So I took up the challenge to make 24 sausages (I don’t even know if that’s enough). Faced with this daunting prospect I had to call on Sausage Man! No, not a superhero, but THE sausage guru himself Paul Peacock and his book: The Sausage Book (real imaginative, Paul). The recipe I plumped for was the all-round-safe-bet, no-drama, everybody-likes-them Lincolnshire. The recipe in Paul’s book is straightforward:
1kg pork shoulder
15g chopped fresh sage
2m of hog casings
*Paul’s recipe makes around 10-12 sausages, so for making 24 I just extrapolated out (fancy word) the quantities.
1) Things: One cannot make sausages without the things that one needs to make sausages. These being:
Meat grinder with sausage stuffing attachments/tubes
Sausage skins - by far the most intimidating part of sausage making. Finding them is the first hurdle. You can buy them online, from some butchers or you can find collagen skins in Lakeland. I recommend ordering skins online, and preferably spooled on plastic tubes.
A good recipe – see Paul Peacock’s book.
Ingredients – see a shop.
2) What’s cooler than being cool? ICE COLD (thanks Outkast): Keep everything cold when you are working with sausages. Cold meat, cold equipment, and if possible a cold room. Keeping everything cold while grinding meat, and stuffing the sausages prevents the fat from smearing. Smearing is bad, as it can ruin the texture of your sausage. Before grinding meat I put it in the freezer until it becomes crunchy on the outside. I also put the metal parts of my grinder that will come into contact with the meat in the freezer for half an hour before grinding, and I do the same with the kit before stuffing the sausage meat into the casings (of course I clean it first!)
3) Give me some skin: As mentioned above, I prefer to get skins that have already been spooled onto a tube like these ones here. These have been preserved with salt and need to have a good soak of at least two hours, but once soaked they can be transferred onto the stuffing tube of your machine really easily. No messing about.
4) Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance: The first few times you try stuffing meat into sausage skins, accept that something will probably go wrong. The skins might burst, your machine might get too warm, you’ll use the wrong size of tube in relation to the diameter of the skins. Just take it. Accept it. It won’t be the end of the world and I bet your batch of sausages will still be salvageable.
5) Going round the twist: Watch videos on YooChoob to learn how to twist links into a string of sausage – like this one. No matter how many times you read the explanation in a book, seeing is always better and will lead to you becoming a lot less emotional about it.
To keep the sausages fresh for Saturday I have frozen them, which is fine in my book.
It was time consuming – as making sausages tends to be – but it was so worth it to see the finished product and say “I did that”. And that’s what it’s all about. Try making your own sausages – I really can’t recommend it enough!