The latest project in my head is to make and cure home made sausage. I signed up for a how to make sausage class at The Brooklyn Kitchen taught by Ben Turley, an owner of The Meat Hook who shares space with The Brooklyn Kitchen to learn phase one: how to make fresh sausage at home.
FYI, we have a bunch of how to cook videos here if you'd care to check them out.
I've never taken a cooking class before, and was kinda ambivalent the day of the class, but I knew it would be good when I showed up at the classroom and was handed a cold beer by Valerie, who assisted Ben with the class.
Rather than one of those cooking classes where you just sit there and watch; we were going to learn how to make sausage by making sausage, guided by Valerie and Ben.
Ben first gave a short talk, and what stuck in my head was his goal of transparency in the food they sell, and their recipes. The sausages were to make were two types of sausage they sell at the Meat Hook, and we had in our hands the actual recipes they use to make them.
The common wisdom is when many chefs publish their recipe for a signature dish in a magazine, they leave out crucial details. Ben didn't leave out any details. He laid out exactly how to make good tasting sausage.
The key to making homemade sausage is the ratio of salt and spices to fat and protein, and Ben wrote it all out for us in grams. How cool is that?
We then broke into two teams and prepared two different sausages, while Valerie and Ben offered suggestions and guidance.
A few key things I learned about making sausage:
- Pork Shoulder is best, with 30% fat to 70% protein ratio.
- Have the butcher grind the meat for you with a 3/16 diameter grind
- Mixing the meat and spices-salt together to the right consistency
- Cook a small piece of the mixed sausage before stuffing it into casings, do a taste test.
- Refrigerate sausage overnight before cooking, don't stuff and cook right away.
To make sure the meat and ingredients have been mixed properly, and the salt has been kneaded into the meat, make a thin patty of the sausage meat, put it in your palm, and turn your palm upside down. Then count to 5. If the patty is still stuck to your upside down palm when you get to 5, the meat is mixed properly.
Each person got to take home two sausages from the class project. The next day they tasted amazing.
We'll be making a how to make sausage video soon. You can sign up for cooking classes at the Brooklyn Kitchen here.
Do you make sausage homemade? Any suggestions or tips? Let us know below: