When I was a kid we lived in the small town of Lowe Farm, Manitoba which is in the heart of Mennonite country for several years. It was here that I first tasted Mennonite Farmers Sausage and it was love at first bite. We used to go to my Great Uncle Jake’s place in Carmen, Manitoba on a regular basis to cut wood and while there my Great Aunt Livina would inevitably serve a big meal that more often than not would have Farmers Sausage included. This was wonderful smoky sausage that was delicious, but it always would confuse me that it was brown and the stuff we got from the store was reddish. It wasn’t until much later that I figured out that this was because they didn’t include curing salts when they made their sausage. When they made sausage it was an all day affair with everyone helping out. Some were grinding meat or cleaning casing. Some were seasoning the meat and stuffing the casing and finally Uncle Jake would smoke it over dry poplar. I can also remember going over to my friend Herbert’s home and his mom would make Farmers Sausage with mashed potatoes, and the best sausage gravy I have ever eaten to this day. Later while working in Africa I was introduced to Boerewors which is the South African version of this sausage and every time I ate it I was reminded of home.
I like to stuff both hog casing which is the traditional way and larger synthetic casing which allows me to cut the sausage into rounds which are perfect at breakfast.
Makes 10 pounds of Mennonite Farmers Sausage
1 Length of Pork casing or 6 Large Synthetic Casing Bags
5 Pounds Pork Shoulder Coarsely Ground
5 Pounds Beef, Venison, Moose etc. (I like to use Venison)
3 Tbsp Salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Pink Salt (also called Prague Powder #1 or Curing Salt )
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Using either a sausage stuffer or a meat grinder with a stuffer attachment fill your casing with the mixture. If using the natural casing twist into 10 inch links. Smoke at a temperature of 175 F for 4-5 hours (I like to use Maple for smoking Mennonite Farmers Sausage) Either eat right out of the smoker or cool freeze and when ready to use boil in a skillet for about 10 minutes and enjoy.