Kevin Severns’ book on sausage-making couldn’t be timelier. This neat little primer taps into two hot restaurant trends: the farm-to-table craze and the popular appetizer platters of Italian cured and preserved meats known as salumi. Both trends embrace the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients in a finished dish. Sausage-making fits the bill nicely.
Severns is a hunter, fisherman, and hobbyist who makes his own beer and sausages. His friendly “good ol’ boy” writing style goes down as easily as lemonade on a hot summer evening. For example, he writes: “I once purchased some beef from someone I thought knew all about producing high quality meat. It was so awful; I couldn’t disguise the odor…It ended up going to the dogs, however, one of the dogs was more finicky than the others and wouldn’t touch it.”
Severns’ guide (which includes five recipes) covers all the basics, including food safety, grinders and stuffers, and fillings. However, the slim volume just taps the surface of sausage-making, so hobbyists would be wise to consult other material on the subject before beginning. Severns spends no more than two or three pages on each topic before moving on, just tasty enough to whet the appetite, but not meaty enough to ensure proper safety and handling precautions.
What Severns really offers readers is his own enthusiasm on the subject. If a reader has never considered the hobby before or doesn’t know exactly how to get started, this book will push him or her in the right direction. It will also make Severns really happy. As he notes in his introduction: “One of my biggest motivations for writing this book is not only to help those of you who are interested in making sausage to get started, but I can’t stand to see good meat go to waste.”
Also available in hardcover.