Grinding pork into sausage is something that you can do at home with either an electric meat grinder or a hand-held model. You can also choose to have a professional butcher handle the task for you. The key to getting a positive end result involves the selection of meat that you plan to grind. Pigs can be divided into a number of parts, but not all of them will produce quality ground meat.
Pork shoulder is one of the toughest parts of the pig, but it can be tenderized and ground into sausage easily. Purchase pork shoulder either smoked or fresh and plan on purchasing up to 9 lbs. of pork sausage to make a batch of sausage. Pork shoulder is known to be quite diverse and can be prepared in a number of ways including slow-cooked for pulled pork and roasted if you want to experiment with it outside of grinding.
Pork butt can be prepared in many of the same ways that pork shoulder can. Pork butt is cut in large chunks from above the shoulder of the pig. Butchers use pork butt for grinding into sausage based on the fact that it is 15 to 20 percent fat and fat helps to keep sausage moist and tender. Fat in pork also helps sausage bind together when encased.
Pork loin consists of the rib section of the pig and is located behind the pork butt on the animal. Pork loin is often more expensive than other parts of the pig because it is more tender than other parts and more versatile. Pork loin is infused with fat and makes the ideal choice for grinding. Pork chops, tenderloin and Canadian bacon are all made with pork loin.
Belly fat can be purchased at your local butcher and in the meat departments of supermarkets. It is used to add moisture to other cuts of pork when they are grounded. Belly fat is ideal for mixing with pork shoulder to get a the texture that is useful for sausage. Consult your butcher for advice in regards to how much belly fat to use.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images