Chef Jon: Sausage-ologist

Written by Georgie Vetter, Product Specialist at the Monogram Design Center

Monogram Design Center’s Chef Jon was in the kitchen this week making Nuremberg sausage, a traditional German bratwurst, from scratch for a delicious big game party today. Having grown up hunting with his family in Northern Michigan, Jon is a pro in all things meat related. Making sausage always brings Jon back home. He typically makes different types of homemade sausage a couple of times a year. Luckily, the Chicago team was able to witness the process and we learned that homemade sausage is fairly easy to make. Not to mention, much better for you.

First things first: safety and sanitization. Jon’s number one rule for making sausage is to keep everything cold. If there is any down time during the process, whether you’re taking a break or whipping up another batch, keeping your meat in the refrigerator is going to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading. Keeping the meat cold will also prevent the fats from rendering, which will be useful in the grinding process. He also recommends wearing gloves during preparation, this makes for a quicker process in general and not having to be concerned with having raw meat all over your hands.

Cuts of meat: Jon’s recipe calls for brisket, pork shoulder and belly.

Seasoning: Jon’s recipe calls for: salt, ground white pepper, ground mace (the aril that covers the nutmeg seed), ground nutmeg, and marjoram. Pretty simple!

Preparation:

Step 1: cube the meat into 1- inch pieces.

Step 2: Season your meat. Seasoning meat before grinding is important because during the grinding process, the different cuts of meat and seasoning will be combined more thoroughly if they have been mixed together once already before grinding.

Step 3: Grind your sausage using a meat grinder twice. Next, you are ready for casing!

Chef Jon hard at work making Nuremberg sausage at the Chicago Monogram Design Center.

Chef Jon hard at work making Nuremberg sausage at the Chicago Monogram Design Center.

Casing the sausage: Jon used natural casings sourced from a local Chicago market that were packed and cured in salt. Sausage casings can be tough to find in certain areas, so you can always order good quality casings online. Before stuffing, you must soak the cured casings in water for about 30 minutes. Jon uses a countertop tool made specifically for stuffing the casings. Alternatively, collagen casings are easily found online too.

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What to do with Nuremberg Sausage: Chef Jon says the best way to prepare a Nuremberg sausage is to heat it up in a frying pan with some butter, whip up (or purchase!) some sauerkraut, and serve on a toasted bun.

 Yum. Something tells me tonight’s gathering at Chef Jon’s is unbeatable!

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