Fresh Sausages

Fresh sausages are embarrassingly simple to make and the procedure resembles preparing a meal. A fresh sausage is not cooked nor smoked and that explains the ease of its production. Everybody knows how to make a hamburger and if you stuff ground and spiced hamburger meat into a casing it becomes a sausage. Somehow this classical definition has been twisted in recent years and many ordinary meat dishes such as meat patties are also called sausages. The best example is McDonald’s® Sausage Mc Muffin which is a meat patty served on a bun.

Whether you chop meat with a knife or use a grinder is of lesser importance. The same applies to the stuffing process, you may use grinder with a stuffing tube, a self-contained piston grinder, or stuff the mixture with your fingers through a suitable funnel. Once the sausage is finished it goes into the refrigerator where it will remain a day or two. Then it will be fried, barbecued, boiled in water, steamed or whatever. Providing that fresh meat was selected and basic safety rules were obeyed, the sausage will turn out great. Of course it has to be fully cooked before consumption.

The taste of the sausage will depend on meats that were selected and spices which were added to the mix. If you want to make Italian sausage use fennel which is the dominant spice in the recipe. To create a medium hot or hot version of the sausage add more or less of red pepper or cayenne. Polish white sausage requires garlic and marjoram (optional), other sausages call for different dominant spice combinations. The best advice is to use spices that you like, after all you are the one that will eat the sausage.

The Internet is loaded with millions of recipes which were invented by creative cooks. You will find sausages with apples, arugula, pineapples, and other ingredients. Many large recipe oriented web sites must provide new content on a continuous basis to stay alive. They employ people with writing skills on a paid by article or recipe basis and those creative persons look everywhere to find an original or rather unusual recipe. In our opinion this has little in common with serious sausage making and rather fits into the general cooking category, which makes sense as many recipes are written by restaurant chefs who always think in terms of cooking a meal. A fresh sausage will end up on a breakfast plate with fries and ketchup or on a grill in the back yard.

Providing that fresh meat is obtained and the safety practices are implemented, there is little to worry about Salmonella, E.coli or Clostridium botulinum as high heat during cooking takes care of those pathogens. Store fresh sausages in a refrigerator for 2-3 days or up to 2-3 months in the freezer. They must be fully cooked before serving.

Fresh sausages contain much fat which is shown in the table that follows. The data comes from U.S. CFR 319. 140.

Name Max Fat in % Max Water in %
Fresh Pork 50 3
Fresh Beef 30 3
Breakfast 50 3
Italian 35 3

Manufacturing Process

Making of a fresh sausage follows the basic steps described in the making sausage

  • Cutting/grinding
  • Mixing
  • Stuffing
  • Storing in refrigerator

There is no need to cure meat, unless pink color in the finished product is desired. Although making fresh sausages is easier it is still a great introduction into the art of sausage making.

More on Fresh Sausages can be found in theCode of Federal Regulations, § 319.140:

Code of Federal Regulations
Title 9: Animals and Animal Products

Subpart E—Sausage Generally: Fresh Sausage § 319.140 Sausage.

§ 319.141 Fresh pork sausage.

§ 319.142 Fresh beef sausage.

§ 319.143 Breakfast sausage.

§ 319.144 Whole hog sausage.

§ 319.145 Italian sausage products.

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