birch and barley

Home Made Sausage by Admin

In 2012, I took one of the most fun and tastiest classes ever. Usually, when I think of class, the words fun nor tasty comes into mind.  However, this was a sausage making class with a beer tasting at the now defunct Living Social 918 F Street Building (RIP). It was taught by Kyle Bailey of Birch and Barley, who taught us how to make a breakfast sausage patty and also spicy sausage links. It was a great experience and one of my favorite cooking classes I've taken.

Fast forward to three years later. It's 2015, and in those three years, I haven't attempted to make a single sausage at all. This is mostly due to the fact that I didn't own any of the necessary equipment for it, which seems to be a pretty good reason. Well, it was finally time for a good reason to come. This past Christmas, I got my girlfriend, Vanessa, a KitchenAid Mixer.  Vanessa loves to cook, and I knew she would love it. But, maybe, it was subconscious gift for myself as well? It probably was, but she doesn't need to know. *Prepare for evil stare from, Vanessa.*

Shortly after purchasing the mixer, I decided to buy the attachments for it too.  I bought a KitchenAid mixer attachment pack from Amazon, which included a food grinder, slicer/shredder, and fruit/vegetable strainer, and also a sausage stuffer kit.  She knew that I had taken the sausage making class before, and started to look up some other recipes.  She found a spicy Italian sausage recipe from Bon Appetit with a handy video.  I didn't remember all the steps from three years ago, so the video was a great refresher. 

Vanessa bought all the ingredients necessary, and it was time to get started. I won't go over every step of the recipe, but here are some quick visual key points to the process.

So, here are some things that we learned.

There was one time where the sausage bursted as we were stuffing it.  This was due to us not paying attention and it got over stuffed.  It was an easy fix, as we just had to remove the excess and tie off that link and start a new one.  So note to self, pay attention.

As I was twisting the sausage into smaller links, there were a couple of times where it bursted. There are a couple of reasons I can think of why it happened and how to fix it.  It could have been due to it being to thick due to over stuffing.  Also, it could have been due to not pricking the casings beforehand to relieve some pressure. So, for next time, we're going to try to make links that aren't too fat, and to twist them into links while it's still coming out of the stuffer instead of at the end.

Overall, it tasted pretty great. The process was a little long, but I'm sure we'll be much faster next time.  We're already looking forward to cooking some new sausage recipes, and I'll keep you updated on what we're trying out.  So if you're attempting this for the first time, good luck and let me know if you have any questions.