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Mixing the Sausage


So here it is. My sausage making, learning, praying, working day. The first time ever for me.

I’ve ground the hamburger with a hand machine before and this one of Bill’s was only bigger, stronger, louder and faster…yay! The meat pieces from the end of the legs with all the sinew (remember?) wasn’t good for it either. The more stringy stuff you leave in the pieces, the more you have to clean out the machine, and start over again (after putting all the parts back in an orderly fashion). Anita came to assist me too out of curiosity and because she had seen this process before but wanted to learn more. I’m glad she did. It was a bigger job than I had imagined.

I separated the two 10 lb. batches and two 5 lb. batches of hamburger out into bags.

Then I started with the recipes mentioned in the last post. We put ice cubes in the water. After about 2 hours I noticed they were still there…huh? magic? I’m a little slow I guess – the shop we were working in was so cool that they weren’t going anywhere fast. My nose probably was a little blue too. All this cold is good to keep the meat bacteria-free and to keep the meat mixtures set (otherwise they would be runny?).


The spices and recipes come out.

The spices were lined up. The spices and water were mixed first and then the meat was kneaded thoroughly into it.


The red and green spices makes a weird palate of colours in the cold water.











What I discovered was that the milk powder, which went in last, kind of dried and bound the mix together. It became very sticky.



 EEEEvvventually they were all ready and got squished through the winding auger of the grinder and squirted out the other end into pork casings. Bill had to show me how to do this. The casings were pushed up onto the pointed tube on the end of the machine and slowly pulled off as the meat came out the end. He massaged the sausage as it was made to keep the casing full. Once in a while the tube had a weak spot and it would suddenly spew out mashed up meat until things got shut down, cut off and re-started. This all happened so fast that there was no time for a picture. It was ‘all hands on deck’ so that the meat fed through continuously without air pockets, while the sausage maker was working feverishly at the other end.



I paid almost $20 for a lb. of casings. That was five foot-long pieces. It was supposed to do 60 lbs. of meat. I couldn’t imagine that much meat fitting in five feet of tube that was about 1 inch diameter after it was filled. But it happened before my skeptical eyes. Things just keep stretching! Pork casing are actual, real pig guts (cleaned of course). I was most amazed, after seeing this, at what I thought my own guts were capable of.


the pork casings came wrapped on flat pieces of plastic in foot-long strips. They will be round when removed.



Then it was a project to clean up the vast array of spices, bags, meat, bowls, grinding machinery, bloody table and so on. I got my stuff all over to Bill’s about noonish. Anita and I both kept at it, forgetting to even eat, until it was dark and supper time. I didn’t think it would be nearly so time-consuming. But then I’m a beginner too. I hope it was all worth it.

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2 Responses to “Mixing the Sausage”

  1. Wendy says:

    Whoa there, how do they clean those casings before selling, huh? Just curious. All of this is very curious. Where did you buy the casing, the meat grinder…your hand machine, what’s the make and model? And his? Considering the purchase of meat grinder myself, for storage…it can sit somewhere as an ornament for a while…

    • sherry says:

      I aim to find out about the cleaning. Next time I kill…well, butcher a pig I will ask for the intestines back. I already ask for the organs and fat – “I want everything except the poop” I’ll tell them.


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