bind, resulting in a crumbly texture (though some people prefer this and it's what they're used to); second, it doesn't allow you to distribute the seasoning evenly; third it doesn't allow you to incorporate additional liquid; all of which are achieved in the paddling stage. One of the cool things about Brian's chix sausage recipe is the incorporation of the vinegar wine and olive oil (he's put the sauce, the vinaigrette, inside the sauage--i love that).

good luck.

#67 Bombdog

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:30 AM

Dave, what grind did you use for the tuscan salame? It looks nice and coarse.

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Jason, it was the largest die on the KA grinder, 1/4 inch I believe.

Dave
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#68 Bombdog

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:51 AM

re: kitchen aid grinder stuffer.  this does work (I believe judy rodgers uses a similar grinder-stuffer arrangement, or for years did), but it prevents three things.  First, it doesn't allow you to create a good bind, resulting in a crumbly texture (though some people prefer this and it's what they're used to); second, it doesn't allow you to distribute the seasoning evenly; third it doesn't allow you to incorporate additional liquid;  all of which are achieved in the paddling stage. 

good luck.

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Michael,
I'm kind of confused. Are you saying that the KA doesn't work for those reasons if you grind and stuff in one session?

I usually grind my mixture into the KA bowl (in ice) and then paddle it. I take a few minutes to re chill everything and then put the mixture into the attachment with the blade and die removed to stuff it.

Posted Image

This is a close up of the lamb sausage I made last week. I didn't think it was crumbly, but now I'm not sure.

Dave
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#69 hwilson41

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:32 AM

The Folse-based andouille turned very well.  The stuff is delicious and very near my ideal.  It needs a little more tweaking.  I think I'd cut the black pepper significantly; maybe even in half.  The heat is fine but there is a bitterness which shows up at the finish with that much black pepper.  I might add a bit more thyme too.

Here are some pics . . .

Posted Image
The finished sausages.  A bit darker in color than the cold-smoked batch.


Posted Image
It's a bit hard to tell, but I think the pic reveals the piece identity within the sausage, which is larger than with batch #1.


Honestly, I wouldn't mind this sausage even more coarse, but I don't know if have all that hand-chopping in me.  Maybe next time I'll dice a portion of the meat into small cubes and mix it in by hand right before tubing.  I also wouldn't use hickory again even though it is preferred in some quarters.  Next time, I'll try either pecan or cherry.  In spite of the bold seasoning in this recipe, I think the hickory overpowers somewhat.

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I'm a bit late to the party, but we were out of town over the weekend and I just got caught up this morning. Beautiful work, Ron, as always. And I'm glad to get the tips about the recipe before I start on mine (this week, I hope). Re reducing the black pepper, did you give any thought to increasing the cayenne a bit to hold the heat constant? I'm thinking I might try that, but not sure yet.

You are correct that hickory is too assertive for most sausages as it tends to overpower the flavor. Pecan, which is a member of the same family, has a milder flavor and would be much better. Some Andouille pros in LA recommend a combination of Pecan and Sugar Cane (which I wouldn't have a clue where to find :raz:), but straight Pecan should work fine.

The last two sausages I tried I used pork shoulder, trimmed of all fat, and then used fatback (courtesy of the Amish farmer) for the fat. It works really well, and I love the flavor, so that's probably what I'll do on this batch also. Thanks again for being the lead experimenter :biggrin:.
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#70 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 12:20 PM

Michael,
I'm kind of confused.  Are you saying that the KA doesn't work for those reasons if you grind and stuff in one session? 

I usually grind my mixture into the KA bowl (in ice) and then paddle it.  I take a few minutes to re chill everything and then put the mixture into the attachment with the blade and die removed to stuff it.

View Post


That's exactly right, grind into the bowl then paddle then stuff. only concern is that the meat stays cold. the temptation is to grind it directly into the casing.

#71 Anna N

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:51 PM

Just a side note here on the cost of pink salt to those of us north of the border.

After many attempts to source the salt in Canada I cried uncle and ordered it from "The Sausage Maker". Service was prompt, efficient and accurate and I have no complaints about the company. But here's a breakdown of my cost:

1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF
1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF
Shipping and handling $11.80 USF
Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

By the time I factor in the exchange rate I will have paid at least $60 Cdn. for 2 lbs of salt!

So much for free trade.
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#72 jmolinari

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:02 PM

That sucks, but 2lbs of instacure will last you pretty much for ever, given that you use 1 oz. of 25lbs of meat, so each lb of will make 400lbs of meat!

#73 ojisan

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:45 PM

Just a side note here on the cost of pink salt to those of us north of the border. 

After many attempts to source the salt in Canada I cried uncle and ordered it from "The Sausage Maker".  Service was prompt, efficient and accurate and I have no complaints about the company.  But here's a breakdown of my cost:

1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF
1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF
Shipping and handling $11.80 USF
Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

By the time I factor in the exchange rate I will have paid at least $60 Cdn. for 2 lbs of salt!

So much for free trade.

View Post


What are Brokerage Fees and GST? Do you have to pay them because it's being sent to Canada, or because you're a Canadian buyer? Do the fees apply if someone in the US buys it and then sends it to you, or buys it and has it sent directly to you? FYI, Butcher-Packer sells #1 and #2 for $1.50 lb. each....

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#74 Bombdog

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:50 PM

1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF
1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF
Shipping and handling $11.80 USF
Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

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Anna
This isn't going to help you now...but as Michael has suggested in the past, Butcher-Packer.com is a much better resource for supplies, as far as costs go.

Dave
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"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#75 Anna N

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:51 PM

That sucks, but 2lbs of instacure will last you pretty much for ever, given that you use 1 oz. of 25lbs of meat, so each lb of will make 400lbs of meat!

View Post


Yes, I really just wanted to point out that things can get very expensive when they travel across a border where supposedly we have "free trade".
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#76 snowangel

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:52 PM

Since it was 75 degrees and the kids and I felt like playing outside (first time sine last September), we did not make sausage today. It will happen tomorrow or Wednesday. We have moved beyond spring fever to summer lust.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#77 Anna N

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:56 PM

Just a side note here on the cost of pink salt to those of us north of the border. 

After many attempts to source the salt in Canada I cried uncle and ordered it from "The Sausage Maker".  Service was prompt, efficient and accurate and I have no complaints about the company.  But here's a breakdown of my cost:

1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF
1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF
Shipping and handling $11.80 USF
Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

By the time I factor in the exchange rate I will have paid at least $60 Cdn. for 2 lbs of salt!

So much for free trade.

View Post


What are Brokerage Fees and GST? Do you have to pay them because it's being sent to Canada, or because you're a Canadian buyer? Do the fees apply if someone in the US buys it and then sends it to you, or buys it and has it sent directly to you? FYI, Butcher-Packer sells #1 and #2 for $1.50 lb. each....

Phil

View Post


Brokerage fees are what the shipping company charges to clear customs as I understand it. GST is a Goods and Services Tax that we Canadians seem to pay on EVERYTHING we buy. Gifts under a certain amount are usually allowed without tax. My point in even mentioning this was only to alert any Canadians anxious to get involved that it can be costly if things need to be imported. I am very happy to have the stuff and I know it will go a long way so I don't really mean to sound as if I am whining - but I am!
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#78 Anna N

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:58 PM


1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF
1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF
Shipping and handling $11.80 USF
Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

View Post


Anna
This isn't going to help you now...but as Michael has suggested in the past, Butcher-Packer.com is a much better resource for supplies, as far as costs go.

Dave

View Post


I must have missed that part as the seller was one of the one's mentioned in Charcuterie - and I am not by any means blaming Michael or anyone else. Now I am done my whining and will move on to sausage and bacon making. :smile:
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#79 hwilson41

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:41 PM

Now I am done my whining and will move on to sausage and bacon making.  :smile:

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Anna, my prediction is that once you taste some homemade sausage and bacon, you'll forget all about how much the pink salt cost :biggrin:. Best of luck with the new venture. I'm sure it will turn out great.
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#80 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:02 PM

Hello, my name is Ronnie and I am a linkaholic :biggrin:

Inspired by Dave's (aka Bombdog's) foray into lamb sausage, I decided to give it a whirl too. I picked up 5# of lamb trimmings at my butcher and winged the following recipe:

5# fatty lamb trimmings
3 T kosher salt
2 T dry oregano
2 T dry thyme
2 T dry rosemary, freshly ground
1 T black pepper, freshly ground
4 T garlic minced
2 t fresh lemon zest
2 T roasted garlic
1 C feta cheese, crumbled
1 C roasted red bell pepper, diced
1 C ice-cold red wine

I applied the standard Ruhlman-Polcyn method for fresh sausage but saved the feta, bell pepper and roasted garlic for the mixing stage (along with the iced red wine) and did not run those ingredients through the grinder. Before that, I sent the seasoned meat through the small die on my KA once.

A couple of pics . . .

Posted Image
All told, with meat, peppers, cheese and liquid, this was close to 7 pounds of lamb sausage.



Posted Image
Some detail. You can see the feta and red pepper under the casings.



Posted Image
These were quite tasty with the feta just a bit melty after they came off the grill.


One thing I'd do differently next time is include a bit more fat. The lamb trimmings from the butcher looked fatty enough but the final result was a tiny bit crumbly as you can probably see in the 3rd picture. I think I got the proportions of feta, peppers and lamb just about right. I put a very coarse chop on the peppers, assuming that they'd break down further during the mixing. This turned out to be the case, so it was a good guess. Ditto for the feta, which I simply broke into large chunks and added right before mixing. I might cut the wine back to around a 1/2 cup next time too, because the peppers seemed to give up a bit of moisture during the mixing phase.

But, for a first effort with no real recipe, these sausages were quite delicious. My son, who is not a big lamb fan, absolutely loved them. All in all, not baaaad. :wink: :smile:

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#81 maggiethecat

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:19 PM

Ronnie, there's no twelve step programme that can help you!

I love the idea of just winging it although sometimes charcuterie is as finicky as pastry. I think it's important to remember that sausage was a way to use odd bits of stuff. We're old-time sausage makers -- a hand cranked meat grinder is sitting in the garage-- and sometimes our projects got better results than others. But the product was always edible.

I just love the feta and pepper sleeping under the skin, and the way the cheese melted when you grilled it. Oh, yum!

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#82 Abra

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:02 PM

Ron, those sausages are really enticing. Evidently I need a much bigger family, or a lot more friends! Are you guys managing to eat all that you're making?

#83 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:12 PM

Ron, those sausages are really enticing. Evidently I need a much bigger family, or a lot more friends!  Are you guys managing to eat all that you're making?

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We usually end up eating about 20% of each batch. The rest, I've been vacuum-sealing and distributing to friends, neighbors, slow-moving strangers, etc. :biggrin: One morning I took a bunch of bacon and sausage to the office and cooked breakfast for everyone in the kitchen there. That used up quite a bit of inventory.

So far, there's been very little surplus, especially with the bacon, which seems to go very, very fast.

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#84 snowangel

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 10:32 PM

Abra, one guess as to what everyone is getting for gifts this year!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#85 hwilson41

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 07:08 AM

One morning I took a bunch of bacon and sausage to the office and cooked breakfast for everyone in the kitchen there.  That used up quite a bit of inventory.

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Uhhh...are you accepting job applications right now :raz:?

So far, there's been very little surplus, especially with the bacon, which seems to go very, very fast.

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Ain't it the truth! We visited our daughter and family over the weekend, and I took a pound or a bit more of the second batch of maple cured, apple smoked bacon with me. It was gone by Sunday morning after a batch of bacon, egg and cheese biscuits cooked by yours truly. As we were getting ready to leave, my daughter said "Dad, why don't you freeze another pound or two of that bacon and send it to us." That bacon vanishes faster than luck at a roulette wheel :wacko:.

Edited by hwilson41, 11 April 2006 - 07:14 AM.

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#86 jmolinari

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 07:29 AM

Dave, what size casing did you use for that Tuscan salame?

thanks
jason

#87 snowangel

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 08:03 AM

I'm making the sausages today. The meat is in the freezer getting a final chill before I grind. I'm assuming that I can grind and paddle and then fridge and come back and stuff later on, right?

And, when I stuff, do I twist links as I go? Or, stuff the whole thing and then twist? If the latter, what do I need to do to account for the portion of the casing that will get the twist?

Hold my hands, please!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#88 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 08:12 AM

I'm making the sausages today.  The meat is in the freezer getting a final chill before I grind.  I'm assuming that I can grind and paddle and then fridge and come back and stuff later on, right?

And, when I stuff, do I twist links as I go?  Or, stuff the whole thing and then twist?  If the latter, what do I need to do to account for the portion of the casing that will get the twist?

Hold my hands, please!

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Susan,

Once you grind that meat, you should tube it off fairly soon (within 10-15 minutes). Once ground, the salted mixture can sieze up a bit in the fridge, which can make the stuffing process a bit more difficult.

I usually tube off the entire coil (slightly underfilling) and then twist off the links, one by one, at the end. That said, I'm sure there are plenty of different approaches which all work equally well. I've just found that method to be the most comfortable one for me. When you spin those links, just remember to alternate the direction of the spin. If the first spin is toward you, the next one should be away, etc.

=R=
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#89 snowangel

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 09:42 AM

Ta Da!

Posted Image

Posted Image

These are outstanding. We had the seasoning spot on when we did the test, and we cleaned out the KA attachments and had another patty.

I couldn't find back fat, so I kept every smidgen is chicken fat and added some that I had in the freezer, so I'm not sure exactly what my ratio was.

The KA worked like a charm, but I would do a couple of things differently next time:

I would get the sausage mixture to the end of the nozzel before pulling out the couple of inches of casing to start the actual filling process.

I wouldn't do it on the kitchen counter next time. It's pretty awkward to push that feeder plunger thing above shoulder height. I would do it on the floor, sitting on a stool, or perhaps move it to the kitchen table.

My casings weren't quite long enough, and I would go ahead and feed however many casings I needed onto the feeder tube before starting.

I was surprised how much longer the casings got when I soaked them. So, I have extra soaked casings. Should I just pitch them? Another round of sausages isn't in my future within the next couple of days.

Finally, the kids had a blast helping me with this. They are home on spring break this week, and I bet they are the only kids who will respond with "we made sausages" when the teacher asks "what did you do for spring break?"

I'm so pleased with myself!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#90 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 09:44 AM

Susan,

You're a natural! You don't need any hand-holding. Those look wonderful. Do you have a recipe you can share with us?

=R=
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