Mennonite Farmer Sausage has been in my family for centuries and it’s something that we eat nearly every week. It all starts with butchering our own pigs for meat.
We have been butchering pigs for ourselves for many years now. My husband and I both were involved in butchering with our families before we got married so for us it was not something completely new.
However, while helping someone butcher a pig is great, you will never completely learn how to do it until it’s your own meat that you are working on.
Making the decisions of what cuts to keep, and what to make into sausage requires a knowledge of preference as well as what the possibilities are.
It’s a tiring job, but once that meat is wrapped and in the freezer, it feels so good!
We often start with skinning and gutting the night before. That way the meat has cooled down significantly overnight, and we can get right to work in the morning.
You don’t ever want to butcher in the heat of summer if possible.
Flies and other insects will love to feast on your meat. If you have a cool, enclosed place to cut up everything, then you will be able to make it work.
Spring and summer have traditionally been the time to butcher meat. The cooler weather helps to keep the meat from spoiling.
However, you still want to have that meat cooled down and in your freezer as soon as possible.
When butchering a pig, the most common cuts for us are pork chops, pork loin, ribs, hams, and a lot of sausages.
We save the cuts we want, but the rest all goes into sausage making. Today, I want to share with you our recipe for Mennonite Farmers Sausage.
Prepare yourself, however. I will show you how Mennonites make their sausage. Measurements are never exact!!
When making pork sausage, you face a lot of delicious options. We have made breakfast sausage, farmers sausage, as well as specialty sausages such as Cheesy Jalapeno Sausage, Garlic Sausage, and even Smokie Sausage.
There are some tools that you need to make sausage. A sausage stuffer, a smokehouse, casings, and your sausage ingredients are the main things you need.
I recommend buying Sheep Casings, (30-33 mm). You might need to go to a specialty butcher shop or Wholesale Foods.
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What makes a Farmer Sausage?
It’s an uncooked sausage made with ground pork, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and in our case Ham and Bacon Cure (yes, a nitrate). Farmer Sausage is Cold Smoked, meaning it’s not cooked through.
It can be used in many recipes, as it has a mild flavor that fits well with a lot of meals.
Farmer Sausage is raw and needs to be cooked until an internal temperature of 160′ Fahrenheit.
Mennonite Farmers Sausage
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50 lbs of ground pork
3/4 cup white table salt
3/4 cup black pepper
1/2 cup Ham and Bacon Cure (if you prefer to leave this out, add ½ cup salt)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Prepare Your Casings the day before. Soak them in cold water with 2 heaping tbsp baking soda. Set in the fridge until you need them.
Mix ground pork with your seasonings, using your hands to mix well. After it is thoroughly mixed, fill your sausage stuffer to the recommended line. Make sure you have the correct diameter tube attached.
Place your casings in warm water close to your sausage stuffer. You want the water quite warm, but not hot. Too hot they will start to cook, but if not warm enough, they are less workable.
Take one casing, and carefully slide it onto the stuffing tube. Push it back until it is completely on. twist the start of the casing to close it.
One person starts carefully turning the lever on the sausage stuffer, while the other manages the sausage. Make sausages about a meter in length.
This is our preference.
We always hang ours to smoke in our smokehouse, If you have an electric smoker, you will need to experiment to get the correct amount of smoked. Can’t help you there!
After you have a length of sausage, cut it off, then twist the ends to close it off. Place into a large vat that is ready to go to the smokehouse.
Repeat until your meat is gone. Hang the meat in the smokehouse. Build a small fire with poplar woodchips in the smokehouse.
Heat up your sausage for ten minutes. Warm sausage takes on smoke better. Add some bigger pieces of wood, and then cover your fire so that it almost suffocates.
This will cause it to smoke. We use a small cut-off barrel that has a makeshift lid. Take care not to smother your fire completely. Smoke for 20 minutes with poplar wood.
We use poplar wood because that’s what we have on hand, but you could try others as well.
This is the basic way to make sausage, and after you have mastered this, you can experiment with other recipes, such as Cheesy Japaeno Sausage and Red Banana Pepper Sausage.
How To Cook Farmer Sausage In The Oven
Take out frozen Farmer’s sausage, and immediately run under hot water. With a knife, slit open the casing, and peel it off. The hot water softens the casing but keeps the sausage frozen.
Place your sausage into a rooster or cast iron pan. Cover it, and bake for 50 minutes at 350’F.
This is the basic way to cook Farmers Sausage in the Oven. Below are several more variations that taste delicious.
Different Ways To Enjoy Farmers Sausage
There are many different ways to prepare Farmers Sausage, but these are some of our favorite ways.
BBQ Farmers Sausage
Removing Casings, place sausage into a roaster. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Pour off juices, and smother in Diana’s Honey Garlic Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite).
This is an absolute favorite around our house, and it goes really well with potatoes or rice.
Leftovers can be made into a mean Sausage Pizza.
Sweet And Sour Sausage
Just cook it as per the instructions above.
Make Sweet and Sour Sauce. Cut sausage into ¼ inch slices after it is cooked, and add to your sauce. Serve over rice.
Add a side of vegetables for a complete and easy meal.
Have you tried this recipe yet? Let me know in the comments what you loved about it. Mennonite Farmer Sausage is a staple in our home, and we eat it often.
***Also Check out this post on how to make butter from heavy cream.
Interested in making a simple cheese? This mozzarella recipe is made with vinegar.