I cook with these locally made sausages from time to time, and I think they are a good enough option:
Gourmet Italian Sausage - SPOLUMBO's Fine Foods & Deli
I doubt I will ever make my own sausages!
While I'm by no means a sausage master (Chef Ruhlman, anyone?), I spent an hour last night looking through my recipe books and found only one that utilized grains: blood sausages will use oats or rice as a binder. Aside from that, out of about 100 recipes I didn't find any that used grains or flours, although I think some "arab" recipes may use ground favas or gabranzos as binder. Honestly, I think that added grains would get in the way of the protein binding, and while spices mixes may use filler like that, why use spice mixes?
Issanjose: Regarding the salt, well, yeah, you can tailor the quantity as per choice. I default to Michael Ruhlman's ratios for salt, and found it was way too salt, so I reduced it by about 35% and everything was good to go. Now regarding the pink salt particularly, you don't use that in a standard sausage as it's an antibacterial compound - I'll use it on my bacon (it can and has sat on the counter for a few days at a time.), and fermented, or aged sausages. (Salami, landjaeger, coppa, etc.)
I love sausages. I haven't found a source for good and relatively cheap ones (oxymoron, perhaps) so I eat the best (read: worst, but tastiest) CW has to offer. I know it's not really primal, but it's not in my nature to get too worried over little things. I'm not passing judgment, everyone is free to freak out over whatever they please, when it comes to sausages you could tell me the casing is made from grinding NYC cockroaches and I'd say "IS THAT WHY ITS SO CRUNCHY?!" in between bites.
Not to belabor the point, but if you have a couple big bowls, a couple knives, or a food processor - you could start making your own. A sausage without a casing is still a sausage. Even when I make expensive sausages (pork, veal, and thymus) it's easy to stay sub $6 a pound, for my normal sausages I stay around $1.50 a pound.
Feel free to drop me a note if curious about giving it a try.
Re - Wheat in Sausage
Some recipes actually do call for flour. The Irish Bangers someone mentioned in another thread last week are probably the ones you are most likely to find here in the states, but there are Polish and German sausages as well that have flour as an ingredient.
Also, as has already been stated, some spice mixes use wheat based stabilizers or flavor enhancers.
Whole Foods - if you have the luxury of having one nearby - is a good choice in that they use whole (boneless) pork shoulder in all their pork sausages. Chicken is whole boned carcasses. And Beef is trimmings and scraps. All their big sausages are cased in pig intestine. Breakfast sausages use lamb intestine. Their spice mixes only contain wheat if the recipe calls for wheat (again, bangers is a good example), but some of them do contain sugar.
But their sausages are made in house and they can bring you the spice pack for any given sausage so you can examine the ingredients.
I've actually made sausages at the Richmond, VA WFM and seen them made on a daily basis (I ran their smokehouse program for 6 months when they first opened that location), so for whatever it's worth, this is firsthand knowledge, not what someone there *told* me.
And you *should* ask about sugar in their sausages if that is a concern (though it will generally come up <1g per serving if there is sugar). If you are familiar with the sausage and know it doesn't call for wheat in any traditional version of that sausage (brats, italian, etc) then their version won't have wheat.
Last edited by brahnamin; 07-05-2011 at 08:06 AM. Reason: to eliminate Yoda from a particularly awkward sentence structure.
Ok, I googled some sausages I don't make or eat and finding bread crumbs in bangers, rice in boudin blanc, ok - neither are blood puddings, fair enough, I'm wrong there.
I wonder if it's a matter of recipe age. My book recipes are old, and like I said, don't have those undesirable inclusions. (I also lack recipes for boudin blanc and bangers.)
I'll second WF as a sausage source - I'll pick up a couple types from them in a pinch, decent stuff. I'd rather buy the aged beef, but I can't get behind $25+ per pound for an aged ny strip.
So, what's the difference between a sausage and spiced ground meat? What I would love a recipe for is a meatloaf without grains!A sausage without a casing is still a sausage
Well, to me it comes down to a variation in method.
A meatloaf doesn't get to sit in my kitchenaid getting beaten to hell in order to build up the binding properties of the proteins. Due to those properties, you can even get liquids such as red wine, or cream into the sausage.
A meatloaf doesn't get that. With meatloaf we've removed the breadcrumbs, added in romano and fresh italian parsley to add in more texture, and resorted to beating it a little by hand. Meat temperature is less important for a meatloaf than a sausage, you don't care too much if a meatloaf "breaks" but it's a massive failure for a sausage that reduces quality.
The meatloaf we're doing right now is:
Spices - make your choice (back off the salt)
2 large eggs
1/2c or so of Romano
1/2c of italian parsley
If extra binder is needed, I wonder at the value of buckwheat for that purpose - just a little of it.
Okay, I see the difference now.
I do not have a food processor, but I have a KA stand mixer.
I want to try the following for the meatloaf - a modification of my meatball mix:
1# each of ground beef & el turkey
1/2 - 1 cup quark
~ 2 tbsp pureed onion, garlic and herbs
ground binding mix: spices with a handful of nuts and dry shiitake mushrooms ~ 1/2 cup ground
top with tomato paste+ liquid smoke + sliced almonds
Will that have a chance to hold together after baking or will it likely fall appart?