The easiest way to make sausages
If you buy butchers award winning sausages, the chances are they were not made from scratch, using raw materials. The majority of butcher made sausages are made using bought seasoning mix in a big box.
You can get lots of organic seasning mixes for use at home, they are very good and convenient to use, and there is no way on earth why you shouldn’t use them. All you need to do is follow the instructions.
Te bought seasoning usually (I have never seen it otherwise) contains the salt the sausage needs, so all you have to do s measure out the exact amount of meat, water and rusk (or breadcrubs), mix the lot and then stuff into skins.
Our sausage book is full of sausage recipes for starting from scratch, but this one just uses a bought spice mix. NO I DON’T CARE IF YOU THINK I AM CHEATING!
It all starts with skins
These are pig skins at 22 mm diameter. They come packed in salt, which you have to wash off and then they need soaking in coolish water – not hot, or they will cook.
They are attached to a ring, and one of the lengths will make about 3 Kg sausage, so they last a while. There is no waste, just drain the water away when you have finished and pack them in salt and keep them in the fridge.
Soak them for about an hour and then add a little oil to the water to make them a little slippy. This helps when putting them on the nozzle of the stuffer. You can get collagen skins, but you don’t soak them at all, just put the on the nozzle dry.
Sterilize your stuffer
It is important that everything is perfectly clean and sterile. I use this little plastic stuffer for small batches because it is easy to clean and is very cheap. I haven’t seen this particular model (The Mincy) for a while, but there are lots like it.
Cut a whole length off and then find the end, open it out with the fingers – this can be a bit fiddly. Then push the skins, inch by inch, on the nozzle. Have some water available to help lubricate it and take your time.
By the time you have sterilised your stuffer it will be ready for taking the skins. It is tempting to tie a knot in the skin. I never do because it simply gives a big bubble.
I tie the knots later when it is time too link the sausages.
While the equipment is sterilizing and while the skins are soaking, you can make your sausage meat. In this case it is really easy. You can buy these mixes oon the inteernet and get all kinds of different flavours and types, fro breakfast pork to spicy beef to Cumberland and Lincoln and so on. So long as you read the instructions that come with them, weigh out the materials accurately, you can’t go wrong.
There is plenty of leeway, especially with the water. You might find the meat too stiff to mix, so just add a little more water. The reason is that different rusks absorb different amounts of water.
Measure the materials
For this session I bought a packet of spices that cost about £3.00 and this was enough to make 10 Kg sausage. I only wanted to make a third of this so I had to weigh out the appropriate amounts.
Then the Ingredients were added to a large bowl:
Rusk, water, seasoning and pork. Thats it.
Having mixed it for about 15 minutes I put it in the fridge to cool down. It is important to keep your meat cool. When I am making large batches of sausages I use iced water and I freeze my metal grinder too.
Then it is time to start stuffing.
Load the hopper on your grinder and press down constantly with the fingers (Not with a powered machine though) and turn the handle. Soon you will see the sausage meat filling the skins, and you might need a third hand to help make sure the skins fill evenly.
Keep on working, take your time, don’t rush or panic. If you get a tear in a skin, just pull it clear a little way and start filling again, you can knot these ends very easily later.
When you have used up all your sausage meat it is time for linking, which is very easy, all you have to do is as follows:
1 Make sure the skin if filled evenly
2 Tie off the ends
3 Make a small indentation in the skin and make three or four twists
4 Repeat along the same length of sausage, but twist the other way
I hardly ever link into threes like they do in butchers, preferring to have individual strong links – which you don’t really get from a butcher 3 link system (Well, I never managed it though I can do it).
I vacuum pack my sausages, half go in the fridge and half go in the freezer. Each bag is basically one meal’s worth, so it’s nice and convenient!