Friday, January 11, 2013

Sausage has been canned!

The arrival of our container shipment also meant the delivery of my long-awaited electric meat grinder! We've been saving fatty, difficult-to-use pieces of meat from the three hog butcherings in our freezer, and finally I was able to grind all of that up and make sausage!

Allen and I spent a large chunk of Wednesday learning to use the grinder and double grinding all of the pork and fat - we ended up with about 30 pounds worth!

On Thursday Allen had to drive to San Pedro Sula, but before he left in the morning he helped to create the recipe for our sausage. He wanted lots of flavor, and wouldn't have minded a large amount of peppery heat, but I'm not able to eat foods that are very hot, so he worked to add lots of non-pepper spices, coming up with a sausage that had lots of flavor but only a small amount of heat. Everyone agrees that it's tasty!

Once the recipe had been created, tested, and approved, I started making and canning sausage. I was ambitious at first, making sausage patties and canning those, but that process was overly time-consuming on a day when we also had lots of other work to do, so eventually I fell back to making up most of the sausage as "crumbles." Resembling browned ground beef, this meat will be useful mixed in with eggs for breakfast, in sauces or on top of pizza. I canned 2 quarts of sausage patties, 5 quarts and 20 pints of sausage crumbles.

Would you like Allen's sausage recipe? It's rather crazy with the long list of ingredients, but we can't argue with the results!

2 pounds ground pork (ours was quite fatty, but I'm sure leaner pork would work, too)
4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp basil
2 tsp Complete Seasoning
1 tsp Creole seasoning blend
1 tsp Greek seasoning blend

I now have about half of our chest freezer emptied out! I should be ready for the butchering of the bull long before the bull is ready - Russell had to give the bull an injection of medication to remove an infestation of bot fly larvae this week, and realized after the injection had been given that it was recommended that the animal not be butchered and eaten for at least a month after the medicine is administered. This is hard for us, as it is dry season, and there is very little food available for the cattle just now. The cows will wander our entire property and can find enough to eat, but if the bull isn't tied up or contained in a much better enclosure than the fencing we have around the perimeter of the property he will simply wander away. Since the neighbors don't appreciate our bull wandering loose, we're having to contain him in a very small area and purchase food for him. On the upside, I've read that grass-fed beef is tastier when the animal has been "finished" with a diet of corn . . . so we shall see . . .

Now that the majority of the pork processing from the freezer has been accomplished, we can turn our time and attention back to putting together Christmas gifts from the donations . . . oh, and schooling the kids, planning a wedding, ministry, construction of our new home, and all of the crazy stuff of everyday life! 

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