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COOKSTUFF

Finds

June 29, 1997|RUSS PARSONS

The Grinder

The meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for KitchenAid stand mixers are available at many department stores and cookware shops. But here's a tip: They're on sale from Chef's Catalog. Normally $65 for the grinder and $13 for the stuffer, the two together are now about $65, including shipping and handling. Such a deal. Now all you need is the $250 to $300 for the mixer itself.

Chef's Catalog, 3215 Commercial Ave., Northbrook, IL 60062-1900; (800) 967-2433.

The Missing Link

If it has to do with sausage making or meat curing, you can find it in the Sausage Maker, a mail-order catalog. From 25-pound professional stainless-steel sausage stuffers to 3-pound home units, from build-it-yourself smokers to every size of casing imaginable, they've got it. If you want to know how to use it all, you can order a sausage and meat curing cookbook or video by owner Rytek Kutas. And if you're really desperate, they take orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just the thing when you get that sudden 3 a.m. urge to pack a little bratwurst.

The Sausage Maker, 177 Military Road, Buffalo, NY 14207; (716) 876-5521.

On the Casing

Although sausage casings are certainly not a mainstream grocery item, they're not that hard to find. The best places to look are markets that make their own sausages. They'll simply cut you a portion of the stuff they use.

European Sausage Kitchen (9109 Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills) is one such store. Also, grocery stores that make their own sausages are good bets. Bristol Farms has natural casings, which come from various parts of the pig's intestine; Vons Pavilions carry synthetic casings, made from collagen that comes from the inside of a cow's hide. At Hughes Markets, customers can special-order casings.

In general, says Frank Drozdowski, West Coast regional manager of Master Casing Co., which makes most of the casings sold in Southern California, lamb casings are for thin sausages, such as breakfast links, while hog casings are for fatter kinds, such as Italian sausages.

Oddly enough, casings turn out to be the most expensive item in the meat market--between $15 and $20 a pound, depending on the store. But don't let that scare you. Half a pound of casings is enough to make about 50 pounds of sausage and should last the better part of a year unless you turn into an abnormally enthusiastic sausage maker.

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