I've been making various types of sausages at home for a number of years, having learned sausage making from the old men in the church I lived next door to. They would convene once a month on a Saturday to drink a case beer, make a hundred lbs of Hungarian kolbász, and sell it to the congregation (and interested neighbors) as a fundraiser. I always liked kolbász, so when they knocked on my door because they were short of help, I was more than happy to oblige. When I walked into the kitchen, they immediately handed me a beer, and when I saw that the preferred beverage there was the green can of ale with the three rings, I knew it was some kind of divine intervention that brought me there.
I wound up helping for the next five years.
I've been making various sausages at home ever since. It's not difficult at all, and a KitchenAid stand mixer with a grinder and stuffer attachment makes it downright easy and quick. If you cook and/or bake, a KitchenAid is a must have anyway, and well worth the investment.
Here's the recipe for Hungarian "házi kolbász", a very simple and tasty fresh 'farmer' style sausage that was my introduction to tubed meat:Ingredients:
5lbs pork butt, untrimmed
-you want anywhere from 20% to 30% fat content (lean sausage=fail)
2 1/2 Tblsp Kosher salt or Sea salt
1 Tblsp freshly ground black pepper (more if you like it to have a sharper kick)
2 Tblsp Hungarian sweet paprika (there is no substitute
for this...spanish paprika isn't the same)
5 cloves of garlic, pureed with a bit of ice water
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water or very cold beer... as neededProcedure
Grind the meat coarsely (a 1/4" grinder plate is ideal); add the spices and mix well, keeping the mixture very cold.
Work enough of the ice water (or cold beer) into to the mix to make stuffing manageable, and stuff into hog casings (or if you want hot dog sized links, stuff into sheep casings).
If you are cooking the kolbász without smoking, it can be cooked immediately--although I think it's much
better after being left uncovered in the fridge overnight; if you plan to smoke
the kolbász, you really should add about 1/8 tsp of pink curing salt to play it safe. I know people that don't use a cure when smoking sausage, but are taking what I feel is an unnecessary risk.