August 28, 2008


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DIY sausage
The Sausage Source helps you make your own
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum

The Sausage Source in Hillsborough sells all things sausage — the stuff to make it, the spices to season it and actual sausages.

The Sausage Source also has a lunch stand in the parking lot where locals gobble up owner Rick Brown’s own sausages and subs. And business is good.

“I have 12 to 30 online orders waiting for me each day,” Brown said. He picked up a stack of orders. “Colorado, New York, another New York, California. California is my biggest state.”

Customers come to Brown for items such as casings, grinders and stuffers. Also popular are Sausage Source spice mixes and complete kits, which allow folks to make their own breakfast, Polish, Italian, German, Cajun, Spanish, and Summer sausages, and jerky. He also carries cures, brines, and barbecue supplies, house-made hot sauces, smokers, and wood chips. And for those who only want to eat sausages, he sells frozen packages of his homemade Italian sausage and bratwurst.

“Most of my business is from hunters and small farms that want to process their own sausage and jerky,” Brown said. “It is more natural for them to do it themselves than to have someone else do it. It’s less expensive, and when you take the meat to a processor, you don’t know how it was handled and what you are getting back.”

Brown learned how to make sausages from his grandmother, whose Austrian parents always made their own sausages. “I grew up hunting with family and we processed our own game. The guys we hunted with liked our sausage so much they wanted us to make it for them. Then people wanted our spice mixes,” he said.

With a small inheritance from his grandmother, Brown and his wife Kathie opened-up the shop in 2001. At the time, he worked as the head mixer for Coca Cola in Nashua, but he switched to a part-time position at Osram Sylvania while the store got off the ground. While he manages the retail end, Kathie is in charge of the bookkeeping, labeling, and computer work, and she is also a part-time mail carrier in Francistown.

The stand outside was Brown’s idea to help build the business. Hungry customers can get subs made with his homemade sausages or with steak and chicken marinated in his own spices. One of the most popular items is Kathie’s creation, the Chuck ‘n’ Cluck—a sub roll filled to the brim with chunks of seasoned chicken breast and steak tips, plus grilled onions and peppers, and American cheese. For the less adventurous, there are hot dogs and hamburgers.

Brown used to take the stand to local fairs on weekends, but the business grew to the point that now the stand stays put during warm weather. He is also happy to answer customer’s questions, offer useful tips, or just show off the latest gadget — which this week happens to be a smoke pistol used to turn a cardboard box into a smoker.

Sausage Source
3 Henniker St., Hillsboro, 464-6275,
Store and stand hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Swedish Potato Sausage
Recipe from Rick and Kathie Brown found in Home Sausage Making by Susan Mahnke Perry and Charles G. Reavis (Storey Publishing, 2003)

Makes 5 pounds
4 feet medium hog casing
1 lb. very lean beef
1/2 lb. lean pork butt
1/2 lb. pork fat
5 large potatoes
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (medium grind)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (medium grind)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 clove garlic, minced
Chicken broth for cooking the sausage
Prepare the casing according to supplier’s instructions. Cut the beef, pork, and pork fat into 1-inch cubes. Freeze the cubes for about 30 minutes to firm them up before grinding.

Grind the meats and fat separately through the fine disk of a meat grinder. Place meat back in freezer.

Peel and boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 10 minutes. They will be quite firm in the center. Allow them to cool before proceeding.

Cube the cooled potatoes and mix with the onion. Put the mixture through the fine disk of the grinder.

In a large bowl, combine the ground meats and fat and the potato mixture. Add the salt, black pepper, white pepper, allspice, mace, nutmeg, and garlic. The mixture will be sticky, so dip your hands in cold water, then mix well, using your hands.

Stuff the mixture into the prepared casing, prick air pockets, and twist off into 12-inch links. With butcher’s twine, tie two separate knots between each link and one knot at each end. Separate the links by cutting between the two knots, then bring the ends of each link together and tie to form a ring.

Poach the rings in chicken broth to cover for 45 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cool. The sausages may be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

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3/20/2008 The Easter Bunny brings dinner
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7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
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6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
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3/29/2007 New 'nuches
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2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
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1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
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A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch