Christmas Sausages

By |February 7th, 2015|christmas, gluten-free, grain-free, pork, recipe, sausages, turkey|1 Comment|

I’ve had my sausage maker/meat grinder for about 10 years.  I’ve probably used it about 10 times in those years.  I really did plan to use it often when I asked for it for Christmas, but for some reason it always seems like a big undertaking and I only end up dragging it out when I’ve done careful planning.  It usually starts with Perry saying “we really need to make sausages” and then we think of all the interesting different kinds we can make and then about 6 months to a year later, we actually do something about it.  Ridiculous, I know!

So when the Christmas holidays were upon us and we knew Perry would have over two weeks off, we decided that this time we really WERE going to make sausages.  We hadn’t decided what kind we would make and then Christmas came and went and I figured it probably wasn’t going to happen yet again.  Then a few days after Christmas I was shopping in one of our neighbourhood grocery stores and noticed they had a sale on organic turkeys.  I checked them out and could hardly believe that there was an 18 pound turkey there for less than $18.  I couldn’t pass it up, so I bought it and took it home.  My first thought was that since we hadn’t had turkey for Christmas this year, maybe I’d roast it with all the trimmings and we’d have a post-Christmas Christmas dinner.  Then I thought about all the leftovers and where the heck we’d put them all and then how we always end up wasting food and I decided to do something different.

Since I had learned the handy skill of breaking down turkeys in the community learning kitchen at Eden Community Food Bank where I volunteer a couple of days a week, I thought it would be a good idea to use the different parts of the turkey for a few different meals.

So, Perry and I gave it some thought and came up with the idea of making sausages that taste like Christmas dinner.  My mum makes the most amazing and delicious chestnut stuffing/dressing, so of course they had to be included.  We always use fresh sage with our turkey, so that had to go in to the mix and there’s no way we could leave out onions as they not only add flavour but lots of moisture.

We ended up spending about 4 and a half hours in the kitchen that afternoon (see, it IS a big undertaking), but we were very happy with the results.  For about $20 or so (including the other ingredients), we ended up with lots of fresh sausages and enough leftover pieces and carcass to make more than 12 meals for the 3 of us.

So, here’s what we did…

 

First of all, I broke down the turkey, setting aside the thighs, wings and drumsticks for jerk turkey which made 3 meals for us. And I put the carcass into the oven to roast with some onions to make soup stock.

First of all, I broke down the turkey, setting aside the thighs, wings and drumsticks for jerk turkey which made 3 meals for us. And I put the carcass into the oven to roast with some onions to make soup stock (making a HUGE stock potful and resulting in LOTS of turkey and vegetable soup).

 

 

Sauteed a large spanish onion in schmaltz

Sauteed a large spanish onion in schmaltz

 

Minced about 1/2 cup fresh sage

Minced about 1/2 cup fresh sage

 

And minced a full bag of organic chestnuts

And minced a full bag of organic chestnuts

 

And coarsely chopped both breasts of the turkey (skinned)

And coarsely chopped both breasts of the turkey (skinned)

 

And chopped about 250g organic pork fat

And chopped about 250g organic pork fat

 

Mixed together the chestnuts, sage, onion and some Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mixed together the chestnuts, sage, onion and some Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

And added the turkey and fat to the rest of the mixture

And added the turkey and fat to the rest of the mixture, then placed it in the bowl above the feeder tube of the grinder

This is the grinder I use

This is the grinder I use

 

Then we put on one of the coarser grinding plates and started to grind the mixture

Then we put on one of the coarser grinding plates and started to grind the mixture

 

Once we had ground it twice, we removed the grinding plate and got the pork casing ready.  We washed it thoroughly as it's stored in salt.  Then we oiled the sausage attachment and fed on a casing after tying it at the end.  It's also important to prick it all over with a needle so that you don't get air bubbles in the sausages.

Once we had ground it twice, we removed the grinding plate and got the pork casing ready. We washed it thoroughly as it’s stored in salt. Then we oiled the sausage attachment and fed on a casing after tying it at the end. It’s also important to prick it all over with a needle so that you don’t get air bubbles in the sausages.

 

It took two of us as one needs to feed the mixture through the machine and the other needs to hold the casing and twist it every once in a while to make sausage lengths. It took us a few minutes to get the hang of it since it had been a while, but we got it :)

It took two of us as one needs to feed the mixture through the machine and the other needs to hold the casing and twist it every once in a while to make sausage lengths. It took us a few minutes to get the hang of it since it had been a while, but we got it 🙂

 

The resulting sausages were so tasty and juicy. Next time I think we'd add even more chestnuts as that flavour kind of got lost in the mix.

The resulting sausages were so tasty and juicy. Next time I think we’d add even more chestnuts as that flavour kind of got lost in the mix.

 

We had them again last night, but this time with my recently made sauerkraut.  This was my first time making it and we were so happy with the result.  I'll have to become a bit more of an expert before posting about that :)

We had them again last night, but this time with my recently made sauerkraut. This was my first time making it and we were so happy with the result. I’ll have to become a bit more of an expert before posting about that 🙂