I ground up 10lbs of meat this weekend, I made 5lbs of chicken tomato basil sausage, and 5lbs of spicy italian sausage (a little light on the red pepper flakes). The chicken is pale and a great looking chicken sausage, little flecks of red from the fresh and sun dried tomatoes, and little flecks of green from the fresh basil.
Last night I pulled the casings out of the baggie they were stored in, and the stench was alarming. They smell TERRIBLE. Not to mention they were all tangled up and crusty and stinky… ugh. I’m getting a little queasy as I write this. So I rinsed them well, and store them in some water in the fridge overnight, as I know there’s no way I’d be able to touch food after the nauseating smell.
The rehydrated sausage casings felt like you were touching flesh. Not muscle, or fat, nothing firm or satisfying, but rubbery, slinky, disturbing intestine flesh. The only thing I can think of that would even remotely resemble what they felt like is pickled ballsack. They smelled and felt way grosser than they look.
After stuffing all 5lbs of chicken (and struggling with my kitchenaid the entire time!!!), I decided that I’d grill some up and eat it with a square of leftover lasagna as a late breakfast/early lunch. To my dismay, after biting into the sausage (which was just fine) all I could think about was the casing, and it was kinda rubbery in my teeth. I had to peel the rest of the casing off and feed it to the dog. I then ate the rest of my sausage, but couldn’t get the smell or the feeling of the casing between my teeth out of my mind. I now have another 5 lbs of spicy Italian sausage to deal with. I think I may stick it in a freezer bag til I get collagen casings. Mairead at work also suggested that I make meatballs out of it.