Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jul 28, 2008 11:25 AM

Where to get pork backfat

I'm having a party in a couple weeks and making a bunch of sausage. I've used pancetta in the past to add more fat content (pork shoulder alone is actually too lean IMO), but that'll get expensive given the amount I'm planning to make. I know backfat is commonly used, but don't know where to locate it in the GTA. Any suggestions? Somewhere downtown-ish is preferable.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Call sticklands meats on Greenwood and Gerrard they might be able to get it for you.

    Strickland Meat Mkt
    245 Greenwood Avenue
    Toronto, ON M4L 2R4
    (416) 461-9192

    1. I have been making sausage for about a year now, when buying meat from Upper Cut in St Lawrence once I needed a bunch of extra pork fat and she got me a bag that was around 6 lb's for 2 bucks or something like that...

      1. Thanks. both good suggestions, and convenient for me.

        I'm at the one-year mark as well, or thereabouts. Had a bit of a hiatus, since I lost a little plastic doo-hickey for my sausage stuffing attachment. had to buy a new one.

        Recyclor, where are you getting your casing? Have you got sheep casing at all? I got some for about $8 a coil (not exactly sure of the length).

        4 Replies
        1. re: grandgourmand

          I know the Healthy Butcher will often have sheep, but as with all their stuff it is expensive -- I've never bought it there, though I've seen that they do come on a little plastic piece that keeps it all tidy which is nice...I have purchased hog from Sausage King in St Lawrence or from European Butcher in Kensington, I would also check that small butcher south of them (name??) on the east side of the street that often has lamb and goat legs in the window (sometimes fury ones!). When I made a merguez once I didn't feel like running around much so I just made big honkin' pig sized ones...I do think lamb is more expensive...

          1. re: Recyclor

            Ya, lamb (sheep?) is more expensive. The one I got for $8 was from Jerry's Supermarket around Danforth & Coxwell. It was also on the little plastic thingie. I wonder what Healthy Butcher charges.

            For my party, I'm gonna stick with pork casing for my "merguez", just because it's easier and less expensive. however, for real merguez or breakfast links or coiled calabrese sausage (which I haven't tried yed), the smaller lamb casings are nice. If I find a cheaper source, I'll post.

            I love making sausage, and it's surprisingly easy.

            1. re: grandgourmand

              ..that'd be a great tip if you come across it, thanks I'll do the same...and I agree, it is simple and very rewarding, I have upped my production by grinding more each time and only stuffing say half, then making patties and freezing them with parchment between each -- like breakfast sausage patties, makes for a quick grab and go with cheese on an english muffin...

              1. re: Recyclor

                if you are out in Hamilton anytime, I have seen casings of all kinds at the Highland Packer's store. It is up the Mountain off of Centennial and Highland.

        2. T & T gave me a huge bag (pretty much as much as I wanted) for free.
          Cherry St.

          Nosso Talho has casings, not sure what type.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Mila

            I ended up going the T&T route for my pork fat. I got a couple pounds for free. At the cash, they expressed a bit of confusion, but whatever. Worked well in the end. A good reference for the future.

            For the casings, I just went to my regular haunt Jerry's Supermarket near Danforth and Greendwood. Reliable as always. I asked for enough casing to make 40 sausages and he sold me enough for 100, I'm sure. For $6. Pork.

            1. re: grandgourmand

              LOL, I had the exact same experience with the "confused cashier". I freeze my extra casings, they don't seem to completely freeze but work well after defrosting.

              1. re: Mila

                That would be because of the salt I guess. Do you even need to freeze them or just keep them cold. COnsidering the cost, I don't mind tossing unused stuff, but it's an extra hassle to get them in the first place.

                1. re: grandgourmand

                  Did a little Googling and found this:
                  "Natural hog casings stay fresh up to 1 to 2 years in your refrigerator!!"
                  I suppose that is good, yet a bit scary.
                  You're right though, for the cost it's probably best to just get fresh ones.

                  1. re: Mila

                    True, it works, I used to freeze mine, but was told that tossing some extra salt onto them and keeping them in the fridge is A-OK...

          2. Fresh pork casings seem always to be available at my local Loblaws (Liverpool Rd), for $4.

            I got the plastic stuffers for my K.A. grinder on eBay, under $20 delivered.

            Does anyone have a Toronto source for pink salt?

            3 Replies
            1. re: jayt90

              How much do you get for $4? And considering the lack of consistency between Loblaws and the general incompetence of my local ones (Broadview and Leslie), I doubt they'll have it. Will check regardless.

              I can't vouch for them, but you might want to check:
              It's at the SLM. A salt bar...who knew?

              1. re: grandgourmand

                There was a large amount, far more than I needed, and I desalted the whole thing, so the remainder had to be re-salted. The Loblaws near me makes some of their own sausages, so the casings seem to be always on the shelf.

                I'll check out the salt lady in SLM, but the linked article refers to a fancy rock salt, not pink curing salt as mentioned by Ruhlman and Polcyn in Charcuterie. I have had to adapt their recipes by using saltpetre (KNO3) which I can get at any Rexall drug store. I'm hoping i don't have to order pink salt online, or travel to Woodbridge to get it.

              2. re: jayt90

                Pink salt in unreasonably hard to find in Toronto. Chowhound sources say it can be found at Canada Compound, though I have yet to make it out there.