I like to make my own chorizo (Mexican) sausage using ground pork from the grocery store and ground red peppers, either from my own stash or from New Mexico. However, having successfully ground my own chuck for my latest chili batch using my new meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer, I decided to try my hand at making breakfast sausage.
So here are the basic ingredients for the recipe I tried: pork roast and fat back.
Don’t get grossed out by the fat back. It makes this story interesting. We’ll come back to it shortly.
Additionally, there are several spices (salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, sage, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, and cayenne), plus brown sugar.
I should have looked further at some different recipes, i.e. ones that didn’t use fat back. Fat back is a hard fat from under the skin of the back of a pig. I had never worked with it before–and this will be the last time I hope. First I had to cut the pork roast up into small pieces, them the fat back. Here is where the trouble began. Fat back is about like leather–fairly hard leather at that. I found out I needed to run it through my chipper/shredder to get it to grind up. I had trouble cutting it into small pieces. Anyway, got it done using a pair of heavy duty scissors. Thought I was going to have to go out into the shop and get a pair of my metal cutting tin snips it was so tough. Got it all cut up and added everything together:
The little white strips are the fat back.
So I started grinding these with my grinder:
To make a long story shorter, the fat back kept clogging up the food grinder, even bringing the heavy duty Kitchen Aid to a standstill. Yikes! But, wait, it gets worse.
After stopping and cleaning out the fat back from the grinder several times, I finally got it all ground, and made patties for freezing:
Wait, the story gets better.
So, I forze them and today pulled them out of the freezer to try some for breakfast:
What you see here on the plate are two of the sausages, a slice of my 12-whole grain bread, and a new recipe of jalapeño-cheese grits. I took my first taste. The jalapeño-cheese grits were great and worth another blog. My 12-grain bread, a meal in itself, great. The sausage? Yuk!!! Way too salty! I couldn’t taste the sausage for all the salt.
I had noticed that the fat back was covered in salt, but, never having worked with it before, I thought, well, okay. Then the recipe itself called for a modest amount of salt. This stuff was so salty I didn’t want to feed it to my dogs, who were standing by waiting for their taste. The sausage was uneatable.
Moral: You win some; you loose some. Or, from Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Sometimes your the windshield; sometimes your the bug.” This is one recipe that goes into the trash, along with the two pounds of sausage and the left over fat back. Sigh. Such are the adventures of my life.