Preparation / Directions:
Serve these spicy deliciously smoky sausages at breakfast, or use in jambalaya, gumbo, and in etouffees. They can also be smothered with tomatoes and onions as a Main Dish, , or used to flavor vegetable dishes or beans. Makes 8-1/2 pounds smoked sausages or about 45 breakfast patties. The pork must be coarsely ground (what we call "chili grind." Preferably at room temperature. Use 1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper for very spicy Louisiana link-style sausage: use much less for mild sausage.
Use pork sausage casings OR, for sausage patties, 4-1/4 tsp powdered sage (or to taste). Combine all ingredients except casings in a large roasting pan and mix well. Knead 3-4 minutes; include sage if making uncased breakfast sausage patties. Let stand 20 minutes at room temperature to allow flavor to develop. Pinch off a small piece of the mixture, form into a tiny patty, fry it to taste the seasonings, and correct seasoning as needed. Cut the sausage casings into 2-1/2 to 3-foot lengths. Using a sausage-stuffing attachment on the meat grinder or mixer, fill each casing until it's firm but not packed.
It may be more convenient to fill the casing to only 8 inches, tie it but not cut it, and continue, so that you have strings of sausages instead of a single giant. Tie the ends. Either smoke the sausages the same day or refrigerate them and smoke them the next day. To smoke the sausages, use a smokehouse, if possible. Using a hardwood like oak, start a very low, smoky fire with no open flame. (Do not use charcoal lighter or briquettes.) Drape sausages over a wooden dowel (an iron rod is liable to get too hot and break the sausages). Hang the sausages 4-5 feet above the fire.
Tend the coals to keep the smoke going, rather than a real fire; if fire flares up, slowly sprinkle water or dirt on the coals until flames die down. Smoke the sausages at a temperature between 170 and 250(measured by inserting an instant-reading thermometer in any air vent) at least 8 hours. If you can, smoke them the next day as well. Wrap all the sausages tightly. Reserve as many sausages as you will use during the next week, and store the rest in the freezer.
To serve smoked sausages as a meat course, cook in a small amount of water (about enough to come halfway up the sausage) until heated through.
From Cookin' with Queen Ida ISBN 1-55958-050-X Source: Cookin' with Queen