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Home Sausage Making: How-To Techniques for Making and Enjoying 100 Sausages at Home Paperback – December 7, 2003
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"Reavis shows readers in step-by-step illustrated fashion how to make a variety of classic sausages…a complete guide to sausage preservation along with care and storage advice for the individual varieties included." -Booklist
"The instructions for making the most of the sausage variations are surprisingly simple."
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The instructions are good for beginners and the recipes are good for all skill levels.
My favorite recipe in this book is the Garlic Sausage. I love garlic, so I bump up the quantities of fresh garlic. I also increase the fresh ginger a little bit (don't tell my wife--she hates ginger). The results are phenomenal.
So here's the dirty secret about sausage cookbooks: There are really only about ten or so recipes that the average DIY sausage maker wants to cook. That won't sell a book though. So they have to fill the pages with goofy recipes you'll never try (like Duck Sausage!). I ignore those recipes when I judge the book, because I know they have to fill the pages and maybe there's some guy out there who really wants to make duck sausage. I think there's a rabbit recipe too, so if Bugs and Daffy ever settle things once & for all, the winner will know what to do with the loser's corpse to hide the evidence.
My only real gripe about this book is that the recipes are organized by meat type instead of by recipe type. I think the recipes should be organized regionally (German, Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, etc.) or by type (breakfast, etc.). I have to skip through the book to find the one I'm looking for, because I know the varieties better than I know the meat contents. ("Is Bockwurst pork, veal, chicken, or mixed?").
I've noticed complaints from some of the other reviewers about the bland spices. I guess that's sort of true, but I assume that from most cookbooks and I usually bump up the seasonings per my own taste preferences.
1) I felt a lot of the spices were under-done. I found the maple breakfast link recipe in the book was widely circulated on the web. However, after making it according to the recipe, you can barely taste the maple. I was expecting something closer to the gusto of some commercial maple-flavored links. Some recipes seemed to adequately demonstrate the desired flavors, but others are disappointing unless you slightly over-spice.
2) I really disliked that the recipes weren't created in a "per pound" method. In a family of sausage types, one recipe might get you 5 pounds of sausage and the one on the next page gets you 7 1/2. And then there's the issue with finding the right amount of meat when you're at the store.
3) I wish more time were devoted to working with natural casings. I found (and still find) them difficult and cumbersome to work with, yet others seem to find them plenty handy to work with.
The recipes that I have tried, I will agree, are too weakly spiced for my taste, but that's easy enough to solve, I just added more in the same proportions.
It covers all the basic sausage types. It's best, in my opinion, for the beginner as a primer, than maybe as a great recipe book per say. It's a real confidence booster too, and encourages one to dive in and do it.
I'm very pleased with what I've learned from it, and I'm saving money and making healthier, tasty sausage at home, so I give it 4 stars.
This is my first sausage making attempt and the book did a great job of teaching me the process. But I agree with the 'Good Coaching, weak sausage' review. The recipes are pretty under-spiced and generic. I guess it gives me a good baseline for creating my own recipes, though.
So, if you know what you're doing and are looking for recipes- look elsewhere. If you're a sausage newbie, this is a great book to teach you what you need to know.