For the past several weeks in garde manger class, we’ve been making sausages, and not well. They’ve been sometimes dry and always crumbly. I understand why the dryness is happening, but I’m not sure why the texture is consistently grainy and crumbly.

We’ve been keeping everything cold. We’ve been grinding according to recipes. We’ve not had one successful sausage.

When I make sausage at home, I use a food processor rather than grinding. I poach before frying, or braise in liquid. My sausages always turn out great. The only thing I can think of is the mixing and cooking method isn’t being done properly at school. Perhaps the emulsion of meat and fat isn’t well formed and the fat is separating? If you have any suggestions, post them here!

Chef began our lessons on nitrites and nitrates as well, and gave us a neat way to remember the difference, “now and later”. NitRITEs = RITE now; meats that are cooked right away. NitrATEs = meats that are cured and cooked or eaten lATEr. We were also introduced to evil things 1 and 2, AKA, Prague powder 1 and 2. These terrible powders literally give me a headache, and after seeing what they do to the meat when added, I’m glad I’m allergic to them.

I’m determined to make a decent sausage in school (without prague powder) - we’ve got about 8 more weeks to get it right.