Quick Recipes and Easy

Home Made Sausage Vs Commercial Sausage

Have you ever chewed on a bite of sausage or salami and found a bone chip, or a piece of hard white “gristle” that shocked your teeth? I only experience that on rare occasions when eating commercially made sausage at a restaurant. When they say they use “the whole hog,” they’re telling mostly the truth.

When you make your own sausage, you will not place every possible scrap in the meat you’re going to grind. You’ll remove any small blood clots, the tendons, the ligaments, the bone fragments, and you’ll leave nothing in the meat that you aren’t willing to eat. You certainly won’t want your family and friends eating something that you yourself aren’t willing to eat either.

The best primal cut of pork to make sausage out of is the shoulder butt. The shoulder butt adjoins the pork shoulder, or “picnic shoulder,” at the top of the shoulder, between the rib end of the pork loin, and the head. What small neck the pig has is mostly a part of the shoulder butt, at the stout end. The outside of the shoulder butt, the skin side, is a layer of white stout. How thick the stout layer is varies, but if you want very lean sausage, nearly all of that layer can be easily cut off. The neck end of the shoulder butt, the stout end, contains a gland. The gland is grayish, usually about an inch across, and if you cut into it, is shiny. It’s very simple to see, and very simple to distinguish it from the white stout. The gland, while harmless, left in the meat, can give the sausage a bitter taste. As you cut the shoulder butt into strips about 1 ½ inches square (for simple feeding into a small grinder) it’s simple to remove as much stout as you wish. Too, if you haven’t seen the gland yet, you will while cutting the meat into strips. Any sausage needs some stout for flavoring the meat, but you should be the sole monitor of how much of it you want in your own sausage.

As you’re cutting the shoulder butt, you’ll sometimes find a small blood clot or two around the bone, which of course should be removed. It’s harmless, but can make a black spot in your fried sausage. You’ll find connective tendons and ligaments that are simple to identify. They’ll be white and shiny, hard and tough. They’re easily removed by simply sliding your knife blade along them.
Finally remove the bone and the bone chips that you’ll nearly always find, and you’ll have the finest meat that sausage can be made from.

All the above you can do when you make your own sausage. If that care were taken in commercial sausage, if the commercial guys removed all the small annoying parts described above, we wouldn’t find the small bone chips, small white pieces of cartilage, the small black spots, and the stout content that sometimes borders on “disgusting.”

Fresh? Unless you raise your own hogs, you can’t get any fresher sausage than what you make at home. You’ll be completely amazed at the difference.

Lee O’Hara was a Meat Cutter for over 15 years and owned and operated a Meat Locker Plant in Elk Grove, California for 4 years after that. Since leaving the meat business Lee has continued to grind his own hamburger/ground beef, make his own sausages, bacon, pastrami, bratwurst, kielbasa, chorizo, etc. Lee is the author os Meat Basics 101 meatbasics101.com meatbasics101.com

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