Sausage casings

I bought Charcuterie, the book about curing meats, last friday. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed poking through it and reading the recipes (I’m still not done), and have decided that not only do I need to make bacon, but I’d really like to try sausages. They’re easy enough to make, I have the meat grinder attachment for my kitchenaid, all I really need for fresh sausages (not cured, smoked, or dried) is the sausage stuffer attachment for the meat grinder, sausage casings, and ingredients.

I went to DD Meats this morning, our “local” butcher shop with knowledgeable women running the counter (or if they don’t know the answer, they’ll ask someone in back), fresh products, and awesome prices. As a shot in the dark, I inquired if they had natural pork sausage casings, and they did. The whole sausage casing thing is a bit of an issue with me. I know that I love the flavor of sausage, I adore the snap when I bite into it, appreciate the fresh ingredients, and really have no objection to eating whatever part of the animal that does the job. The problem is what they look like. They look like old used condoms, but crinkly, packed in slightly moist salt, and I blanch a little every time I look at them.
I bought 5lbs of pork shoulder this morning though, so I need to work out what I’m going to make. I ordered my sausage stuffer and everything, so I’m pretty much ready to go. I hope I can get through this. :-/

BTW – I didn’t take any of these photos, they’re all from Google…. so far.

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