Holiday Country Pork Sausage Recipe
This is a pork sausage recipe, like many in old country cookbooks, that was meant to be made only during the holiday season.
This recipe has a larger variety of spices than was normally used in "every day" country sausage recipes, and that made it "special" for festive occasions.
We have to remember that many of the spices in this pork sausage recipe would have been expensive and hard to come by for a lot of farm families, so using them in their sausage making made this a real holiday treat.
- 5 lbs of boned pork butt (shoulder). Add pork fat if necessary to bring the meat to about 80/20 lean to fat.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of fine ground black pepper (fresh is best)
- 2 tablespoons kosher style salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 teaspoon prague powder #1 or Instacure #1 if you intend to smoke the sausage.
- Trim the pork, cut it into 1 inch cubes, and grind it through the fine plate of your meat grinder. If you need to add fat, grind it separately from the meat and mix it all together after grinding. Fat grinds much more easily when it it very cold.
- Combine the spices in a small container and mix with the 1 cup of ice water.
- Pour the spice and water combination into the ground pork and mix thoroughly for at least 2 minutes. Use your hands for mixing to assure even distribution.
- Once the sausage is fully mixed, it is traditionally stuffed into casings. I prefer to use 1 1/4 inch collagen casings if I am going to leave this as fresh sausage, but use 32-34mm hog casings if I plan to smoke the links.
Natural hog casings are tougher than collagen casings, and make it much easier to hang the sausage in the smoker without tearing.
There are now specially made collagen casings that are designed to be thicker and tougher so they work better for smoking, but they can be hard to find.
As always, be sure to follow good sausage making procedure and keep everything clean and cold. If you refrigerate your meat to cool it down after grinding, wait to mix it with the spices until just before stuffing.
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