The Daily Grind
Written by Emily Storrow | Photography by Jonathan Boncek
Get sausage savvy with this step-by-step guide
Making sausage at home may seem intimidating, but links aren’t just for line cooks. David Schuttenberg, executive chef of Fish in Charleston, South Carolina, shares his pro tips and technique, which he picked up at former outpost Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in New York City’s Chelsea Market.
When making sausage, it’s paramount to keep everything cold. And always start with freshly ground meat (if you don’t own a grinder, your butcher can do this for you). Once you’ve got the technique down, sausage-making is a blank canvas: use the flavors you like and meat of your choosing, but pick a cut with 15 to 20 percent fat content. Schuttenberg’s recipe calls for pork butt and begins with roasting poblano peppers over an open flame. (They can also be roasted under a broiler—just turn them regularly so all sides are charred.) After mixing the sausage but before stuffing it into casings, Schuttenberg recommends pan-frying a disk to test its flavor. Casings are sold online by the hank—typically enough to make one hundred pounds of sausage—but are inexpensive and have a long shelf life in the fridge. Be sure to rinse them well (they’re packed in salt) and soak in water overnight. For top-notch results, Schuttenberg suggests using a vertical stuffer, which fills casings quickly, avoiding air pockets. Enjoy your sausage within three or four days, or freeze it for up to three months.
•1 1/2 pounds fresh poblano peppers
•1/4 cup salt
•3 tablespoons garlic paste
•1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
•1 tablespoon chile de árbol powder (or substitute cayenne pepper; can be increased in 1/2-teaspoon increments for more heat)
•2 tablespoons paprika
•3 1/2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
•1 tablespoon black pepper
•2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
•5 pounds pork butt
•1 hank (32-35 mm) hog casings