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Test Kitchen tips: Sausage-making 101

March 2, 2012 |  8:30 am

Chicken and apple sausage patties
We delved into the world of flavored ground meats for a story Food did on homemade sausage. And as complex as the whole process might appear, sausage-making is really not that difficult or messy.

It's a sausage lover's world out there, right? Especially at this time of year, nothing goes better with a great cold beer. The crisp crunch of that first juicy bite, the perfect blend of fresh ground meat redolent with toasted spices and pungent herbs.

Granted, you can increasingly find some pretty good packaged sausages. But for the true fan, nothing compares to the texture and flavors to be found in great homemade sausage.

Sausage making is an art that spans almost every regional and ethnic cuisine, a craft carefully honed and perfected over thousands of years. For the first-time sausage-maker, the process can seem a bit mysterious. Not to mention daunting.

But make your own sausage, and you might never go back to commercial again. Make your own, and you're limited only by your imagination. Choose what kinds of meat you want to use, and flavor the sausage to suit your tastes. Best of all? Made from scratch, the sausage is your creation and you know exactly what's gone into it -- no mystery ingredients here.

Making sausage can be as simple as flavoring your favorite ground meats (beef, pork, turkey...) and frying up patties to order, as we did with these simple chicken and apple sausages pictured above -- a perfect way to start your weekend morning.

Check out the story and step-by-step, then try it for yourself. No worries, recipes are included!

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.


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-- Noelle Carter

Photo: Chicken and apple sausage patties. Photo credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times