These sausages smell so good that we want to capture the aroma and turn it into an air freshener for the PIGSKN Ford pick-up.
Making these sausages is time consuming – if your grinder is small it could take several hours – but the effort is worth it. Fortunately, the process itself is actually very easy and the results are spectacular: These sausages are quite flavorful and incredibly aromatic when they're being fried up on game day. Even outdoors, you'll smell the spices all around you and you're likely to attract random tailgating passers-by. (This recipe is a little heavy on the spice, so cut back a bit on the nutmeg and sage if you prefer.)
We typically set aside a Saturday or Sunday on a cool day around late October/early November for sausage-making. We set up everything outside, including a TV, so we don't miss any of the action. These sausage then sustain us throughout the Pigskin High Holidays in November, December and January.
If you have a sausage-stuffer, you can make these into breakfast-sized links. However, we just form them into patties of about one-fifth to one-quarter of a pound and they taste perfectly fine. This will make 40 to 50 patties or up to 80 links.
- 10 pounds of fresh pork butt (preferably butt with a nice, thick fat-cap on it)
- 4 to 5 Tablespoons of nutmeg
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons of kosher salt
- 4 Tablespoons of sage (dried sage or fresh sage finely chopped; don't use powdered sage)
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
- Optional: 1 to 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
- Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons ground clove
Cut the pork butt into chunks. You should have a ratio of about four parts lean to one part fat. If you don't have enough fat in your pork butt – or want a little more, which doesn't hurt – pick up a little extra fresh, unsalted pork fat from your local market or butcher. A lot of times they'll just give it to you for nothing, because otherwise they're just going to throw it out.
Grind the meat once in a sausage grinder. Add in all the spices and mix thoroughly with clean, bare hands. Run the meat through the grinder one more time. Again, mix thoroughly with your bare hands. Gauge the sausage with your nose. If the aroma of nutmeg and sage is not yet to your liking, add a bit more (there should be plenty, though).
Form into patties or stuff into clean, rinsed breakfast-sized (22 to 24 millimeter) sheep or lamb casing.
Place the patties on wax paper (and separate each row of patties from each other with wax paper) and then wrap them in freezer paper. Links can be wrapped in freezer paper together in serving-sized bunches. Write the date on masking tape and stick it to the outside of the freezer paper. They'll easily stay frozen for up to a year.