This journey had been long in the coming, but we are finally about to try our hand at home-made sausage making. My family is from Hunan, China, a province that is known for its cured and smoked foods. We've already successfully dried meats (pork belly dry-rubbed with peppercorns, salt, red pepper flakes, and liquor), but were looking to try our hand at other projects.
I used to dislike sausage as a child because my first introduction was to the sweet-smoked creations from Asian Supermarkets that taste like jerky (with more preservatives). But then, we moved to a town with a high concentration of Italian-Americans. Even the supermarkets carry foods like fresh mozzarella ('mootz') and locally-made sweet and spicy sausages with fennel and anise. Wow- what a difference! These flavor combinations are really delicious and I began to wonder about making my own, trying different textures and spice combinations.
As of right now, the casings are defrosting in the refrigerator and we've just put away the meats for the night. We're completely new to this, so we are trying a variety of cuts- belly, sirloin, rump. It has all been hand-chopped. Half is dry-rubbed, and the other half in marinade.
Current thoughts for flavorings:
-5-spice powder- cassia cinnamon, anise, sichuan peppercorns, white pepper, cloves (freshly ground), ginger, salt, shaoxing rice wine
-dried orange peel (just a little), dried red hot peppers (from our garden), salt, garlic
-pickled green hot chili peppers (also from our garden), ginger, rice liquor
I hope they come out well!
Has anyone else ever tried to make their own sausages?
Edit: This should probably be moved to the home-cooking board. Sorry!! I thought I was there when I posted...