home sausage makingEvery wednesday I review a cookbook to help weed out the good the bad and the ugly. This week I am reviewing Home Sausage Making. I have been addicted to everything about making homemade sausages since I took a sausage making class at sur la table in March. In the quest for more knowledge I have been grabbing every single book about sausage making. Today’s book is informative with everything that you need to know to start making sausages.
Part One: Basic Technique

This book has 50 pages dedicated to the basics of sausage making.  This is an extremely helpful section for a novice sausage maker.  It covers equipment from meat grinders, sausage stuffers, measuring tools, thermometers, and basic ingredients.  It even covers topics such as nitrates for dried and cured meats.  The best part of this book occurs on pages 26-27.  On these two pages there are drawings illustrating the 8 basic steps to making sausage. Oh, don’t forget to check out page 49 with a macgyver’s guide to making your own smoke house using a metal barrel, 6″ stovepipe and a few bricks.  This is clutch if you ever find yourself on a desert island with a bunch of meat, casings, a grinder and the above listed hardware.

Part Two: Sausages

The Home Sausage Making book includes over 100 sausage recipes to make at home.  This includes but is not limited to pork, beef, game, poultry and seafood sausages.  They have an extensive list of all of the most popular types of sausage including breakfast sausage, bratwurst, kielbasa, pizza sausage and frankfurters.  The recipes are easy to read, include basic ingredients and are well written.  Plus, most of of the sausage recipes include a brief history of each type of sausage and suggested cooking instructions.  On a side note, I noticed that most of the recipes are just meat and spices and fail to include a binding ingredient.  While not necessary, binding ingredients improve the overall texture and moisture of the sausage.

I was extremely interested in the seafood sausages.  This seemed quite weird to me.  Nothing sounds more awesome than fish chopped up and stuffed in animal innards.  Page 193 lists one of the craziests sausages that I have ever read about, especially since it includes a 1/2 cup of alcohol and 8 medium sized squid.  Needless to say, I am going to be making this in a couple of weeks. 

Part Three: Cooking Sausages

The third section of the book suggest sausages and recipes for each sausage based on the time of the day.  Sausage and Apple pancake roll-ups for breakfast, Guacamole with chorizo for appetizers and Sausage pizza for lunch or dinner.  The recipes all sound great.  The best recipe I read about and one that I am going to have to recreate is a sausage filled piroshki.  It is a russian dumpling that is baked and filled with sausage, egg and onion.  It sounds awesome.  I love sausage, egg and pastry. 

Overall this book is very informative and includes a lot of great instructions and recipes.  Even though none of the recipes that I read included binding agents the seasonings and meat combinations were traditional and sounded delicious.  While the basic ingredients are good, the lack of fillers will create juicy sausages that will fall apart, dry up and lack in the great textures that you are used to.  So, If you are looking for a great informative book on how to make sausages you may want to pick up this book.  If you already are knowledgable about the art of sausage making and want a book with sausage recipes you might want to pass. 

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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