This weekend, I tried my hand at making my first batch of sausage. I decided to make Kasewurst, a cheese sausage that has many variations throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The original recipe I had for this was supposed to resemble a cured Bratwurst with the addition of cheese cubes and is similar to one from Switzerland that uses Emmenthaler or Swiss cheese. Except I didn’t quite follow the directions. Fist, I omitted the cure opting to make it a fresh sausage and second I decided to use a sharp cheddar cheese instead. So was it still a Kasewurst? Or just a cheese sausage? I don’t really know, but I can tell you it was some mighty good stuff.
I will apologize right up front about the pictures. Mrs. G is still in NYC and she took the good camera, so I was stuck using an older one that I am not that familiar with. On top of that, I just didn’t get many pictures of the whole sausage making part. Sorry about that. I’ll try to take more next time.
Kasewurst (or Cheese Sausage)
- 5 lbs of pork butt
- 10 oz cheese ( I used Cracker Barrell Sharp Cheddar)
- 4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper, finely ground
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 12 Tbsp milk
- 1 cup powdered milk
- * 1 tsp crushed red chilli pepper*
- * 1/4 tsp cayenne*
- * 1/4 tsp ancho chilli powder*
* optional ingredients depending on your heat tolerance
- Prepare 5 lbs of pork butt by deboning and cutting into 1 inch cubes. Place the meat into the freezer for 30 minutes to chill but not freeze. At this time, it would be a good idea to place the metal parts of the meat grinder into the freezer as well.
- While the meat is chilling, cut the cheese into 1/4 inch cubes and then refrigerate.
- After 30 minutes, grind the meat with a medium plate.
- Mix the seasonings, milk and powdered milk in a mixing bowl.
- Blend the meat and the seasonings well by kneading for about 3 minutes.
- Add in the cheese cubes to the paste and knead until they are distributed evenly. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours. At this point, it might be a good idea to take some of the sausage and fry it up on a skillet to check seasonings and adjust as necessary.
- Prepare hogs casings according to the package.
- Stuff the hog casings and twist the sausage rope into links.
- Grill sausage within 24 hours or freeze as this sausage is not cured. Make sure to heat until you reach 155-160 and allow carryover to 165.
I feel like at this point I should give a mention to my friend and teammate from Three Sheets BBQ (eventually we’ll get that all organized and start competing) Big Matt who came over and helped with the sausage stuffing. Neither of us have ever made sausage, but we quickly came to realize with my grinder/stuffer, it is definitely a two-man operation. We had a few blowouts in the beginning, but we soon hit our groove and cranked out that 5 lbs of sausage pretty quickly. Most of it was bagged and frozen, but we felt like we should grill up a few for quality control purposes. I lit the Egg and then threw the sausages on as it reached about 200F, so that they would slowly come up to temperature as the grill continued creeping up to 350F.
Keep an eye on the sausage as it cooks. You don’t want the skin to burst and lose all the juices, so you might need to flip and move it around the grill. I ended up adding my extra rack to lift it a little higher away from the flames to prevent this.
I thought the sausage turned out amazing and I’m not sure I will ever buy sausage from a store again. Ok, maybe I will, but it won’t be as good as this. It had a nice snap from the hog casings. It had a nice bit of heat from the red pepper, ancho and cayenne, but it was not overpowering and the cheese complimented it nicely. I thought I might be biased about it since I made it, but Big Matt said it was probably one of the best sausages he had ever had and it had convinced him to go out and buy a grinder/stuffer so that he could start making his own as well. If that doesn’t speak volumes about the sausage, I don’t know what would.
At first, I was worried about making my own sausage. I thought it would be difficult and that I would probably screw it up. But thanks to plenty of research on the web, people’s advice like Mr. Holloway on Green Eggers and Kevin P on The Smoke Ring and Warren R. Anderson’s “Mastering the Craft of Making Sausage”, we made it through the first batch and it turned out to be pretty easy and quite a bit of fun. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m excited to make my next batch. What to try next? Maybe a Bratwurst or a Kielbasa….The possibilities are endless….