Sausage making class at BCAE

Sausage class_7
Instructor Dustin Rennells shows off our fabulous sweet Italian pork sausages

I grew up eating kielbasa straight from the Polish butcher in Brooklyn. So you might say I have pretty high standards when it comes to my sausage–but I’ve never actually attempted to make it on my own. Isn’t it easier to just have someone else do all of the work?

But I came across a new class offered by Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE), and although I know it’s ten times more work to do it yourself, I also knew it was time for me learn how to create my own sausage and hopefully impress my family and friends.

Details on the class:
The class was instructed by the energetic Dustin Rennells, who owns Bad Boy Bake Shop and Dustin Rennells Design by day, and teaches cooking and entertaining classes at BCAE by night. He was fun, knowledgeable, and openly admitted that this was his first time teaching this particular class (which was actually titled “Sausage Fest: A Night of Sausage Making!“), so it was a learning experience for all of us.

We planned to make four different kinds of sausage over the course of our three hours: a sweet Italian pork sausage, a seafood sausage, an apple turkey sausage, and a spicy Italian vegetable sausage.

We began by learning the ins and outs of the sausage making attachments needed for a KitchenAid stand mixer, which is what we used to make the sweet Italian pork sausage. We all had a chance to see what ingredients were needed, including a mix of pork shoulder and pork fat, and then we all got the opportunity to try our hand at actually creating the sausage with the tools.

We then divided ourselves into smaller groups to create the other types of sausage. I worked on the spicy vegetable sausage with another woman and man in the class. Once we mixed together all of the vegetables, which included mushrooms, onions, black-eyed peas, sun-dried tomato paste, and brown rice flour, we used the KitchenAid mixer to fill collagen tubings.

The apple turkey sausage was placed in hand rolled casings, and the seafood sausage, which was made with a mix of mussels and white meat fish, was stuffed into either lamb sausage skins or thin fabricated collagen sausage casings. Dustin explained that if thicker sausage casings were used, the outside would get too tough and the inside would be uncooked.

Once we completed each sausage, we all learned how to tie the sausage into individual pieces.

My thoughts on this class:
I loved how interactive this class was. There were about 12 of us, and we all played a role in the sausage making process. Dustin made sure the entire class rotated through each task so they we got a feel for placing the casings on the casing tube, easing the sausage mixtures into the casings, and tying the casings off to create individual sausages.

My only real complaint was that I think Dustin’s plan to make four different types of sausages in three hours was a very aggressive goal. I believe our time would have been better served working on only three sausages–I felt rushed through our last type of sausage.

However, Dustin was phenomenal. He was able to provide suggestions and recommendations for alternative methods for whatever anyone in class asked him. He was fun, engaging, and kept us all laughing. We also had a seafood allergy in the class, and he went above and beyond to make sure nothing went near what she was working on.

We were able to bring home the fruits of our labor–and let me tell you, they were delicious! I haven’t purchased my sausage making attachments for my KitchenAid yet, but the holidays are coming up …




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