Stuffed sausages

Unsmoked andouille sausageOne thing I’ve learned about sausage-making is that sausages are a kind of emulsion. This means that, like a hollandaise sauce, they can break if they’re not handled properly. The first time I tried stuffing sausages into casings, I did it by hand with a makeshift funnel. The problem was that you need to keep sausage meat cold to prevent it from breaking, and you won’t know it’s broken until you cook it. When you do, the fat renders out completely and leaves the sausage dry, crumbly and distinctly unappealing. It’s not a mistake you make twice. After that first, failed attempt, I broke down and invested the money in a basic sausage stuffer. Since then, I’ve made several batches of stuffed sausage: bratwurst, Italian sausage and andouille, pictured here. And not once have they broken. Sometimes, to make something from scratch, and make it well, it pays to invest in the proper equipment. Eventually, I’ll have to steel my nerves and try making one of the finer-textured sausages, like weisswurst – or maybe hot dogs.

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