Sausage Making 101: The Hot Link Extravaganza

As the seasons change from Autumn to Winter and Hollywood to New York (Love and Hip Hop), my meat consumption rate accelerates from aggressive to neck breaking. I've consumed record shattering amounts of the finest rotisserie chickens, New York strip steaks and pork chops that my local Albertsons has to offer. There is just something about 60 degree weather that makes me want to fill my innards with innards.



However, a woman can only consume so much slow roasted grocery store chicken before her sensibilities begin to seek more refinement and she develops a yearning for some creative release.

I decided to dust off the ol' meat grinder and weiner stuffer I begged on the street for the BF got me the other year and make some well-endowed contributions to my family's thanksgiving spread this year. I've only used them once, but am always very eager to admit that my favorite hobbies include sausage making when I meet new people. People who most likely did not ask about my hobbies.

I have a KitchenAid mixer that my mother gifted to me, so my meat grinder and sausage stuffer are just KitchenAid attachments. These are practical for rookies like me who aspire to produce sausages on a commercial level, but only make sausages once every two years. If you do not have a sausage stuffer, I believe a funnel and a clean finger would make fine substitutes, but it would probably take you a week to stuff one sausage.


I went to the local Mexican superstore, the Northgate Market in Boyle Heights because a butcher here once told me he would sell me the hog casings they use to make chorizos. It only took me a year to come back for them. I got around 500 yards of casing (that greyish looking blob at the top) for $6.00, which is a much better value than the dried hog casings I bought off of Amazon last time. I also bought 10 lbs of pork butt and a couple pounds of pork fat. Mexican and Asian markets are always your best bet for finding weird cuts of meat. I also loaded up on El Guapo spices for $0.89 each because I didn't want to deplete my spice supplies on a single project.

I chopped up all the pork and the fat and run it through the meat grinder. Meat grinding has all the same aerobic benefits as a TRX class, so make sure you stretch first. Also, it's important to get the right meat to fat ratio when making sausages because The Golden Rule of Sausage Making is: SAUSAGE IS ONLY GOOD BECAUSE IT IS LIKE 40% FAT. I don't know the exact ratio, but I just like to follow my heart. 

I added the following ingredients to my ground meat. I used a mix of spices that I got from a few different hot link recipes I found online. The exact measurements of which are totally unknown. 

- Granulated Garlic
- Fresh Garlic
- Ground Bay Leaves
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Fennel Seeds
- Cayenne Pepper 
- Chili Powder
- Paprika
- Ground Clove
- Ground Mustard
- Crushed Red Chilis 
- Coarse Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- A Splash of Budweiser

You can pretty much add whatever you want to these. We made some spicier by adding more cayenne  pepper, chili powder and various hot sauces. We also made some mild sweet ones by adding molasses to them. We fried up tiny sausage patties to test them out until we perfected the seasonings.

Before stuffing, you need to soak the hog casings in water for at least 30 minutes because they are covered in salt. Then you need to rinse them out by running water through them in the sink to get rid of the salt inside. If you don't do this, you will have very salty weiners. 

This is really a two person job because you need one person shoving the ground meat down the chute using this large plastic screw with a handle to push it through the stuffer and another person to hold the casing at the base of the stuffer and finesse that meat into the casing. It's all very erotic. If you don't have someone to do this with, I imagine it wouldn't be hard to find someone on Craigslist or Tinder to willingly assist you. 

We made these monstrously long and girthy hot links because I think we had the stuffer on full speed and probably should have stuffed them slower so we could make them thinner. But who gives a shit!? 

And there you have it,,,presents for my family to eat during the holiday season! I was going to drape the turkey with these links, but I didn't want it to cave in and shatter it's little bird back. 

I'll leave you with these photos of when I dressed my cats, Angus and Hank up like skanky frankfurters. Neither have spoken to me since. 

Sorry if this was photos and all. 


Popular Posts