Sausage CasingsTraditionally, link sausage is stuffed into natural casings made from the intestines of animals, but artificial (usually collagen) casings are available on the market. (These days most commercial common sausages use synthetic casings.) Some artificial casings require soaking in hot tap water before use, and need to be punctured with a knife point before stuffing to eliminate air pockets.
If you do not have access to natural or artificial casings or just do not want to use them but still want to make sausage links, you can make casings from strips of muslin. To form casings about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, cut strips about 6 inches wide and 16 inches long. Fold lengthwise and stitch edges together to form tubes.
If you do not use casings at all, you can still form links by rolling up the mixture in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerating until firm. The uncased method of links needs a binder (bread crumbs, soy protein concentrate, etc.) in the sausage mix, normally 5 to 10 percent of the mix, to keep the meat from separating during cooking.
More About Sausage and Sausage Recipes:• What is sausage and what is it made from?
• Sausage Types and Forms
• Sausage Casings
• Reducing the Fat in Sausage
• Sausage and Health
• Sausage History
• Low-Fat (Lite) Sausage Recipes
• Sausage Recipes
Sausages Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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