Goodbye Tom, hello sausage

As you may have read earlier in my blog, I butchered my first turkeys earlier this year.  I am going to give you a step by step on how I made some turkey breakfast sausage and some ground turkey.  Here we go!

All you need for turkey sausage:  I used a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid, a big ol’ bowl of turkey chopped into 1.5″ pieces, a roll of pork sausage (they were out of plain ol’ fat), and another big bowl to catch the ground meat. 


 Most of the turkey was breast meat, but I did have some leg meat in there.  I chopped into 1-1.5 inch cubes to feed into the grinder, and I seasoned with a sausage recipe I found on Allrecipes.  Mostly, it was salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and some red pepper.  I don’t remember the rest, but if you look up breakfast sausage on most any recipe site, you’ll find something that looks tasty.  You also need to stick your meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes prior to grinding.  It makes it a LOT easier to pass through the grinder.  The metal face plates should also be stuck in the freezer as well.

 Here I am feeding the meat into the grinder via a wooden plunger (tip: don’t use your fingers unless you really just don’t like them)  Anyway, first, you grind with a coarse grinding plate (which you have stuck in the freezer beforehand, and you will finish with a fine plate. For some grinds, you can just get by with the coarse plate, though.  The only difference is that the fine plate has smaller holes through which the meat passes.  Anyway, you just put the chunks in the feeder, plunge it down, and it comes out all nice and ground!  When I made the sausage, I did use some pre-made Jimmy Dean pork sausage, and as I ground, I just added it in here and there.  Turkey is very lean, so it needs a little fat to get that sausage just right.  You will also notice a skillet in this picture…when I was done with a ‘pass’ through the grinder the first time, we fried up a little to give it a taste test.  This way, you can correct your spices before you send it through the fine grind.

Coarse grind:

Fine grind:

So then I just made them into sausage patties, and stored them on waxed paper, stacked, in a freezer Ziploc.  For the plain ground turkey, we didn’t season at all, and rolled them into 1/2 pound balls, storing them also in freezer Ziplocs.  And that was all there was to that!   A lot easier than I thought. 

For the final picture, a word:

You know those vintage ads, where the woman always has this shocked, yet pleasantly surprised face?  As if the Good Lord himself came down and handed this woman a blender/coffee/toothpaste/oven/etc?  For whatever reason, I ‘do’ this face in photos.  Unfortunately, I turn my “vintage ad face” up WAAAAAAY too much and end up looking like a psychopathic version. I could darn near be grinding up my husband/dog/mother in law in this picture, judging by my face. Oh well.  Do enjoy.