Making Sausages

Home-made sausages, tomatoes, sweet potato wedges, and chicory.

Home-made sausages, tomatoes, sweet potato wedges, and chicory.

Sausages are one of my go-to meals. I’ve liked them ever since I was young. They’re meaty, filling, and flavourful, as well as being versatile in cooking- in casseroles, sandwiches, or toad-in-the-hole, for example. Recently, I’ve been trying some more “gourmet” sausages, which I’ve bought from farmers’ markets or food shows, including varieties such as pork and black pudding, venison, or pork, parmesan and pancetta, and they have all been delicious. Trying these gourmet varieties has only spurred me on to try and make my own sausages and experiment with different combinations of flavours, with a long-term goal of creating things like salami, chorizo, merguez, and perhaps even an andouillette.

As it turns out, making sausages is pretty straightforward- at least once you have a way of getting the meat into the sausage casings. I was given an attachment for my Kenwood for Christmas, which has a sausage filling function. Once you’ve tied a knot in the end of the sausage casing, filling the casings was as easy as putting the meat in the Kenwood attachment, and sliding the casings on to the nozzle- similar to the way you might fill a water bomb. Then, every time you want to ‘finish’ a sausage, just give the casings a few twists. Tie a knot in the end when you are done, and there you have it: sausages.

Could you make sausages in your own home without all the kit? Probably not. It’s hard to see how to get the meat mixture into the casing by hand- you could try just pushing it in, but I would be concerned about breaking the skins with a fingernail or something. Even if you could fill the casings by hand, it would be very time consuming. Similarly, if you don’t have a mincer, you’re stuck with the varieties of mince which are readily available. These are certainly fine for most of your sausages, with pork, turkey, beef, and lamb mince easily available, but if you want to experiment with other meats, you’ll need to invest in a mincer. But if you do like sausages/burgers/charcuterie, you could consider getting a mincer with sausage-making attachments. Anything you make with them would be great to serve guests, will freeze easily, and will likely taste better than most of the things you can buy.

The sausages we started out making were pretty simple ones, really just trying to get the hang of making them, working with the casings, and getting the texture right, before going on to more complicated varieties. The recipe I’ve included here is for the ones we made, so if you are looking to start making sausages, hopefully this will get you going. But the first attempt turned out very well, and I’ll soon be moving on to more exciting recipes. As Mrs. Oxfood put it: “it’s like…they’re…sausages!”.

A length of home-made sausages

Simple Sausages Recipe

Makes 8-10 (large) sausages. You’ll also need some sausage casings. I was given some, but you can likely get some from your local butcher, or online. This recipe is adapted from one in Forgotten Skills of Cooking.

Ingredients:
1kg pork belly (minced, or pork mince)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
75g breadcrumbs
1 tbsp herbs/spices (I used paprika)
approx 2m sausage casing

Recipe:
1. Make the sausage mix. Mince pork belly if required. Combine pork, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and herbs/spices in a large bowl and mix until homogeneous.
2. Make the sausages. Use the sausage making kit as instructed to get the sausage mix into the casings.
3. Cook the sausages. Heat the oven to 190ºC. Put the sausages on a baking tray and place in the oven for 40 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Cooked Sausages

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