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Old 08-09-2010, 08:43 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,949
Turning ground pork into sausage

My wife is on an "absolutely no sugar" diet, meaning that the sugar/ dextrose/ corn syrup/ molasses/ cane juice/ etc. that is added to virtualy all commercially prepared sausage is out. I did pick up three pounds of nothing-but-hog ground pork, but from experience I know that some sort of flavoring is necessary to make it taste like sausage. Any good sugar-free sausage recipes (that don't require you to make huge batches that is)?
Old 08-09-2010, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 39,857
You might start here. I haven't looked at the recipes, but there seems to be a large selection.
Old 08-09-2010, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Liverpool NY USA
Posts: 9,707
I made a smallish batch once, out of curiosity, using a cut-down recipe I found on I thought it was extremely tasty, but it doesn't taste the same as Jimmy Dean, etc. - it was a bit dryer, the texture was a bit different, and it had a 'porky' taste. It's all in the seasonings.
Old 08-09-2010, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 6,519
Depends on the type of sausage. Italian sausage needs fennel (I've used seeds, but ground might work too). Breakfast sausage is some other spice. Sage, maybe?

Food Network website generally has all the answers you'll need.
Old 08-09-2010, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,727
My favorite is grandma's Hungarian Hurka sausage:

This is an O-K recipe. The liver and rice are a must, but I would do liver, ground pork, etc., and not worry about the other organ delights.
Old 08-09-2010, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Napa - Heaven on Earth
Posts: 1,263
I make sausage quite often and the biggest struggle is to add enough fat and spices into the mix. I can recommend Bruce Aidell's book as a primer and from there, you can learn to adjust flavorings to suit your tastes.
Old 08-09-2010, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PNW - in the woods
Posts: 148
A little cayenne (or a lot, depending on your preference) makes tasty sausage.

I used to be a meat wrapper for a farm butcher and my boss had his own "secret" seasoning mix that went into his sausage. I know it had sage in it but I'm not sure what else.
Old 08-09-2010, 10:44 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 44,323
The easiest sausage recipes to start with are your patty or loose meat sausages:

Italian sausage

Breakfast sausage

The basic rule I follow is use ground pork shoulder for the correct fat content. For most sausages, you're going to want something at least 20% fat, more like 30% fat. Pork shoulder is usually around the 30% fat range. Second, you want enough salt. I find about a teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat is about right. If you're using regular table salt, a bit less.

After that, the spices are up to you. Fennel and garlic? You got Italian sausage. Add hot peppers flakes, and you have hot Italian sausage. Sage? You got breakfast sausage. Maybe add a little nutmeg to that, too. White pepper, marjoram, caraway, and mace or nutmeg? You're in bratwurst territory. A hot pepper paste, a little vinegar, garlic, cinnamon, you're in chorizo country. Etc.
Old 08-09-2010, 10:58 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 16,451
Here you go, kick it up a notch.
Old 08-10-2010, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,201
Never underestimate the use of things like black pepper, garlic power, onion powder. Sausage making is great because there are no real rules as to what spices you use.
Old 08-10-2010, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: temperate forest
Posts: 6,867
Add some beef as well as the pork, garlic and pepper, then smoke the suckers (slowly, cool) and you've got keilbasa. You may need to find an old Polish man to teach you exactly how much fat, pepper, and garlic, though.
Old 08-10-2010, 04:10 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Upper left hand corner
Posts: 5,095
The best breakfast sausage I ever had was half pork & half venison. If you can get venison, I highly recommend it. You'll probably need a bit of extra pork fat since the venison is typically so lean.
Old 08-10-2010, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Black Swamp
Posts: 9,178
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
Add some beef as well as the pork, garlic and pepper, then smoke the suckers (slowly, cool) and you've got keilbasa. You may need to find an old Polish man to teach you exactly how much fat, pepper, and garlic, though.
Schone... but, really, can there ever be enough fat, pepper, and garlic? Truly?

The best from this area are heavy on the garlic and pepper, considerably lean, all pork, and fresh... not smoked.

Last edited by devilsknew; 08-10-2010 at 04:21 PM.
Old 08-10-2010, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Black Swamp
Posts: 9,178
Ok, If I had the wherewithall, gumption, and capital to do sausage, do you know what my secret would be? Fresh ground, dried, whole herbs and spices (old fashioned coarse grind in a semi-adjustable coffee mill with the hand crank on top.)- Real Intestine Casings- Food Mill fresh indredients (onions, garlic, and peppers done ala moulinette)- coarse hand cranked in a sausage grinder/hand fed- no moe than a batch of thirty pounds of sausage at a time.

Between the the grinders, lots of hand cranked tortion and pin power.
Old 08-11-2010, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 545
This is one of my favorite sausage recipes, though you'd have to tweak it upon removal of the maple syrup/honey. I agree with using pork shoulder if you make it with pork. The dried apples and allspice really do add something great.
Old 08-15-2010, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,061
I just stuffed five lbs of pre-ground pork into hog casings last weekend -- I don't have my formula handy, but I used crushed fennel seeds, coriander seeds, garlic, various ground dried red chilies (roasted New Mexico chiles, various other hotter ones) fresh habaneros, black pepper, the correct amount of salt, and -- KEY -- a mixture of red vinegar and water (chilled), which I then beat in a stand mixer together for a few minutes (primary bind). Omit sugar or maybe use splenda if any sweetness is lacking. I believe that's about it.

The key elements that separate this from my earlier self-derived experiments are (a) the primary binding of ingredients and (b) the addition of a small amount of cold liquid.

The basic formula comes from Michael Ruhlman's *Charcuterie* -- I've heard there are significant errors in some of the recipes, so if you buy it, check e-gullet or something for what might be wrong or misleading.

I also use this basic formula for making loose, non-stuffed sausages -- it's simple, tastes better than generic "Hot Italian Sausage" from the grocery, and takes a few minutes if not stuffing into intestines. It's a little boring, though, so go to town once you get your technique down, it goes without saying.

Last edited by Jaledin; 08-15-2010 at 07:14 PM.

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