A couple of weeks ago, some friends approached us about going in together on a freshly butchered pig. The pig was locally raised, no steroids, and butchered locally. I have never had a pig butchered before, and never picked out the kinds of meat I wanted from a freshly butchered animal. Let me just tell you now that it is a very time-consuming process, and I did not even butcher the pig myself. Lots and lots of thought went in to how thick the meat was cut, where I wanted the ground pig to come from, etc. Then I left the store forgetting what I ordered. The butcher shop is an old school one, writing all my info on a piece of paper, and not giving me a copy. I am fine with this. This particular shop has a good reputation.
The coolest thing about this adventure is that our friends wanted to smoke the ham and make their own sausage. They did not want their meats filled with nitrates. If we were getting a fresh pig, they wanted the pig to remain as fresh as possible. This particular couple is from Romania and grew up butchering pigs themselves, so they know a thing or two about how to prepare a pig. I was so honored when they asked if we wanted to go over to their house and learn how to make homemade Romanian sausage. Mr. Bits and I jumped at the chance, and had a great time!
My husband had to take pictures of me handling the casings. They are the innards of the pig, and he thought I would never, ever do this! Ha! I did it, and I was not as grossed out as I thought I would be. In fact, this was so much fun, I cannot wait to do it again. There is a sense of pride creating this myself. Fresh, and I put the ingredients in, so I know what is in them. The husbands smoked the sausages outside, and the smell was absolutely divine.
The best part about this day was sharing it with friends. I loved to hear their stories of growing up in Romania. They told us about butchering as a family every Christmas. We were part of their family tradition this year, and I could not have been more honored.
Here are the ingredients:
10 lbs ground pork
2 handfuls of salt
1 1/2 handfuls of ground pepper
2 1/2 handfuls of hungarian paprika
2 1/2 handfuls of spanish paprika
lots and lots of garlic!
As she told me, use your nose, you will know when it is done by the smell. There is no other way to explain this. The smell is amazing, and when it makes your mouth water, you know it is ready to mix.
Dig in with your hands and mix well. Do not be afraid!
We bought clean casings, but we still washed them off. When you are ready, place shortening on the attachment and place the casing over. Push the casings until they can no longer be pushed. Turn on the machine, and start stuffing! Takes a while to get the hang of it, but really it is quite easy to learn. Now, keep stuffing and get to know your friends and family. This is a great way to hear fun stories.
Mr. Bits and I can hardly wait to put different ingredients into the next batch. We have our home ground Habanero powder, that I am sure will taste so amazing!
You must try this, it truly is a great deal of fun.
Have a great day everyone!