Smoked Country Sausage

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Yield:

    6 to 8

    Sausage Rings, Weighing ¾ to 1 pound Each.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

One of my earliest recollections of life in the tiny village of Sunflower, Mississippi, where I was born was of the smokehouse used in late fall and early winter by my father for smoking hams and homemade sausage. I remember the structure and I remember the smells. The following is my version—my recollection of the taste—of the sausages that he cured in that smokehouse. We moved to a larger town when I was very young and he never cured or smoked meats thereafter.

Ingredients

  • pounds lean pork, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds solid pork fat, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • tablespoons rubbed sage, or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground or cracked black pepper
  • 12 dried hot red pepper pods, or about 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 10 to 12feet of sausage casings

Method

  • Put the pork and pork fat into a large mixing bowl and add the sage, paprika, and salt.
  • If preground black pepper is used, add it. Otherwise, grind the pepper, using a peppermill. Or grind it in a small, clean coffee grinder. Add it to the mixture.
  • If hot red pepper flakes are used, add them. Otherwise, grind the pepper pods in a small, clean coffee grinder. Add it to the mixture.
  • Mix well with the hands, cover, and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Put the mixture through a meat grinder fitted with the largest blade. Remove all the meat left in the grinder and clean the grinder blade.
  • Return the blade to the grinder and fit it, along with the special sausage attachment, to the mouth of the grinder. Slide 1 prepared sausage casing onto the attachment and tie the end. Grind the meat, holding the casing to permit free entry of the filling into the casing. When about 16 inches of casing have been filled, pinch the casing at the end of the sausage attachment. Pull it out to leave about 4 inches of empty casing at that end. Tie that end. Tie both ends of the sausage together. Set aside. Continue making sausages in this manner until all the stuffing has been used.
  • Hang the sausages in a smoker and smoke according to the manufacturer’s instructions.