Tom PapoutsisTom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
So, we've threaded this all onto the cone here. We are going to leave it right there, but leave the end so you can find it. It should be right out there at the end, but it is right there. Now what we are going to do is, we are going to start adding the meat back into it, and we are actually going to start making our sausage. Now, what I am going to do is I am going to let the sausage just kind of run out across the table here. We make sure the table is nice and clean. Before I tie this end off, what I am going to do is, I am going to go ahead and I am going to start pushing some of our meat down the end and get it to come out the end of the tube, so whenever we start actually stuffing the casing, we dont have a big air bubble in there. So we are going to push them through; I am throwing meat all over the place. Thats alright, well pick it up. The machine is clean. Okay, here we go; there it is; there we go. So you can see now, we start to get some product come through - thats it, just like that. Okay, now we are going to stop it right there. Okay, so we stop it right there. Now, I am going to pull this out, I am going to tie a knot on the end, and what we want to try to do is, try to keep as much air out of there as you can. There's going to be a little bit gets in there, and these things are slippery, so they are kind of hard to manipulate every once in a while, but there we go, we run it down towards the end as close as we can get, slide this back on, go right to the end. We are going to start stuffing; okay, we turn our machine on, and we start adding product in here. Okay? There we go. Now, this is what its going to start doing; its going to start coming out just like that, and this takes a little bit of time; you got to be a little patient with it. Sometimes you can actually hold the casing back a little bit, and it tends to make your sausage a little bit fuller, and actually, if you get a little help in the kitchen, that helps too, but you can see how we are starting to get this casing come out - and there we go. Sometimes, this thing, you just got to work it to get it to do what you want it to do, but now, we've actually got sausage coming out the other end, there we go. Okay, now the other side of it is, is you can make these links as big as you want. Now, what I am going to do, I am going to push this down a little bit, and this is kind of typical, pull that back -- theres your typical sausage right there. I am just kind of stop right here. I am going to take, and I am just going to pull this off, and this is what we are looking for right here. Now, what I would typically do -- what you can do is take this, and if you keep going with this, and you keep stuffing it, what happens is, is you get a whole ring of this. Theres your sausage right there; thats ready to go. And there's our homemade Italian sausage. So, what we are going to do is, we are going to go ahead and stuff this; we are going to stuff the rest of this, and then well come back, and I've got some ideas for you as to what you can do with it.