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Bacon, Cheddar, and Beef Links

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Bacon, Cheddar, and Beef Links

This recipe is from chef, butcher, and author Ryan Farr's cookbook Sausage Making:The Definitive Guide with Recipes. Farr writes that this recipe should be considered "a hamburger in sausage form." In that spirit, Farr eats it "on a bun with the traditional burger toppings of shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes" and his secret sauce. Make and take these sausages to your next summer picnic or barbecue, and you'll certainly be deemed head chef!

If you're inspired to make your own sausage and use it in other recipes, click here to see our Best Sausage Recipes. 

Ingredients

  • 1.25 Pounds boneless lean beef (95% lean, 5% fat), such as round, sirloin, neck, plate, or shank, cut into 1-in/2.5-cm cubes
  • .60 Pound boneless fatty beef (75% lean, 25% fat), such as boneless short rib or brisket
  • .60 Pound bacon, cut into 1-in/2.5-cm pieces
  • 1/4 Cup ice water
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 Cup grated cheddar cheese
  • rinsed hog casings

Directions

Place the beef and bacon on a rimmed baking sheet, transfer to the freezer. And chill until crunchy on the exterior but not frozen solid.

In a small bowl, combine the water, salt, black pepper, thyme, and horseradish and stir to combine.

Nest a large mixing bowl in a bowl filled with ice. Grind the meat and bacon through the small die of the grinder into the bowl set on ice.

Add the spice mixture to the meat and stir with your hands until well incorporated; the mixture will look homogenous and will begin sticking to the bowl. Fold the cheddar cheese into the sausage.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture into the nonstick frying pan and spread into a thin patty. Cook the test patty over lower heat until cooked through but not browned. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Press a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the meat to prevent oxidation, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, you can vacuum-seal the farce.

Stuff the sausage into the hog casings and twist into links.

The sausages can be grilled or the links can be smoked at 170ºF/77ºC, until the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 145º F/63 ºC, 45 to 60 minutes. The sausages are then fully cooked, and can be reheated on the grill when you’re ready to eat them.