Right at the beginning, I have to say that I love sausages but have always been a little intimidated by the thought of making them myself. In his forward for the book, “Easy Sausage Making, Essential Techniques and Recipes to Master Making Sausages at Home” by Will Budiaman, Chef Kurt Clingman recommends this book as the perfect book for those looking to get into sausage making.
The author, in his introduction, describes the day he first made his own sausages without a recipe. He’s been hooked since that day, which probably explains the reason why he wrote the book.
This is definitely a beginner’s guide for sausage making and is divided into three main parts, Sausage Making, Fresh Sausage Recipes, and Cooking With Sausage.
All About Sausage, the first chapter in Part One, includes a brief history of sausage making, the description of various varieties of sausages, and regional flavors and styles. Although I don’t think it was entirely necessary, the author also includes “Why you’ll love making your own sausage”. I’m pretty sure that this is obvious, it’s sausages. Who hasn’t thought that their sausage was too spicy or not spicy enough or just needed that little something? Now you can tweak your sausages to your perfect flavor!
In The Kitchen starts out with a list of the various ingredients you will need to have on hand and a description of casings. Herbs And Spices are also discussed along with other additions. A complete description about each of the pieces of equipment you will need in order to create your sausage delights is it also included in this chapter.
I like how with the list of the various tools, they give a breakdown of the different variations available. For instance, with the Grinders, they describe and compare Hand Grinders, Electric Grinders, Food Processors, and Mixer Attachments. Price ranges are even included which, when you’re just starting out, is key.
With Chapter 3, Your First Batch, the author describes various best practices from How To Shop, to Keeping Your Work Area Clean. He provides an overview of the basic technique and a recipe tutorial for your first sausage attempt.
The sausage tutorial even includes step-by-step directions, complete with photos for each step, in some cases more than one photo for the step.
The end of the chapter includes information on Troubleshooting, Storing Your Sausages, and Cooking.
Part Two starts with American Sausages. Each of the recipes throughout the book includes a yield in pounds for how much sausage it will produce, a brief description of the recipe, equipment, and ingredients lists, as well as detailed instructions.
The top of each recipe also includes a classification like “Course and Mild”, or “Course and Sweet”, or “Fine and Mild” etc. This describes the flavor and texture of the sausage and will help you choose which recipe you want for your meal.
The American Style Sausages are followed by a chapter on German And Polish Sausages. This is where you’ll find your Kielbasa, Bockwurst, Bratwurst, and other wursts.
British And Irish Sausages are next, including Classic Pub Bangers. While over 400 varieties of sausage are available in the British Isles this set of seven recipes will give you a good start.
Mediterranean Sausages are next, including Spanish, Italian, and even the Greek Isles. The Spanish Chorizo is actually a really good substitute for pepperoni if you want to give that a try sometime on a pizza.
After the Mediterranean, you will find the Beyond The West Sausages. This chapter is a varied mix including Mexican Chorizo, Vietnamese Shrimp Sausage, and more.
The third section, Cooking With Sausage, starts with breakfast and includes several recipes you can use to showcase your newly found sausage making skills.
These recipes also include prep time and cook time as well as the number of servings. I found it especially helpful that each of the recipes starts out at the top with the name and page number of the sausage recommended for use. This way it is easy to find the combination you need for both the sausage and the meal.
But sausages are not just for breakfast, “Soups And Stews” are the next chapter of recipes. There is a lovely crockpot Sausage and Black Bean Chili. It only takes a few minutes of prep time and then you can walk away and let it cook for itself.
Entrées are next with several filling dinner recipes from stirfry to pie and even salad. Somehow they did not think of my chorizo option for the pizza recipe, it uses the hot Italian sausage. To each their own.
Next, come Sauces And Condiments. None of these recipes actually contain sausage, these are the recipes you would use to enhance your sausage. The author contends that the sausages are delicious on their own, the right condiment enhances the experience.
The recipes in this section include a list of the specific sausages with which they would be best paired. This can be very handy. The section includes chutney, sauces, mustards, ketchup, and even a horseradish cream.
The book rounds itself out with a Glossary Of Terms which is always very handy. A few References to other books follow, which you will need once you’ve caught the sausage making bug. There’s also a list of resources and website addresses where you can find ingredients and other supplies.
One of the things I always look for in a good cookbook is an extensive, well-organized index. In many top-notch recipe books, there is more than one index to make cross-referencing easier. This is one of those cookbooks. There is a Recipe Index with a list of all the recipes by name. The second is a Full Index allowing you to search by ingredient. When you forgot the name of a recipe, this second ingredient index proves to be invaluable.
When first reviewing this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I am a sausage lover, it has always been my impression that sausage making would be incredibly difficult. This cookbook has changed my mind about that.
It Really Is Easy
Sausage making will never be something you do in 15 minutes or less and with three ingredients. It is, however, something that doesn’t have to be overly complicated but which can create brilliant results nonetheless.
If I could’ve changed anything about the book, it would be to add more pictures. There are very few photos of any of the sausages and none of the recipe dishes. Given the quality of the content of the book, that isn’t sufficient to reduce my enjoyment.
For the included recipe I have chosen the Caramelized-Onion Ketchup for several reasons. First, you can simply pick a random recipe of the sausages and make them without the rest of the book. It is a process, not simply a recipe. And secondly, you can never have enough quality condiments.