Written by alison
Daunted by DIY bangers? Don't be. Alison shows you how...
Why we use what we do!
We make our own sausages at home for may reasons; some of them being,
we are using our own free range pork, produced in a way that we can
control, with pigs who have lived a happy life, doing all the things
that pigs love doing. We can control all of the ingredients and
flavours in our sausages, and choose the cut of meats we use.
When making small batches of sausages we use the Kenwood mixer, with the mincer attachment and the sausage-stuffing end.
We use our own free-range pork, which we feed organically, but
aren’t registered with the soil association, as the membership is too
expensive for us to bother with. If buying meat from the butcher most
cuts can be used, but we always use the shoulder and the belly. The
shoulder gives us a good fleshy joint and the belly gives us the fat
needed in a good sausage.
I buy my rusk directly from the butcher, as he buys it in big sacks
and will sub divide one for me. Cultivating a good butcher is good for
this! Conversely rusk can be made by drying bread crusts in the
remnants of the heat in an oven, or the bottom of an aga, then either
bashed, in a bag with the rolling pin (which only works if totally
dry), grated, or blitzed in a food processor.
The sausage skins are bought from various places
(listed below), and can be either lambs intestine (for chipolatas) hogs
casings (for sausages, and pictured) or collagen, although none are
suitable for vegetarians. The collagen skins are tougher, in our
opinion than the animal skins once cooked.
Herbs and spices, or flavourings can be fresh or dried.
Liquid could be water, cider or wine.
Preparing the skins.
The lamb intestine or hogs casing skins arrive in a tub covered in salt. The skins
in lengths and tied together with string, and are usually in a bit of a
tangle. They are eased out of the tangle and then soaked in cold water.
We do this overnight so they are well soaked and the salt is washed
When ready to use the skins are washed off again then clean water
is scooped through one end and run through the whole skin to the other
end, to wash out the inside too.
Firstly, after setting up the mincer I mince all the meat on the coarse plate, having diced it all first.
The porket nozzle is then added to the mincer and the skins are
threaded onto the nozzle so it is concertinaed onto the nozzle with a
little bit of end hanging off the end.
The meat is then mixed by hand with the added flavourings and liquid added.
At this stage, with a new recipe you would be wise to cook a little
patty of the mixture up to see if you like the final flavour.
The meat is then minced again with the sausage-stuffing nozzle and skin on.
Slowly run the mincer with the meat mixture coming through the
skin. The size of sausage can be changed slightly by adjusting the the
speed of the meat coming through, with the machine, and by holding very
lightly the end of the nozzle where the meat is coming through.
Once a length of sausage has been made it is best to aim the line
of sausage into a big bowl, like a clean washing up bowl to catch it,
until it is ready to be twisted.
Problems with making sausages.
There are a couple of problems that can occur while making sausages, and it is better to be prepared for these.
Problem 1. Not enough mixture going into the casings, and the
sausage being filled with air. Solution – Stop the mincer and slowly
and carefully pull the skin back onto the stuffer end, having squeezed
the sausage meat mixture gently to the end of the skin, then restart
the mixer to carry on.
Problem 2. The skins splitting. Stop the mixer, squeeze the mixture
to make up the right diameter sausage, in the last sausage, and then
tear off the skin, and start the next long tube of sausage.
The casings do not want to be so big and tight that the tube will
not be able to be twisted, as the sausages will just burst. To get the
feel for this experience helps a lot.
Finally to get the final bit of mixture into the last skin, once
the casings are all filled, and the mixture is used up put an old crust
through the mincer and you will fill up one more sausage.
The sausages can then be twisted and hung for 24hours to dry out a
bit before using, or batching up for freezing. We either wrap the
sausages up in parchment paper, if they are going straight into the
fridge for later use, or bag into strong butchering bags that we get
from a butchering supply shop (found in the yellow pages), or I am sure
your local butcher can get you some. These are stronger than normal
bags and will cut down on freezer burn.
My Favourite Recipes
Basic quantities – for most sausages.
Seasoning can be added by taste, but these are tasty combinations.
(Some of these suggestions have been suggested on Downsizer, where I
have since tried them.)
Pork and Leek – 1 medium leek to 1kg of pork.
Pork and apple – a good sized grated bramley appleto 1Kg of pork.
Pork and Bacon
Tomato, chilli and garlic
Scarborough Fair - Pork sausage mix with generous handfulls of chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Strawberry Fair - As above, but also add sorrel, lemon balm and chervil (and any other herbs in the garden that need using).
Juniper - Pork sausage mix, with ground up dried junper berries,
added at about a dessert spoon full per kilo. An outstanding casserole
And finally, my absolute favourite.
4 1/2 lbs lean shoulder pork
1 1/2 lbs fat belly pork
6 gr sage
pinch of marjoram
25 gr white pepper
75 gr salt
100 gr breadcrumbs
Mince meat coarse. Mix in the rest and stuff.
Check the Yellow Pages for Butchery supplies.
Natural Casing Company Ltd - http://www.naturalcasingco.co.uk/pricelist.pdf
Another source for casings is http://www.weschenfelder.co.uk
Your local butcher – Make him your best friend!
Casings and Equipment
Franco from www.sausagemaking.org
Ascott Smallholding Supplies Ltd - http://www.ascott.biz/