You don’t have to live in Texas, or even Oklahoma for that matter, to like great BBQ. It is a universal passion most anywhere come summer. No matter they treat it like royalty in the southwestern United States. All you have to do is get a good grill, some utensils, and great recipes for sauce. The sauce is the key to everything. Many people have their secret favorites and are loath to give out the details. Why is this such a point of pride? It is in any case. It takes time to develop the perfect sauce. But I have a little twist on secret recipes: sausage making. I was recently invited to a BBQ where the host made his own sausage. It was totally awesome and the best BBQ ever. I had never heard of doing this yourself. It takes a lot of work. He was willing to divulge some of the information.
The key to making sausage is to use more than one type of meat. You mix pork, beef, and maybe lamb for flavor. At least some of the meat has to have some fat on it for taste. This meant goes through a machine called a grinder. It looks kind of squishy when it comes out. You then have to buy the casings that hold the meat, but there is more work before that point. Seasoning. This is where you separate the men from the boys. The real sausage makers know how to season just right. They will often make a variety of types of sausage from herbal to super spicy to please different tastes. My friend has a pantry full of spices in rather large quantities. Whenever he is in the mood to make some links, he pulls out his favorite tray. Cayenne pepper is big with spice fans, but sage is the preferred spice of softer palettes. He then explained how the meat is stuffed into the casings with a machine appropriately called a stuffer that comes with a funnel kit. It’s a pretty cool process. You can produce quite a few franks in one sitting. There is a lot of personal satisfaction involved he exclaims. Because it is a lot of work, you will want to make a couple of dozen of each variety. They look like the real thing, because they are. They look like they just came from the deli. One after the other in a row these bulging sausages, seasoned to perfection.
After admiring his recent output we put some of the home-made sausages on the grill. As the fat hits the fire, it hisses and spurts. I must say they were super delicious and so fresh. So much better than those things full of filler and preservatives at the supermarket. While it seems like a lot of work, I for one can attest to the fact that it is an enterprise well undertaken, especially if you want to impress your guests at the next BBQ.