So this weekend, my husband decided that we should hunker down inside and crank out 50 lbs. of turkey sausage. With rain predicted for most of the weekend, this seemed like a good time to do it. We have made our own sausage several times before, and he is now set up with all of the necessary equipment to make it run as smoothly as possible. I thought I’d post some photos and the end result to inspire you to give it a try yourself sometime! Just make sure you have not one, but two days in a row free for this endeavor if you plan on making 50 lbs.
It all starts with whole turkeys, of course! Here are the 4 turkeys we used, 2 wild turkeys and 2 store-bought. My husband is really the meat guy in our family – I just help as needed, usually measuring spices or helping to package at the end. So he painstakingly deboned all 4 of these birds, which was the most time-consuming part of the entire process. All types of poultry have a LOT of bones, and they seem to multiply when you’re trying to remove every one!
After the turkeys were deboned and chopped, he added 1 part pork fat to 3 parts lean meat. The fat, we have found, is really necessary to contribute moisture and flavor to sausage; otherwise it ends up tasting like you’re eating a hamburger (or in this case a turkey-burger) without the bun.
Once the meat and fat were all in the bin together, he partially froze them to make the grinding process easier. We learned the hard way, years ago, that trying to put meat that is completely thawed and soft through a grinder is pretty much impossible! It’s like trying to grind a block of butter – it just gums up in the gears and you get nowhere. After the meat was frosty, it was time to make sausage!
And so he started grinding. (As you can probably tell by now, he did most of the actual work; I just cooked it and took the pictures!) He does a coarse grind followed by a fine grind. Once all of the meat was ground, it was time to add spices. We made half of the sausage with an AIP breakfast sausage recipe, and half with a bratwurst recipe. You can find the AIP recipe we used here, at What Great Grandma Ate. Simple and delicious! Our bratwurst recipe was taken from Hank Shaw’s website, which you can find here. This is just one of many great sausage recipes on his site! We split each of the two batches in half as well, packaging some as bulk sausage and some as links.
After the packaging was done, of course we had to give it the taste test. I cooked some AIP breakfast sausage, and it was gone in a matter of minutes! Juicy and delicious. There’s nothing like fresh homemade food!
If you have experience with sausage-making or questions we can help with, I’d love to read your comments below.