Sausage: delicious, but not for the squeamish
Rockport — Six novices went home a little smarter and a little less hungry March 27 following a sausage-making workshop at Maine Street Meats hosted through Five Town Adult Education.
Maine Street Meats butcher Sean Durnan led the class, starting off with a description of the equipment and ingredients required: a meat grinder, measuring scale, casings, sausage stuffer, meat and herbs. He noted sausage can be made with many types of meat.
"Seafood sausage is fantastic," he said. "Use whatever you think is delicious."
An ideal mix of meat to fat — 70 percent meat, 30 percent fat — is important to creating a moist sausage, he said. For pork sausage, he recommends using a shoulder cut. The class tackled three types of sausage: sweet Italian, hot Italian and chorizo, a Spanish sausage.
Three groups were each assigned a kind of sausage and responsible for grinding up the pork, measuring spices, mixing everything together and then casing the sausages. Most had never made sausage before, though Carolyn Giustra of Waldoboro said she once tried and it came out too dry. Lori Alexander said though she has never made sausage, she likes "to experiment with food."
Other participants in the class included Claire Yackel of Waldoboro, Eli Budet of Morrill — the youngest member of the class at 13 years old — as well as Megan Lalli, Alexander and John Gallante, all of Rockport.
"I like doing food classes," Budet said, noting he recently took a cheese-making class as well.
Gallante said he started his cooking experiences as an Army cook but wanted to learn how to scale down to a smaller level.
As each type of sausage was mixed and cased, a small sample was cooked for tasting.
Once the sausages were cased and twisted, Durnan vacuum-sealed each type for participants to take home.
Maine Street Meats co-owner Sarah Greer noted there are also demonstrations each Saturday at 3 p.m. by Durnan that are free and open to the public. The demonstrations range from making sausage to butchering a whole animal.
"Whole animal butchering is what we do here," Greer said. "It's a lost art and it supports Maine farms too."
She said there will be more classes in collaboration with Five Town Adult Education as well as on their own. The business also offers private classes, Greer said, for small groups by request.
Five Town Adult Education offers a few other food-related classes as well ranging from bread making to a variety of ethnic cuisine classes.
Courier Publications Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at email@example.com.