The Happiest Plates On Earth: Cheddar Dijon Risotto With Homemade Pork & Caramelized Onion Sausage


Back in this post from the movie ‘Home On The Range’,  I talked about my new meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. And it was a lot of fun to grind my own hamburger, but I knew I wasn’t going to be happy until I was able to bust out my natural pork casings and make myself some sausage.

Additionally, I knew that Oliver & Company was going to be the movie that I would try it for the first time.


I’m an 80’s kid through and through, so I like Oliver & Company probably more than it deserves. Now, we are always very clear to differentiate between a good Disney movie and a Disney movie we really like. Sometimes they are good movies that we don’t care for and sometimes they are average movies that we remember being amazing because of one specific sequence that happens early on in the film that includes a Billy Joel song.




I said it was the 80’s.


Upon finding himself on the mean streets of New York City, the kitten named Oliver meets up with a streetwise dog named Dodger, and he is promptly shown the ways of the city and the art of stealing hot dogs.


Y’all see where I’m going with this?



What resulted was the fanciest hot dog you could ask for. The sausage was browned in a pan and then sliced and laid over a bed of risotto that was filled with freshly shredded cheddar and dijon mustard. Over the top of the sausage, I sprinkled freshly-pickled cucumbers and sundried tomatoes. And when it’s all eaten together, it does in fact taste like a hot dog with cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion, and relish.

Obviously, you don’t have to make your own sausage, and this recipe will still be pretty awesome. But….sausage-making, you guys…




So whip out your casings, and let’s get grinding!


Cheddar Dijon Risotto With Homemade Pork & Caramelized Onion Sausage
Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 30 Minutes



Quick-Pickled Cucumbers
4-6 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped dill

Place all the ingredients except the cucumbers in a pan on the stove and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour over the sliced cucumbers. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and then refrigerate until you are ready to use. These can be made ahead.
Homemade Pork and Caramelized Onion Sausage


6 lbs pork butt, partially frozen and cut into small pieces
2 cups caramelized vidalia onions, chopped and cooled
3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2-3 natural pork casings

Cut the pork into pieces and then place it in the freezer to partially freeze it. Meat passes more easily through the grinder plate when it’s partially frozen.  Feed the pork chunks through the meat grinder attachment, collecting it in a bowl underneath. Season the raw pork and then add in the caramelized onions. Switch the meat grinder plate for the one designated for stuffing sausage and add the sausage stuffer attachment to the grinder attachment.

Place your pork casings in a bowl of cool water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes and then drain them well. Feed the casings over the end of the sausage stuffed and then tie off the end if necessary. I needed two people to do this next part. Turn the mixer back on and start feeding the ground meat back through the attachment. It will push the meat into the prepared casing, creating a sausage.  Twist them off as you go if you’d like, but it’s probably not necessary.  Wrap them and place them in the fridge until you are ready to cook the sausage.


Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a heated pan on the stove top.  Add the sausage and brown on all sides.  I added some hot sauce to the oil to give the sausage some extra spiciness.  Once the sausage is cooked through, set aside and keep warm until you are ready to serve.


Cheddar Dijon Risotto
2 cups arborio rice
8 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine

Measure the chicken stock into a pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Place butter into large saute pan on stove top. Add the rice and stir everything to coat the rice. Cook on medium low temp, stirring and allowing the rice to toast slightly. Add the white and the dijon mustard and stir to combine completely.

Start adding the hot chicken stock to the rice, adding only one cup at a time and allowing the liquid to absorb into the rice before adding the next cup. You may not need all of the chicken stock for this. Making risotto is pretty time-consuming and finicky, but worth it. Keep tasting the rice as you go and adding more liquid until the rice is fully cooked. When the rice is soft enough, after about 20 minutes (it shouldn’t have any bite to it), stir in the cheese and then add black pepper if desired.
Spoon the risotto onto a plate and then top with the sliced sausage and then the pickled cucumber slices, as well as chopped sundried tomatoes. I also sprinkled some pretzel dust and green onions over the whole thing to give it a little more texture, but this is definitely optional.


This dish was probably one of our favorites that we have made, rocketing up to the top of our list. It was a quick and easy meal, especially if you don’t make your own sausage. I highly recommend it. I mean- a hot dog I don’t have to feel inherent shame over?




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