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Our Annual Family Gathering to Make Italian Sausage

posted Sep 5, 2012, 7:06 PM by Darryl Giors   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 2:53 PM ]
February 8, 2008 

Some years the Giors family gets together to carry out a family tradition begun by my grandfather, John Giors. We make a large quantity of my grandfather's original recipe Italian sausage known as Sautisa. Please read on to find out what this event means to our family and a great pictorial of how we put it all together.

There are many things that make Sautisa special to the Giors family.  First of all it has a unique taste.  It is, of course, a meat sausage but the spices called for in the recipe create a flavor you won't find anywhere else.  There are many subtleties in the blend.  Second, we make enough sausage in one batch to last our multiple households for many meals throughout the year.  Freezing the sausage uncooked immediately after preparation doesn't affect the quality.  Third, it is a wonderful excuse to get the family together and eat some Italian food, drink coffee,  swap stories and laugh a lot.

We typically make the sausage in the early part of the year.  Sometimes we get everything together in mid to late January.  This year we happened to settle on February 2nd because of everyone's availability.

In the days leading up to the planned event ingredients need to be purchased and the tools & supplies need to be prepared.  My mother, Louise Giors typically buys all of the meat, casings and spices.  This year we decided to make 60 lbs. of sausage.  This is an average sized batch for us.  The original recipe was actually measured out for 100 lbs. but we've reduced the batch to make it more manageable.  Mom also preps the meat grinder and make sure we have plenty of rubber gloves and plastic covers for the work tables.

It's my job to measure the spices before the big day.  Many years ago my father calculated a system of dry measure to weight conversions for each of the spices.  With his notes it is very easy to put the spices together quickly using a weight scale.  For 60 lbs. of meat we add nearly a pound of mixed spices and about 2 pounds of salt.

For several years now, my cousin Christine Giors has offered her garage for the event.  In previous years the location has changed numerous times.

Let's make some sausage!

All hands on meat!

Packing the casings takes the most time during the whole process.  Once finished everything is cleaned up and packed away until next year.

Sautisa can be prepared boiled or dried like salami.  Boiled is the way we prepare the majority of the sausage.  The links come out tender and much of the salt is boiled out of the meat preserving a delicate balance of flavors.  This year I took two strings of sausage for drying.  Here they are in my garage nearly a week after being made.

Sautisa hung to dry

Whether boiled or dried we'll be enjoying this fine homemade sausage throughout the year.  I hope you enjoyed this insight into my family's heritage.  Thanks go out to all of the family for making this annual tradition possible.  Greetings from all of us, thanks for reading.

The extended Giors family

Special thanks to Cathy Giors for taking the photos.