Homemade sausage

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Anyone else do this?

A neighbor gave me 2 venison shoulders along with a venison ham. Shoulders tend to be tough so I decided to make link sausage. I boned the shoulder, cut off all the fat and as much sinew as I could before grinding it. Then I ground some pork tenderloin to mix in so it will not be too dry.

Unfortunately, it's all back in the freezer. I had misplaced the gadget to stuff casings and now I'm waiting for a new one to arrive. I also ordered some juniper berries to add to the recipe.

When I start back on it, I will take photos to post.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Hi darius...

I love sausage and have been making it at home for about 20 years. Most of what I make is fresh, as opposed to smoked or dry cured. I always have Italian, linguisa, bratwurst and an oriental sausage in the freezer. The oriental is pork and shrimp and it makes an excellent filling for pot stickers. And egg rolls when mixed with some napa cabbage and bean sprouts.
One of these days I'll get around to making another smoker but that's on a long list of projects and currently not near the top.
I have been doing a little preliminary research lately into making dried salami and I think that's the direction I'm headed as I expand my sausage making hobby.

Here is a picture of the last batch of Italian (right) and Linguisa (left) that I made this past fall.

Thumbnail by Dann_L
So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Those look great! I'm thinking about a smoker... This house has an old building that was a smokehouse but I don't think I can make it work, and would never have enough to smoke at one time to be worth the repairs.

My neighbor wants to make venison bologna so I found some recipes online for him. I'd really like to make Lebanon bologna... sometime.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Yummm...I bought some garlic Lebanon bologna a couple of weeks ago. There's a little store not far from me literally out in the middle of the cotton fields that specializes in pork products. He makes excellent bacon and hams and has a bunch of different sausages and lunch meats. I hope he never goes out of business or sells out to a developer!

I'm on the look out for an old upright freezer about 10-14 cubic ft. to make a smoker out of. Anything that size that is available commercially is cost prohibitive for me. Something that size will let me smoke 50-60 pounds of link sausages at a time. Not to mention all of the other things like a couple of turkeys at one time or several whole salmon.

Cochise, AZ(Zone 8b)

Keep an eye on craigslist. 3 refrigerators for free today. Or maybe go on freecycle and ask. I think people have to make arrangements to get rid of old appliances. Seems like someone would be willing to give one to a good home!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

How do you make a smoker from a fridge?

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Good morning darius,

With out going into a lot of detail, you cut a hole into the side just above the floor and another in the top. Attach some adjustable covers over the holes. These are to control the draft for the smoke. Put a hot plate in the bottom with a pan for wood chips.

Need to find a freezer/fridge with metal interior, not an easy thing to do these days. I had one once that was manufactured in the 50's.

I'm sure there are numerous "plans" for a smoker on the internet you can view for more ideas.


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)


Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

darius, Dan,

How about some recipes for your sausage(s)? ☺ Dan, that sausage sure does look good! Where do you get the "skins" for stuffing?


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Here's my first batch of venison sausage. I need to find some small linen twine for tying, just used cotton kitchen twine here.

Red, I bought my casings online from Butcher-Packer.com.

Thumbnail by darius
Bessemer, AL(Zone 8b)

darius would love the recipe for italian sausage

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks darius. Boy, that looks good! I'm coming down tomorrow for breakfast, I'll bring the eggs! ☺


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

jo, it's not Italian sausage. Don't even have a recipe for Italian sausage, sorry.

Red, c'mon over! Haven't seen you in ages anyway!!!

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Hello everyone, I'm just checking in real quick. I've been away from the computer the last 2 days. My wife, Debbie, had surgery and I've been sending a lot of time at the hospital ...everything went very well and I'll be bringing her home tomorrow.

Anyway, I'll post some recipes here when I have a few more minutes. :o)


Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks Dan! Wishing your wife the best!!!


San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks Red. She is doing very well and the surgery was elective as opposed to emergency. Well, I'm not going back to the hospital until this evening so I'll go ahead and get a few recipes here for you.

This Basic Italian Sausage recipe is very simple and straight forward...an easy one for the novice to start with.

Note: If you don't have a meat grinder, just use ground pork from the grocery store. In the case of sausage, some fat is a very good thing. Sausage that does not have enough fat will be dry and the flavors do not blend as well. A mix ratio of 80/20 to 70/30 is a good place to start.

3 lbs. boned pork butt roast, very cold
1 oz kosher salt
1 TBSP fresh ground black pepper
3 or 4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 TBSP crushed red chili pepper
2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Grind pork with a medium coarse plate. Add pork and all other ingredients to a chilled mixing bowl and knead until thoroughly mixed. Using your hands is the best method. At this point I want to taste it to see if I want to adjust the seasonings so I make a small patty and either fry it or nuke it. Once the seasonings are corrected cover the bowl and refrigerate 24 to 72 hours to allow the ingredients "marry". Sausage can now be stuffed in to medium hog casings and tied into 6 to 8 inch links, made into patties or left in bulk form. Use unfrozen sausage within a few days. Frozen sausage will keep for several months.

Basic Country Breakfast Sausage
3 lbs. pork butt
3/4 lb. pork back fat
4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
1 tsp cayenne
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP ground sage
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup ice water

Grind pork and fat through a 1/4 inch plate. Mix pork and all other ingredients in a chilled mixing bowl. Knead with hands until well mixed. Fry or nuke a small patty to check for seasoning adjustments. Once seasonings are corrected sausage is ready for use. Can be stuffed into casings and tied off into 4" links or used for patties or bulk. Use fresh within 3 or 4 days. Frozen will keep for several months.

Back in a few minutes with a Brat recipe.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

This is a recipe for fresh bratwurst made in the style frequently found in the German communities of the Midwest. My notes on this recipe indicate that I got this recipe from a book (did not record the title) by Bruce Aidells.

Sheboygan Brats (fresh farm bratwurst)

1 1/2 pounds pork butt
1 lb veal shoulder
1/2 lb pork back fat
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground caraway seeds
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup cold milk

Mix the meats, fat, and all of the seasonings in a large bowl an d grind everything finely through a 1/8 inch plate. Add the cold milk and knead until thoroughly mixed. Sausage is ready for use or to be stuffed into medium hog casings.

Note: I make links about 6 inches long. Poached in beer and then grilled. Served on a roll with onions and mustard and washed down with a cold beer. When I don't make links I'll make patties. Grilled bratburgers! I just made myself hungry!
Of course brats are always great when paired with saurkraut.

Burlingame, CA(Zone 9a)

Lovely recipes Dann. What do you use to grind the meat and stuff the sausages with? Do you have a special piece of equipment? I've been dying to have a go at making my own sausages and have been looking at the attachments for Kitchenaid mixers but they don't look sturdy enough.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

My kitchenaid attachments worked just fine.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I've never heard anything wrong with the Kitchenaid attachments for home use. I use a small Braun meat grinder and in all the years I've used it the only thing that I have had to replace is the plastic stuffing horn. I look at some of the larger and fancier (and much more costly) grinders and attachments but can't really justify replacing what I already have. You don't need much. Some sausages I hand cut the meat and don't use the grinder at all. And most fresh sausages can be used in bulk form as well as stuffed into casings and linked. Don't let not having fancy equipment stop you from making sausage!

Franklin Grove, IL(Zone 5a)

The Kitchen Aide is what I use but I also have a collection of "hand-powered" grinders that clamp on to the edge of a table. They have an assortment of discs for different grinds.

I haven't used them for sausage, but when I was little (head as high as the table) mom used to grind the round steak with onions before its journey into hamburgers.

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks Dan! I've tagged this page, going to try your recipes.

I too, have a Braun meat grinder with a sausage stuffer attachment that I bought some time ago to grind deer meat. Haven't tried the stuffer yet as I haven't tried stuffing sausage although I have made sausage. We just use it as patty's because I've never had the casings to try stuffing. Darius gave me a source for purchasing them.

Thanks again!


San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

If you have an "old fashioned" butcher nearby they will often times sell hog casings if you ask. I have bought them online many times but sometimes I just don't want to wait!

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

An interesting vendor for sausage supplies online... www.sausagemaker.com

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

If anyone lives near a "Sportsman Warehouse", they have all sorts of food drying and sausage making stuff. I noticed two or three types of casings, spice mixes, and several different types of grinders, smokers, and dehydrators. I can't vouch for the prices, since I haven't shopped around for most of the food preservation supplies, but in general, their overall prices are decent.

The store locator: http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/store_locator.cfm

Bessemer, AL(Zone 8b)

dan, thanks for the recipes

Burlingame, CA(Zone 9a)

So the kitchenaid ginder and stuffer will be just fine then! LOL Thanks, the reviews I was reading of people burning out the motor's of their mixers had me a bit concerned.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I have 2 Kitchenaid stand mixers. The old one (was my mother's) is only 300 watts whereas my newer one is much more powerful but I forget by how much. I can even knead dough in the newer one which I would no0t attempt in the old one for fear of burning out the motor.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I saw a question asked in another forum about turkey sausage and Darius directed them to this thread. So that is why I'll post this recipe here.

Turkey Cranberry Sausage
an original recipe by Dan Lorenzo

3 pounds turkey thighs w/skin (bones removed)
1 lb pork back fat
1/2 cup dried cranberries
10 fresh sage leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary (leaves removed from stem) about 50/60 leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 TBSP honey

Re-constitute dried cranberries in apple juice for 30 minutes to an hour. Cut cold turkey meat and pork fat into chunks that will fit into the grinder and put into a bowl. Add the cranberries (reserve any soaking liquid). Add the remaining ingredients and toss to distribute the spices evenly. Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator about an hour. Grind through a ľ or smaller plate. Fry a small patty and adjust seasonings if necessary. Note: add some of the reserved cranberry liquid for more moisture and cranberry flavor. Occasionally Iíll add a little red pepper flakes too.
Sausage is ready to stuff into medium casings or can be used in bulk form.

Originally I made this sausage to roll into meatballs and serve with stuffing or mashed potatoes with turkey giblet gravy because I donít always want to wait until the holidays or go through the process of roasting a bird. But it can be added to a meatloaf, stuffed into mushrooms or peppers, as a pizza topping or just made into burgers.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Funny you should mention cranberries, Dan. I'm adding some to my next batch of venison sausage.

Thanks for your recipe.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

You're welcome Darius!

If you are going to use dried cranberries, set a little sausage aside and then add a few cranberries soaked in gin to the mix. Gin, which is made from juniper berries, has a flavor that goes well with venison IMHO.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I use freshly crushed juniper berries in my venison recipe already. Thanks.

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Haha! :o)

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)


I just found this thread and your sausage looks absolutely DE-LISH!!! It's been years since I've made sausage and just bought a little Waring Meat Grinder that I made "steak tartare" with the other night!

I cannot wait to try your sausage recipes!

Thank-You so much...


San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

Hi Kat!

Enjoy yourself and have some fun!

I'm getting ready to make some Brats and Italian sausage next week to take to our Spring Swap/Roundup on the 29th. I also have some buffalo in the freezer that I'll make into sausage now that I've found some juniper berries. I have made this before substituting beef for buffalo so I'm anxious to see how it turns out when using the real thing.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I just read through this thread again, and noticed I never posted the venison sausage recipe jordankittyjo asked me for...

Chef Sixto's Venison Sausage Recipe

2 pounds venison (large tough cuts, like those from the shoulder, flank, or neck)
1 pound pork loin and/or shoulder
1 pound fatback and/or pork jowl
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
1 tablespoon powdered onion
3 tablespoons ground ginger (or 11/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground juniper berries
1 cup egg whites
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
fresh hog casings, soaked in water for 10 minutes and rinsed

Coarsely chop the venison and then the pork and fat, keeping the venison separate. In a bowl, combine the pork and fat and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Using a meat grinder or food processor, process the pork mixture to the size of lentils, then set aside. In another bowl, mix the venison with 2 tablespoons of salt and the pepper, garlic, onion, ginger, and juniper berries.

Process two-thirds of this mixture in the meat grinder or food processor to the size of lentils, and set aside. Combine the remaining one-third with half of the pork mixture, along with the egg whites and arrowroot, and pulverize in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste.

Stir all the elements together, then form a small patty and fry it to check the seasonings. Stuff the casings, then twist them at 6-inch intervals to form sausage links.

Using a skewer, puncture each link 4 or 5 times. To cook, poach the sausages in barely simmering water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees.

You can freeze them at this point. Just prior to eating, grill them over a medium fire until heated through and nicely browned. You may also skip the poaching and grill the sausages immediately after stuffing for about 15 minutes over a medium-low fire.

I made both stuffed casings, and patties. Yum.

Bessemer, AL(Zone 8b)

thank you

OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA(Zone 4b)

Thanks for the great recipes; another new project for me!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

I just found this thread, and am so happy with the recipes! Thank you!

Chesapeake Beach, MD

Does anyone ever make homemade hot dogs? My husband says our all the hot dogs sold are pretty tasteless.

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