Smoked Italian Sausage

I have not done a post about making sausage in a while and I have been craving some recently. This time I am going with an Italian sausage and since the weather is nice I am going to smoke it. I got a nice 3.5 lb bone in pork shoulder blade roast (Boston butt) that had a decent amount of fat. 2016-05-30 13.08.47

Start by removing the bone and cutting into approximately 1 1/2 inch cubes. Place the cubes on a sheet tray in a single layer and put into the freezer with your grinder attachments for about half an hour. The meat is easier to grind if it is just starting to freeze.2016-05-30 13.26.27

Get your grinder set up and seasoning measured out (I used this seasoning since it is delicious and I had some here at the house). I always add a little heat to the sweet by eye balling a little cayenne pepper into the mix. 2016-05-30 14.00.38

I ran the meat through the grinder with the largest die attached. I like my sausage to have a little texture.2016-05-30 14.01.38

Once it has been run through, I added the seasoning and a few tablespoons of ice water to help keep it cold and ran it it through a second time.2016-05-30 14.07.29

Once it has been ground the second time I added a drizzle of EVOO (I thought it could use a little more fat) and a handful of Parmesan cheese and mixed that together. Time to make a little patty to test the seasoning. It is just right!

I put about a pound into a zip lock bag to freeze for making meatballs another day. The rest I made into a nice log and rolled it up tight in plastic wrap. I have decided that until I get a real sausage stuffer I am not going through the hassle of putting the sausage into skins…it is a real pain with this machine. I put it into the freezer while I got the Weber ready for smoking.2016-05-30 14.59.43.jpg

For the sausage I decided to use apple wood for the smoke and set up a small snake to get me about 3-4 hours of 225° heat. Once the grill is up to temp I placed the sausage on. I was planning on using the extra space on the grill and decided to go with pickles again (they are so good).2016-05-30 16.31.30

After about 2 hours (I thought last time they may have needed a little more smoke) I removed the pickles to chill and put them back into the juice in the jar.2016-05-30 18.24.26

Once the sausage log has reached 160° internal temperature, your food is ready! 2016-05-30 19.01.02

I wrapped it in foil then a towel then placed it into a small cooler to rest for half an hour or so while I made my rice. Time to cut it up and see how we did. 2016-05-30 19.47.11.jpg

Well, you all should know what an Italian sausage tastes like. Now imagine that with a nice light smoke and some spice from the cayenne pepper. It was super tender and juicy. I served it with some pineapple rice and of course some of those wonderful smokey pickles! I think the leftover sausage, sliced super thin, rivals any sausage I have had for a snack. Thanks for stopping to see this creation and hope you enjoyed!2016-05-30 19.52.45

Meet Meat!

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