Last Monday I went to take Christian Noe’s (of Nighthawks Kitchen) class on sausage making that the Arts Center in downtown Troy, NY. The next class is May 23rd, 2012, and you should totally sign up. It’s a really informative session for only $38! They’re in the evening, so if you’re a bit on the later side of things like me, it’s perfect!
We made three kinds of sausage – Italian, chorizo, and bratwurst.
Christian starts off with a quick intro into sausage making, and soon starts into chopping some lightly frozen bits of pork shoulder.
Then it’s placed into a grinder – two grinders are used. The big, sexy one; and the Kitchenaid attachment.
Everyone in the class jumps in to grind meat! Unsurprisingly, the Kitchenaid is a little slower than the big pro grinder, but gets the job done just as nicely.
However, now I want a big pro grinder for sausage. I wanted to take this class partially to see if I wanted to sink the dough into buying sausage making equipment, since I’ve also got a love of curing meats as well. And now it seems Christian’s class has given me a newfound sausage-making lust, too.
Christian’s class is really low-key and easy to understand. Very conversational, and you get a packet of the recipes you make and some handy tips & pointers, plus local shops to buy your sausage-making apparati.
The spices were already portioned out on plates, and easily mixed in with the meats.
I think this was the bratwurst.
And then the sausage-stuffing attachment goes on the Kitchenaid.
Meats are put into stuffers – there’s also a pro stuffer Nighthawks uses for their sausages that handles 5 lbs at a time. Want. WANT.
But you know what you need to stuff sausages?
You see that plate in the foreground?
This one here? It’s sausage patties! You can grill up some sausage meat to see how the flavors are and modify accordingly, if you so choose. You you can just make patties, but come on… who doesn’t love the snap of a naturally cased sausage?
Sausage stuffing is quite a breeze with the big pro stuffer. Tip: Watering your equipment and tables is a good idea. It helps keep everything lubricated and moving quickly.
You can poke holes with a pin or small poker to get air pockets out. Don’t use a fork – too big.
Don’t twist yet – just make one bit roll of sausage before you make links.
The Kitchenaid stuffer was more finicky than the pro-stuffer. It took a lot more force and time, but if you’ve already got a Kitchenaid at home, this will probably do you just fine. I don’t have a Kitchenaid at home, and don’t see myself buying it purely for sausage-making needs. Check out those beautiful chorizo & Italian links! It’s really easy to form links – just twist every other portion of them. The casings hold very quickly, so even when they’re cut, they hold their shape.
He’s got a knife!! Hehe, that’s just a part of the air pricker contraption.
Then it was time for… sampling! These bratwursts were simmered with lots of onions and beer. Loooove.
This might be some of the best chorizo I’ve ever had. Crazy to know it was made within 2 hours! So fresh, so good. I don’t know if I can go back to store-bought. Also, not crazy-greasy like a lot of other chorizo I’ve had in my day.
The night ends with us sampling all of the sausages, and taking some home as well. Albany John was quite a happy dude that night!
I’m also a happy gal – sausage making is easy and relatively frugal. I can’t wait to get my hands on hands on some gear and start making sausages!