I know too many Muslims who will never understand the inherent goodness that is dead pig. I also have a few friends who can’t figure out why I like it, so I’m looking to make something approximating breakfast sausage and another thing close to traditional brats. I just cook the stuff, I don’t make it, but I have a friend who makes the most excellent homemade sausages and he has a friendly neighborhood butcher.
Casings are a problem with the brats - no pig guts; any such thing as veal guts? Beef is a different meat from pork and I’m afraid that the end result would be something vaguely hamburger-like. Poultry is closer but too lean and gets rubbery when cooked; would adding beef fat (or something else) do anything? It’s possible to obtain camel in a particular ethnic market in Minneapolis - exorbitantly expensive, but possible - would that be feasible? Goat and mutton are available but their inherent flavors might overwhelm the sausage spices.
Yeah, I thought of that - I’m a farm chick from a hunting family - but there are two problems.
First, venison is very, very lean, and usually ground up with a percentage of pork/pork fat to make up for it in order to prevent the sausage from turning into sawdust.
Second is that I’ve been told that the way we westerners harvest and process deer isn’t halal - something about suffering and draining the blood (but I don’t quite totally get the rules). The people who have expressed interest in pork products are willing to (for example) buy chicken and ground beef at the grocery store instead of at the slightly more expensive halal market and often use the expression “God understands”, but if we’re going to attempt to make halal sausages we may as well go balls to the wall, y’know?
Sheep casings will do fine. The Thuringer Rostbratwurst is normally packed into sheep casings. I don’t know anything about veal casings. Sheep casings are thinner than pork casings and are used in thinner sausages such as the Thuringer rostbratwurst and the frankfurter.
Weisswurst (a German breakfast sausage, although not at all similar to our breakfast sausages) is usually made with veal or a mixture of veal and pork. Traditional German brats are usually made with a combination of veal and pork, but I bet you can get away with making a brat with veal and beef. You can also try a mix of veal and lamb, although the lamb will lend it a distinctive flavor (one that I happen to love, but it will be different).
Personally, if I were you, the meats I would stick with would be veal, beef (80% lean, no leaner) and lamb.
I totally forgot about turkey. I’ve never tried making turkey sausage myself, but that would be worth a shot, but may take some experimentation. If you find your initial experiments with turkey are too dry and lean, you can try grinding in some beef suet to up the fat content. I imagine the neighborhood butcher would be best able to advise you on this. Just get to about a 4:1 or 5:1 lean:fat ratio and you should be fine.
Honestly, the Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast sausages are a reasonable approximation- most of the flavor is sausage is the spice. You can also try Soy-rizo…it’s not quite as spot-on, but can still be quite good.
Turkey is the best readily-available substitute for pork that I know of. If you buy turkey drumsticks (cheap!), the meat isn’t too dry and lean. They’re a pain to prepare though, because of all the bone-like tendons that run right through the meat.
I used turkey drumstick meat for my pork-less pies and it was a resounding success.
Yeah, if all you want is for them to know what American breakfast sausage more-or-less tastes like, get some vegetarian fake-sausage (biggest problem is that they’re not greasy enough). Of course, if you’re enjoying the challenge of making something yourself, go for it.
Merguez - Wiki link is available in halal form. Where specifically to get it in Minneapolis, that’s another question, I just don’t know the city at all.
This recipe for Duck sausage looked great, though when Susur Lee says it’s difficult, I believe him. There may well be local duck sausage in Minnesota to check out - I know I’ve had duck sausage on pizza in various places.
First off, I don’t know from halal, past a dim outline.
Years ago, when more than a twice-yearly market for turkey started to grow, the few attempts at turkey sausage and turkey bacon were dreadful. Now, several packers make very good turkey sausage. Right now, my meat drawer contains breakfast Jimmy Dean skinless ts, and Johnsonville smoked ts. Jenny-O has an excellent line of turkey sausages. Cassel’s has a delightful line of chicken sausages.
I have heard that Wisconsin and Minnesota have some legendary sausage makers, and people order them from all over the country. Dig around on the internet.
In a thread a few months ago, a poster in the meat biz listed the three kinds of casings. I vaguely remember that natural means intestine with the inner layer stripped off. On the other end is a papery cellulose casing you find on some hard sausages. In the middle is a third kind that is neither gut nor paper. I hope somebody remembers this better than I do.
I got these at the Target on sale a few months ago, just out of morbid curiosity, and I have to agree that they’re not bad. They don’t taste like Jimmy Dean, and they have a distinct cardamom flavor to them (which I’ve never tasted in a breakfast sausage), but they’re in the general ballpark.
However, I’m sure you can get away with using beef or a mix of beef and veal. Hebrew National makes kosher beef breakfast sausages, and they seem to know what they’re doing.
Don’t be afraid to give beef a try. I prefer my sausages porky, but I’ve had plenty of great all-beef sausages (like the Chicago hot dog, for instance.) They don’t taste hamburgery if you do it right.