Twelve months out and thousands of pounds of meat after I began making sausage on weekly basis, I'm still amused enough by the process to keep drilling down into it en route to making the best damn sausage I am capable of making. Yes, there are certain nodes along this region of the continuum of cooking related activities that are painful, while others are merely soul-stuntingly boring.
Mixing by hand, forty pounds of viscous and nearly frozen forcemeat will turn the bones in your hands into throbbing conduits of anxiety.
Cranking down the piston on the sausage stuffer is usually pretty gratifying because there is always a payoff as the meat extrudes into the casing and becomes what it was meant to be: sausage. But I have been seen mocking my reflection in the kitchen window as I watch myself crank the piston back up from the empty cylinder. I mean, who wants to think of himself, even for a moment, as someone who's job it is to turn a fraking handle on an empty sausage stuffer?
However, when I weigh these tests of my body and ego against the satisfaction that comes from knowing how to make -and make well- what to many is just another option for mastication and digestion, they seem like a fair price to pay. See, for me, making sausage is one small but essential part of my plan to stop wasting time and grapple with -while attempting to grok-the fundamental elements of my craft and -because my craft is inextricably bound up with who and what I am- my self.
Here is a slide show that describes some of the steps involved in making sausage. It begins with the washing of the hog casings and ends when the piped and crimped links. Of course, there is more missing from the show than ought to be included for a complete recounting of events. I don't show the animals (chicken in this case) being bred and slaughtered. The casings are not shown being fabricated from hog intestines and so on. You will have to use your imagination if you want to see any of that. Or perhaps you might choose to go off, as I have chosen to do, and try to experience it all directly while leaving the imagining to others.
And here's a video that shows my hands piping the forcemeat and twisting the rope into links. Please note that when you make links for fresh sausage (as opposed to cooked and air-dried preparations) there is no need to tie them off. As long as you make sure to squeeze an adequate amount of forcemeat away from both sides of what will become the junction or "link" between the sausages to prevent the filling from flowing out when the links are cut, you will not need a ligature.
The soundtrack has nothing to do with content of the video which, as a fan of dissonance, is exactly the reason I chose it.