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Italian Sausageapolluza in Dawningtown PA...(long and quite a few pics).....

My story starts about a year and a half ago when @Sea2Ski helped me plan a trip to the San Juan Islands for my 30th anniversary. Phone calls, texts, navigation while at sea, Mark was always most helpful to the success of that trip. We later met at last year’s Butt Blast where he shared some sausage he had made. Being a big fan of Italian Sausage, I wanted to learn how to make it and spend some time with him and his lovely wife Valarie. This weekend I cashed in some airline points and made the trip up to Pennsylvania for a visit in their lovely home. We absolutely had a great time. We worked hard with processing quite a bit of pork and raw ingredients into some fresh made Italian sausage. 

We started out Friday evening with slicing some bacon Mark had curing for in advance. More about this later....will post a separate thread later. Saturday morning, we woke up and had a great breakfast (including the bacon, and fresh eggs from the chickens he raises. they were beautiful birds, and if you have never had fresh eggs, you need to find a way to find yourself some.....After a hearty breakfast sandwich and side of bacon. Now on with the process......some of the tools.



We begin with....Cutting the pork butts and off to the freezer to firm up a bit.



The grinder is an old Toledo Commercial unit that was handed down to Mark from his grandfather who had a meat market in the Philly area. It is a pleasure to use this antique equipment that has heart strings to the love of the sausage making.



Mark (teacher) working with the first rough cut grind. He was an absolute marvel to watch. As a rookie, I had photo responsibilities here. 


While they are grinding....I am given the task of measuring out the dry ingredients along with some wet ingredients fresh garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. 



A friend of Mark's (also named Mark, was celebrating a birthday) and his wife was a big part of our team. He and his wife shared the interest of learning and producing sausage for their frig / freezer. Here he is seen mixing in the ingredients in preparation of our second grind. This included adding in some red wine and some Parmesan Cheese.



Here i am mixing the flavor ingredients with the ground pork......which is extremely painful due to the nature of the very cold meat. I had some help...and powered through it.




Mark II's wife was struggling a bit with the cold hands as well.....she was a trooper.



Megan mining the grinder...


We all worked the grinder / stuffer and make a butt load (no pun intended) of sausage......and had a great time doing it.



We bagged and vacuum sealed our sausage.....it was a long day of fun and hard work. You know you have to do some Quality Assurance along the way. You just have to...

I want to personally thank Mark and his wife Valerie for all of their transportation, tutelage, lodging, hospitality and overall kindness this weekend. We talked about food, wine, chickens, firewood, leaves, rodents, neighbors etc...... I am grateful to have met and spend time with Mark and Valerie, and hope you all have an opportunity to enjoy their company at some point. Thank you BGE and all those who participate on this form....for sharing their knowledge and friendship. I appreciate the great time(s) and new found knowledge I have picked up. As Mark has told me previously....pay it forward if you have an opportunity. Wise words from a wise guy (not the smart ass kind). 

Thanks to the rest of you good folks for looking.

Robin






Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

Comments

  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,481
    Great fun and great post!

    I'd love to see the recipe you used for the sausage.  We're happy with the Italian we make, but love experimenting.
    LBGE since 2008 and a MM from 2016
    Karubeque C-60 Dishwasher (when time is no object)
    Owner of multiple large scale refrigeration devices (sometimes too many)
    Vertically integrated BBQ and charcuterie operator, for recreational use only
    Elicitor of secrets from goats through unconventional methods
    Sourdough bread enthusiast

    Houston, TX

  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,502

    great post - great vittles, and looks like a good time.
    Phoenix 
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,244
    Great folks, great time. Thank you for sharing my brother....fabulous account of the event.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 11,958
    edited November 2017
    This forum is loaded with great people. Looks like a good time was had by all. 
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 5,664
    Super cool!  Very well documented!!
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 5,664
    Just spent a week in Bethlehem, PA and made a visit by Nick's Roast Beef in South Philly on my way outta town.  Lots of Eagles gear right now.  
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • JeremiahJeremiah Posts: 5,688
    Looks like a great time fellas. 
    Slumming it in Aiken, SC. 
  • Excellent post.  Well done.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • FockerFocker Posts: 8,280
    Nice post.
    Egghead visits/projects are always fun.
    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    20stone said:
    Great fun and great post!

    I'd love to see the recipe you used for the sausage.  We're happy with the Italian we make, but love experimenting.
    I will leave that to @Sea2Ski as i can't recite the quantities from memory. Prob could come up with the ingredient list.....let me know if that is what you are looking for.

    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    blasting said:

    great post - great vittles, and looks like a good time.
    We had a great time.....we were all worn out at the end of the day though.
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    YukonRon said:
    Great folks, great time. Thank you for sharing my brother....fabulous account of the event.
    Speaking of sharing, my brother Mark did some pork belly curing for bacon we sliced Friday night. He was kind to send me home with some of it as well. I will get that out later today (I hope)......sent me home with some as well. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    This forum is loaded with great people. Looks like a good time was had by all. 
    Mark and his wife were most gracious. I love to see how other people live (not in a creepy way)....he has a beautiful home and it sits on a beautiful couple of acres of land in the rolling hills. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 16,485
    What a great time spent with great folks.  
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • JeremiahJeremiah Posts: 5,688
    Just one question, did you type in Dawningtown into the gps??  =) =)
    Slumming it in Aiken, SC. 
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    Jeremiah said:
    Just one question, did you type in Dawningtown into the gps??  =) =)
    Yeah......should be Downingtown.....
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • 20stone20stone Posts: 1,481
    20stone said:
    Great fun and great post!

    I'd love to see the recipe you used for the sausage.  We're happy with the Italian we make, but love experimenting.
    I will leave that to @Sea2Ski as i can't recite the quantities from memory. Prob could come up with the ingredient list.....let me know if that is what you are looking for.

    Hopefully @Sea2Ski will pop up om this. 
    LBGE since 2008 and a MM from 2016
    Karubeque C-60 Dishwasher (when time is no object)
    Owner of multiple large scale refrigeration devices (sometimes too many)
    Vertically integrated BBQ and charcuterie operator, for recreational use only
    Elicitor of secrets from goats through unconventional methods
    Sourdough bread enthusiast

    Houston, TX

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,496
    That looks like a great, We met Mark and Val at BB, grwat people indeed.

                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 3,033
    What a great time with some very special friends and thanks for sharing.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,213
    DAMN that is awesome!  Nice work guys!  Robin, the pic of the finished product is just off the charts.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    blind99 said:
    DAMN that is awesome!  Nice work guys!  Robin, the pic of the finished product is just off the charts.
    Credit goes to @Sea2Ski he was the master of acquiring all ingredients, provider of the equipment, knowledge and recipe. He had a solid recipe and technique. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    edited November 2017

    What a great time with some very special friends and thanks for sharing.
    Like the rest of us, he out kicked his coverage on the spouse front. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 3,564
    Some good times with good friends - and good eats. Kinda what life is about...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven.
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,244
    Sea2Ski said:
    Robin, it was great to see you again, and I really do hope we can get together again and try making some additional types of sausage.  Let's plan another round as soon as you hands thaw out. With that being said,  I understand that making about 70 lbs holds you over for a while, and I am really glad you were able to take as much home with you as you did!

    And thank you for the goodies you brought: rubs, sauces, grits, wine, the ingredients for your Bloody Mary's etc... All unnecessary but very much appreciated!

    To build on the recap of the day:
    Mark II brought a recipie for a Linguica sausage which is apparently Portuguese. You know someone is interested in sausage when he chooses one to make. When doing a taste test, he said "This takes just like I remember, just a lot better!" Whew...  mission accomplished there.

    So we ended up making about 10 lbs of the Linguica, 30 lbs of a mild Italian and 30 lbs of slightly hotter Italian. No pictures of the final haul though. Too tired as it was a long day. We might have got through it a bit faster if there was a bit faster movement from my southern friend.
    What do I mean? Just look at this picture:  

    Look at it again. Note the hand in the pocket just taking his time. See that half empty glass of Bloody Mary? It was full when he started measuring the salt.  Sip from the glass, pour some salt. Sip, pour, sip, pour..... then it was time for the paprika. When it was time to add the wine? Well, we ended up short in quantity. Anyone want to guess why?  (Hint - neither @YukonRon nor @Jeremiah were there...)
     
    No, really, making 70 lbs just takes time as that is a lot of sausage. I think the funniest was when we were vacuum sealing.  It seemed like it would never end. We had so many links in so many packages that we had to stop several times for the food saver to cool down.

    It was a great day and a great time with great friends. Can't wait to do it again!
    Just wanted you to know, had I been there, we had been on a couple wine runs....
    You gotta watch that Jeremiah.
    Of course we all know about brother Robin.
    Good times...

    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • SamIAm2SamIAm2 Posts: 759
     @northGAcock - I'm glad you got to spend some time with good people in PA. Looked like a great time and even better food to be a part of creating, however slowly. ;) Had an uncle in Easton who ran a small neighborhood grocery store on the south side and made Italian sausage every Friday evening for sale Saturday morning. Sold out every time before noon. What a great story and thanks to all the participants for sharing.
    Ubi panis, ibi patria.
    Large - Roswell rig, MiniMax-PS Woo; Cocoa, Fl.
  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 5,669
    Looks like a great time.  And I agree, the short time I got to spend with @Sea2Ski at BB I could already tell he and his wife are great folks.
    Steve 
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,034
    YukonRon said:
    Sea2Ski said:
     

    Look at it again. Note the hand in the pocket just taking his time. See that half empty glass of Bloody Mary? It was full when he started measuring the salt.  Sip from the glass, pour some salt. Sip, pour, sip, pour..... then it was time for the paprika. 
     


    Precision is key when making I tallian sausage. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,244
    YukonRon said:
    Sea2Ski said:
     

    Look at it again. Note the hand in the pocket just taking his time. See that half empty glass of Bloody Mary? It was full when he started measuring the salt.  Sip from the glass, pour some salt. Sip, pour, sip, pour..... then it was time for the paprika. 
     


    Precision is key when making I tallian sausage. 
    Key is the word. Not only for those great sausages, but for those brain hemorrhages you call a Bloody Mary.
    Glad you all had a blast.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 6,476
    You know you’ve put in some work when you are overheating the food saver. Strong work and great post. 

    Your recipes sound intriguing. As @20stone says, we’re pretty happy with our recipe but we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to improve. 

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

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