First of all, if you don’t have a grinder, you are going to need meat that has already been chopped up or minced. For this recipe I used 500g of diced pork shoulder but I have also used minced pork. I did say you don’t need any specialist kit, but I am using a common food processor with the S-blade attachment to break down the meat and mix the seasoning in. If you were using minced meat you could maybe even do without the processor.
First step is to put the meat in the food processor and pulse it a few times to start to break up the chunks of pork. Next, you need to decide what you are going to put with the pork. I went for teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of pepper, teaspoon of sumac (it was just there, I didn’t think about this too much), one slice of bread (which becomes breadcrumbs in the processor) and one medium egg (for binding). Add all of these ingredients into the processor with your meat and pulse until all everything is well mixed and evenly distributed. How long you do that for is up to you. More time in the processor will mean a smoother sausage mix, less time will mean a coarser mix. I tried to keep mine pretty coarse on this attempt.
Once everything is mixed lay out a sheet or cling film (or plastic wrap if that’s what you call it). Take a large spoonful of the sausage mix in your hand and gently roll it into a short, fat oblong shape. Place the sausage meat at one end of the cling film and roll it on the work top so that the cling film wraps right round the meat. This is your makeshift sausage skin. Roll the sausage out some more to get it into the shape you want, then twist the ends and tie them off. You should have something that looks very much like a sausage, like the picture below. That was pretty easy, wasn’t it?
From here, you have a couple of options. You can either put the sausages in the in the fridge for a while, during which time they will start to stick in the shape they have been moulded into, or you can cook the sausages will they are in their plastic skins so that they retain their shape. Now, you don’t really want to be frying or grilling cling film, so you need an alternative method of cooking the sausages until the cling film can be removed. Poaching them is an option, but I decided I would give steaming a go. I placed the sausages in a saucepan with a little boiling water and a steamer basket in it, covered the pan and let the sausages steam for 10 mins. After 10 mins the sausages are cooked enough to retain their shape without the cling film, which means that you can take of the cling film and grill the sausages until they are cooked through. The grilling part will also give the sausages a nice browned finish, instead of the greyish colour that you would get if you just steamed the sausages. Sure, these sausages don’t have the snap that a natural sausage skin gives, and they don’t quite have the classic sausage shape. However, if you want to try making your own sausages but don’t want to buy any of the specialist kit typically used, then this is a very simple and economical alternative method. Give it a try.