Making Sausages at Home – Try These Butcher Secrets
by Zain Saeed on Feb 26, 2022
Someone once said, “Sausages and laws are alike. You don’t want to see them being made”. Now whether it was my fellow Dubliner, Oscar Wilde, or Otto von Bismarck who said it, it tells us a lot about the inferior quality of sausage ingredients at that time.
Yes, there was a time when poor quality meats and spices were added to make a cheap product for mass consumption, but nowadays lovers of authentic food are searching out quality artisan small-batch sausages and eschewing the industrially processed supermarket offerings. To this day, many cheaper sausages contain meat slurry or mechanically recovered meat, which by law must be declared on the packaging.
Back before refrigerators, people had to find a way to preserve meat that would spoil fairly quickly. The magic ingredient was salt.
And that’s where the word sausage comes from. The French word saucisse comes from the Latin salsica , which in turn comes from salsicus (seasoned with salt).
They cleaned animal intestines and stomachs and salted them, then stuffed them with chopped, salted meat. Different flavors were added, and they developed the thousands of sausage recipes you can now find worldwide.
ART AND SCIENCE
Sausage making is a blend of art and science, requiring a good nose and taste buds and an ability to select excellent quality meat appropriate to the type of sausage being made.
Knowing the parts of an animal to use for a particular sausage is an essential skill and understanding the ratios of meat, fat, and spice with each other sets the master apart from the apprentice.
Making sausages, on the surface, is easy.
- Chop meat
- add spices
- fill in casings.
Done. Sausages made.