Sausage was made at home for centuries before it became a commercial product. That being so, it shouldn't be hard for you to make your own sausage now. The advantage of making your own is that you can control the ingredients, making a healthier product, and you can customize the flavor with the spices you like best. You can use less expensive cuts of meat from the grocer if you don't hunt or raise animals for food. It isn't even necessary to stuff sausage into casings; simply freeze family-size portions until needed.
Combine the salt, ground sage, dried thyme, ground nutmeg, dried marjoram, black pepper, red pepper flakes and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients to combine them thoroughly. This amount makes enough to season 2 lbs. of ground pork for breakfast sausages. Double or triple the ingredients if you want to make more sausage mix at one time. Store in an airtight container. Label the container with the kind of mix and the date.
Combine the spices with 2 lbs. of ground pork and 2 tbsp. of water. Mix thoroughly, using your hands. You may want to wear disposable gloves while mixing the raw meat and spices.
Make a small sausage patty and fry it in a small frying pan. Taste it and then adjust the seasonings in the rest of the sausage if needed. Store the sausage in air-tight containers in the freezer.
Combine the red chili powder, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Double or triple the ingredients if you want to make a larger batch. This amount makes enough for 2 lbs. of ground beef.
Make sausage by combining the mixed spices with ground beef, 1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs and 2 tbsp. of water. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Fry a test batch and alter the seasonings if necessary.
Store the sausage in family-sized portions in the freezer. Use air-tight containers.
Italian Sausage and Mexican Chorizo
Combine the fennel, dried basil, red pepper flakes, salt and sugar to season Italian sausage. Add to a mixture of 1 lb. of ground beef and 1 lb. of ground pork along with one clove of minced garlic and 2 tbsp. of water.
To season Mexican chorizo sausage, combine 2 tbsp. ground red chili, 1 tsp. dried oregano and 1 tbsp. of salt. Add this sausage mix to a mixture of 1 lb. of ground beef and 1 lb. of ground pork along with two cloves of minced garlic and 4 tbsp. of cider vinegar.
Test the Italian or Mexican sausage mix by frying a small patty. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Pack the sausage in family-sized portions in air-tight containers and store them in the freezer.
Substitute lean ground turkey for some or all of the pork or beef. Lean ground turkey will make rather dry sausages, so add a little ground fat to the mixture for more moisture.
Wash your hands often while making sausage. Wash your tools in hot soapy water with a 10 percent bleach solution. Rinse tools thoroughly and drain on a clean kitchen towel, or wash them in the dishwasher. Avoid cross-contamination by being aware of the surfaces you use and the things you touch while making sausage.