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So, you bought a killer sausage maker, you found an easy recipe online, you’ve got a bunch of organic casings in store, and you are ready to get down and dirty. Nothing’s stopping you from making a handful of delicious homemade sausages.
Unfortunately, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the links you make from scratch don’t taste as good as the store-bought version. Before you go ahead and blame it all on your cooking skills, we’re here to remind you that good-quality meat and a teaspoon of seasoning are not the only ways to flavor up a link. Fresh produce can also do the trick while adding tons of nutrients in the mix.
So, if you want to make store-bought-worthy sausages every time, these ten veggies and fruits are just what you need to get started.
If there’s one food that can add tons of flavor to any dish on the fly, that’s caramelized onions. Thanks to their tender texture and candy-sweet yet savory taste, these morsels are an excellent way to spice up your homemade wursts without jeopardizing the meat’s flavor.
Just add them to the bowl during prep time, mix them with the other ingredients and let them sit for a while so that all flavors infuse with one another. Pro tip: If you prefer edgy dishes, add a few tablespoons of the onion’s juice to the mixture as you knead the ingredients together.
If you wear your love for spicy food on your sleeve, you can’t go wrong with jalapeno peppers. This fiery vegetable pairs great with all types of meat, from chicken and beef to pork and venison. Just make sure you use it sparingly because adding too much of the thing may ruin the mixture’s taste. PS: If you want to gourmet-ify your jalapeno sausages, spritz the meat with lime juice before you place it in the maker.
Perfect for beef and pork links, the tomato is one of those mild-tasting foods that can still make a huge difference flavor-wise. The veggie contains just the right amount of sugar and acid, infusing the meat of choice with a tangy, piquant aftertaste. Plus, that tomato’s vibrant red color makes the wursts look all the more appetizing. For an extra flavor boost, add some tomato-friendly herbs such as basil, rosemary or thyme.
Often regarded as a hybrid between onions and garlic, leek sports a slightly sweet and mild flavor that pairs amazingly with meat, especially pork and beef. The seasonal veggie can also be braised and caramelized, allowing you to add it to your homemade sausages more easily.
Chances are you’ve had your fair share of bell pepper-sausage meals over the years, and most of the times they were served side by side, right? But, what if we told you that this versatile veggie could make your taste buds swoon even more if it’s served as part of the said sausage? Despite their original crunchy texture, bell peppers can turn into a tender pile of sweetness once sauteed. If that’s not homemade sausage material, then we don’t know what is.
OK sure, apples are not the first ingredient that comes to mind when you are making sausages at home. But, this sweet-tart fruit is a match made in heaven for meats like chicken and turkey. FYI: Herbs such as sage and fennel can take this combo to a whole new level.
Are you a fan of lush tropical flavors? Then, adding a little bit of mango to your homemade sausages is a treat you don’t want to miss. The juicy fruit pairs excellent with chicken and turkey, holding the whole thing together thanks to its natural sugars being broken down, a.k.a caramelized. For a spicy touch, make sure you add a dash of paprika during prep time.
Despite their sweet taste, pears are one of those fruits that can be easily incorporated into every meal, whether sweet, savory or everything in-between. That said, you can readily add them into your sausage mixture and let their grainy texture and syrupy flavor take it from there. Oh, and don’t forget to season with a little bit of sage for a gourmet flair.
Even though figs are a popular side for gamey meats like duck and prosciutto, they pair just as beautiful with turkey, chicken, pork, and beef which are the go-to options for homemade sausages. So, if you want to make your links stand out this fall, adding figs is the way to go.
For those of you who don’t know, oranges and beef go together like peanut butter and jelly. The citrusy fruit adds a welcome sweet tang to the often-bland meat, helping it bring out one of its many hidden sides. If you want this combo to stand out, even more, consider adding leeks and garlic to the sausage mixture.
So, do you know any other fruits or veggies that would taste great as part of a homemade sausage? If so, feel free to share your experiences and suggestions with us in the comments below!