What part of pig is sausage?

Answered by Michael Wilson

To make a delicious and authentic pork sausage, it’s important to use the right cut of pork. The ideal choice for sausage making is either a pork butt or a pork picnic shoulder. Both cuts come from the shoulder area of the pig and provide the perfect balance of meat and fat needed for flavorful sausages.

The pork butt, also known as Boston butt or pork shoulder, is a popular choice among sausage makers. It is well-marbled with fat, which adds richness and moisture to the sausages. The pork butt is relatively easy to work with as it has minimal connective tissue and sinew. It’s also readily available in most grocery stores and butcher shops.

On the other hand, the pork picnic shoulder can be a more economical option. It is slightly cheaper per pound compared to the pork butt but requires a bit more effort to prepare. The picnic shoulder contains more connective tissue and sinew, which need to be trimmed away before grinding the meat. While it may require some extra work, the picnic shoulder can still yield excellent sausages with a little patience and care.

When selecting either the pork butt or the pork picnic shoulder, it’s important to choose well-marbled cuts with a good amount of fat. This fat will render during cooking and infuse the sausages with moisture and flavor. Avoid lean cuts of pork, such as tenderloin or loin, as they lack the necessary fat content for succulent sausages.

To prepare the chosen cut of pork for sausage making, start by removing any excess skin and bone. Cut the meat into smaller chunks that are suitable for grinding. If using a picnic shoulder, make sure to remove the tough connective tissue and sinew before grinding. Grinding the meat is crucial to achieve the desired texture and consistency for sausages. You can use a meat grinder or a food processor with a grinding attachment to do this.

Once the meat is ground, you can mix in your desired seasonings and spices to create the flavor profile you desire. This is where you can get creative and customize your sausages to your liking. Whether you prefer a classic blend of herbs and spices or want to experiment with unique flavors, the choice is yours.

After seasoning, it’s time to stuff the sausage mixture into casings. Natural casings, such as hog casings, are traditionally used for pork sausages. They provide a satisfying snap and add an authentic touch to the sausages. However, if you prefer a casing-free option, you can shape the mixture into patties or meatballs instead.

Once stuffed, the sausages are ready to be cooked to perfection. Whether you choose to grill, pan-fry, or bake them, make sure to cook the sausages until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) to ensure they are fully cooked and safe to eat.

Making your own pork sausages can be a rewarding and delicious experience. By using the right cut of pork, such as a pork butt or a pork picnic shoulder, you can create sausages that are juicy, flavorful, and authentic. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let the sausage-making adventure begin!