Many years ago, we used to make our own sausages. Then a series of house moves and a very busy time in both our lives forced a pause in such hobbies. But I remember the product with some fondness, and thought it was worth having another go. Our small mincer and sausage stuffer had long ago disappeared, so with my fondness for gadgets, I bought replacements albeit secondhand on eBay. This time I’ve got a mincing attachment for the Kenwood mixer, and a rather larger stuffing machine.
Plus, of course, the inevitable books on the subject, the best of which is undoubtedly Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages.
But to start with, we simply ordered seasoning, rusk, and skins from Weschenfelder’s, one of the better known suppliers. The pictures are from that first session. We used a standard enough recipe – 75% pork (two-thirds shoulder, one-third belly), 7.5% rusk, 15% water, and 2.5% seasonings. We chose for the first run Weschenfelder’s Old English blend, which had a nice green colour and a strong smell of sage. The meat was good free-range British pork from Hilton’s, our local “proper” butcher in Pinner. There’s little point in going to all this trouble using anaemic supermarket pork.
I trimmed the meat, cut it into cubes, and put it through the coarse blade of the mincer, then added the other ingredients and passed it back through the coarse mincer again before loading it into the stuffer. The second mincing certainly mixes it well, but made a sausage that we found rather fine for our tastes.
Inevitably, there were a few lumps and splits and short sausages, which I put aside to eat straight away. The others were packed into sixes, weighing approximately one pound a pack. I vacuum packed them before freezing, which rather squashed them. Another lesson learned – freeze ’em first!
So we cooked the lumpy bumpy ones for supper. They looked nice.
But they tasted, well, not so nice. They had a rather overpowering taste of sage. I was quite disappointed. What I’d forgotten was that sausages need a little while to mature. Subsequent batches have been absolutely fine. So it looks as though the sausage making is back on the agenda!