Sausage workshop success!

The butchering and sausage making workshop was a total success.

We expected five or six people, and eight actually came! I was thrilled. First we got a tour of the facilities and asked questions. Then Bill showed us our pig. He was a fairly fat old boar, and we were all amazed at how quickly Bill took the boar apart into pieces using the bandsaw.

Bill the butcher using his bandsaw. He was incredibly fast and precise.

Then came the cutting. Since we weren’t cutting the big pieces into specific cuts, just deboning and cubing the meat and fat, everyone got to work together on this part. Bill gave us all thin tapered boning knives and we went to work.

Practicing our knife skills.

With eight people this part went fairly quickly. Bill started weighing out the cubed meat and quickly realized that we had plenty of meat for 10 pounds of sausage per person, when we had only planned on five pounds each. This was an unexpected bonus, and everyone was very happy.

Extra sausage for everyone!

Then the sausage-making began. Bill rinsed the casings and set up the grinder. This was a different kind of meat grinder. The cubed meat and seasonings are combined in a bin at the top of the machine, and then the meat is ground and then fed immediately into a narrow tube, which the casings are gathered onto. The stuffing went extremely quickly for each person.

Loading the hog casings onto the sausage tube of the grinder. These were real hog intestines, but Crawford's doesn't process their own, they buy them.

I chose a Greek herbed sausage recipe from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook because it was specifically for wild boar meat, but added a significant amount of fresh oregano and rigani, since I have so much of it. I only brought enough of the spice mixture for 5 pounds of sausage, so I used Bill’s standard spicy sausage mix for the other five pounds.

Aren't they beautiful?

We will definitely be doing this again. Bill had a good time, made a profit, and taught more people about butchering and charcuterie. Everyone was able to do each step themselves, from deboning and cubing the meat to using the grinder and stuffer to using the vacuum sealer. And we each got to make our own custom-flavored sausages, which is something most home cooks do not have the equipment for. I can’t wait to try our sausages tonight!

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