Homemade sausage can be incredible because you get to make it exactly how you like it. However, before you work out that ultimate recipe, you’ll need to experiment quite a bit. Some of the biggest challenges are deciding on the meat to fat ratio as well as the type of meat to use. In order to choose well, you need to understand exactly how the fat content and meat type will affect the resulting product.
Casings and equipment should be easy to manage. If you prefer natural casings to synthetic ones, the choice boils down to hog or sheep. Hog is the cheapest but has a bigger diameter. Sheep is a bit more expensive but is softer. Beef casings are rather tough. And as for equipment, you’ll need to use a top-quality grinder and one of the best sausage stuffers you can afford. Make sure that the stuffer has a piston to let the air out and ensure sausages have a nicer texture.
Which Type of Meat to Use for Homemade Sausage
One of the best things about homemade sausages is that they don’t need the “good” meat. In fact, it’s much better to use cheaper cuts with more fat on them.
The usual advice is to use about 70% of lean meat and 30% fat. However, there are many recipes where the ratio will range from 80:20 to 50:50. The most important thing to understand is that none of these are wrong. You can make excellent sausage with varying meat and fat contents. The deciding factor here is you and your personal preferences.
That said, sausages do need to have at least 20% of fat to be truly delicious. Without it, they will be too dry and not really resemble a sausage. However, the type of meat to use is completely up to you. Check out the meat leanness table to get a better idea of the fat percentage in different types and cuts.
Some great meat options for making delicious sausage include:
- Chicken legs (skin included)
- Chuck or flank of beef
- Lamb neck fillet and mutton
- Pork shoulder, but you can use belly and head trim as well
You can meat these meats in different proportions and add more fat if that’s what you like. Remember to keep the meat, fat, and all your meat processing equipment cool. This is necessary to improve grinding and ensure your sausages have a smoother texture.
Finally, do not forget that the main secret to delightful sausage flavor is always the seasoning. Therefore, you should play around with spice mixes first before you settle on the meat and fat mixture for your recipe.