Beer & Cumin Sausage
These are tasty sausages.
We made them for a going-away party for Barry and Zuzanna, Montana bound. We par-boiled them a bit, then cooked on skewers with onions and bell peppers over an open wood fire.
Grinding meat and stuffing: I first started making sausage with my friend Joe in Cambridge, in the late 80’s, and have used a variety of techniques for grinding and stuffing, most of which have been frustrating at some level. I now like my current setup.
I use the meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid stand mixer to grind the meat. I find that the 1/4″ plate works best. I used to cut the meat in bigger chunks and then had to force the chunks down the throat of the grinder. Now I cut them into chunks that will easily slide down the throat into the auger with little or no force applied. I attempted to use the sausage stuffer on the Kitchen Aid too, numerous times, and it was generally disastrous. Meat got hung up in the auger and it took a lot of force to actually get it into the casing. Based on my experience, I would never advise anyone to use the KA for stuffing.
Last summer I got a standalone stuffer like this one. What a dream! You can make 3 pounds of links in about 5 minutes. Clean up is kind of a drag because it doesn’t fit in the sink easily, but I manage somehow. I mounted it to an old cutting board and it sits on the counter. It doesn’t need clamping or anything.
It helps to have a helper. Ella, my daughter, helped with this batch. One person to plunge the meat and another to make the links. Have a toothpick handy to poke holes in the casing if air bubbles form. I generally make a pinch in the casing between links as it’s coming off the stuffer, to provide space in the casing, then twist them into links afterwards. I freeze them in conveniently-sized zipper bags.
- 3 lbs ground pork shoulder
- ½ lb bacon, chopped
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup beer
- sheep casings
1. Cut chunks of pork off the bone into about 1″ cubes. Don’t trim the fat away; you need a certain amount of fat to keep it from being too dry. I find that the pork shoulders I get around here have adequate fat. And don’t make the chunks too big or you may have trouble getting them into the grinder easily.
2. Chop fresh bacon into 1/2″ pieces
3. Mix dry ingredients together
4. Add dry ingredients to the meat, and mix thoroughly with your hand. Make sure to get the meat covered with spices. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
5. Run meat through 1/4 plate in meat grinder. Mix thoroughly again with the cup of beer.
6. Stuff into sheep casings, and make links whatever size you want.
7. Cook in any number of ways. For this batch, we intended to cook them on skewers over an open fire, so I par-boiled them for 10 minutes or so. That way, the cooking on the fire is mostly for char and flavor, and you don’t need to worry so much about cooking all the way through. You could cook them in a skillet, or over a charcoal grill.