Sausage Making “Cast of Characters”
[Sadly, Barry “Chuckwagon” Bryner passed away in February, 2018. We still depend on his written advice, though. He’s badly missed.]
See that cowhand leanin’ against the corral fence? …impressive, huh? (Yeah, I didn’t think so either. …at first.) Well, you’ll be surprised. That’s Chuckwagon– – multi-talented cowboy, piano player, sausage making and meat processing expert (okay- – spurt, anyway), former sheriff and law enforcement officer, a man who’s a legend in his own mind. He grew up on a ranch in Utah, has written under the name “Chuckwagon Gourmet,” and contributed many of the recipes from his experience. Worse, he can spout the Latin names of more nasty-sounding bacteria than you can shake a cattle prod at and tell you where they come from, how to whup ‘em or use ‘em to your advantage, what the traditional ways of processing meats are, and can quote recipes off the top of his head. …which is why his hat looks like it’s gettin’ ready to burst into flame, ’round about the sweatband.
That other dude over there…? That’s el Ducko. He was a chemical engineer in a former life, and now lives near the “barbecue trail” of central Texas. He formulates his recipes in units of tons and then has to scale ‘em WAY down (sometimes neglecting to reduce the garlic and cayenne). He converts goofy weight and volume measurements into metric metrics in his sleep. …which is probably why he values his afternoon naps so much. During migrations, he lives by the motto, “Seek out new forms of sausage and brined meats. Eat them. Ask for more.” He’s been there and eaten the real thing- – sausages and cured meats from the usual places like Germany, Poland, Italy, France, and Spain, but he’s also eaten sausages from China, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, England, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. On the way home, he’s donated his share of sausages to the nice doggies at the US Customs USDA inspection sites. (Tip: to avoid having to give ’em up, always get them vacuum-packed, and declare them as “commercially packaged food products.”) …and he always brings recipes home to share and enjoy (
except for that awful British “black sausage” that he had one time in Middlesborough… you don’t want to know).
Together, they form the heart and soul of SausagesWest.com, the place to go if you are a home sausage maker. They’ve collected sausage making recipes and techniques from all over the world. They show you how to make a wide variety of meats and sausages, including fermented and dry cured meats, and can explain how to make your own sausage in simple terms without a lot of that foodie bull… uh… what you been steppin’ in, out there in the corral. Homemade sausage is the name of their game, seein’ as how the commercial stuff just isn’t as good anymore, and sharing that knowledge is what they do best. (…or try, anyway. Thanks fer lookin’ !) …that, plus consuming what they make. No cheesy advertisements or selling, here at SausagesWest.com. Nope. Just good advice and good eatin’.
Yessir, make your own sausage and know that it’s top-quality. Sausage making discussions here on the forum are the specialty at SausagesWest.com. Well, that and tall tales. It’s a western theme, after all, and ol’ Chuckwagon has not only lived the life, he’s also collected the tales into a book. …and he’s been the butt of many of the jokes that elDucko blends into the fabric of the website, poor soul. (“If it jes’ weren’t so dang much fun…” saith the duck…)
El Ducko, for his part, has picked up a number of items for the sausage recipe collection during his world(ly) travels, and archived them here. (After all, as Peter Schickele’s P.D.Q.Bach character is fond of reminding us, “Plagarism is limited solely by faulty technique.”) Have a look. Download ‘em if you want. Make them, and share your experiences. Both guys have actually made all these recipes (even the pastirma one that the Duck was working on), and despite that, they’re still alive and kickin’ ! (…which means that they know what they’re doing.) They get especially busy around the holidays when all the relatives and friends pressure them for samples of the latest summer sausage. (You know that stuff that they sell in the gourmet meat & cheese shops at the malls? Well, just wait ’til you taste the REAL THING.)
- Looking for an authentic Cajun recipe? …authentic Cajun boudin sausage? Those annual treks through south Louisiana haven’t been for nuthin’.
- There’s several deer sausage recipe variations, sweet Italian sausage, hot Italian sausage, German sausage recipes, Polish sausage recipes (several variations), even a new section on how to make beef jerky.
- Homemade bacon is surprisingly easy to make. Ham, on the other hand, is harder and more time consuming. Check out our recipes for both. Sage breakfast sausages? For a change of pace there’s a Jamaican allspice-based one that you’ll love.
- Want chicken sausages? There’s a Moroccan-style one, as well as several Greek turkey sausage variations.
- Want western-hemisphere-style chorizo? There’s an almost-book-length comparison of the varying styles of Mexico, the USA, and several Central and South American versions, including recipes. The authentic Spanish chorizo recipes are on the way soon, following a special project on fermented sausages called “Project A – 2016.”
- And speaking of fermented and dried sausage recipes, how about specialty meats like pastrami? …Turkish/Armenian pastirma? …or Genoa salami, the real fermented stuff? There’s a whole section on how to build fermentation/curing equipment, then test it on Summer sausage and Salami d’Allessandro. (Star Wars/Trek-grade equipment for about a hundred bucks. Who would have dreamed…?)
- Or maybe you just want decent hot dog recipes (pork and beef or all beef), or a recipe for the juiciest, most tasty hamburger in the galaxy.
It’s all right here in the SausagesWest.com recipe collection. Plus, there are lengthy, but very practical, discussions on food processing, cleanliness, and technique. There are step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, grind, mix, stuff, process, and store sausages and whole cuts of meat. There’s a separate section and discussion group on meat smokers, their construction and operation and the theory behind it (if you are so inclined). Both Chuckwagon and el Ducko try hard to keep it on a conversational level (except for that danged duck, who occasionally lets theory creep in. Hey! Feel free to skip the process control design section if you want. …no skin off his beak.)
If you enjoy homemade sausage, this is your kind of site. Join us today, at SausagesWest.com. We’re your best source for sausage making advice and sausage recipes.