A bit of English Sausage…

Soldato
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Taken from my blog post on my site, I made sausages at the weekend. Check it out below:



Well as you know, (or if you don’t, you do now) we live in France. In the Alsace region to be precise, on the border between Switzerland and Germany.
Known for their Gewürztraminer wine and Riesling, you may also know that it is quite famous for something else… Sausages. Or, more importantly, wurst.

Due to the German influences, the areas food also reflects this and the sausages do not fall at all far from the German tree. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of wurst from time to time, but as an Englishman, I am also fond of my proper English Pork sausages.

When it came to getting some, this really isn’t something that is on offer. Why would it be? We’re in the Alsace! So what to do? Give in to the way of the Alsatians?

Nope. Make our own.

Now, this is something we’d wanted to do for a while. It seemed simple enough, but we always put it off due to the effort of all the mincing and to start, and probably most importantly, we didn’t have a mincer.
With a nice shiney KitchenAid still on the list of things to get (along with water bath) and at 500 Euros over here, it seemed a bit much for some sausages, so I thought I’d go in at the other end of the scale.
I bought an ultra-cheap Kitchen Craft hand/bench mincer. Thoughts that, if it was useless, it was only 17quid with a sausage nozzle included. Much more like it for the first try anyway.

Next, ingredients.

Having spoken to a couple of folk, I was informed I would need a mixture of pork shoulder and pork belly for my meat. With that in mind, while at the wonderful supermarché we picked up just that. 1kg of pork belly and 1kg of pork shoulder.

We got this home, left it out at room temperature and set a production line out. Chopping the shoulder up in to manageable chunks for the mincer and running through the mincer on the biggest hole setting to start. We then took the skin off the belly and any stray, missed rib bones and cut and minced that also.

Starting with the biggest hole to make it easier to then mix and pass through a second time at a smaller hole setting. All mixed, minced pork together, we put it through the mincer again at the smaller setting.

What to add to the mix? There seemed to be many recipes out there, what to listen to? Well I didn’t listen to any, as per, and went off and did my own thing. I added 20g of salt, 7g of black pepper, 15g of Mexican oregano, and 7g of thyme. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s plenty and I think the Mexican oregano is actually too herby and I would scale this back doing them again. They’re on the herby side.

I should note; I used a 1:1 mix of shoulder to belly (roughly, as once skin was off belly it was probably less, but close). This varies in recommendation, so for me it was to see how they would come out in terms of fat content.
All these mixed together, the ingredients were run through the mincer one final time. Now it was time for the making of sausages.

I bought the collagen casings from amazon, same as the mincer. They were a couple of quid for metres of the stuff. Bargain. You don’t have to soak them, or pre-prepare them. You just slide the casing on to the nozzle, a couple of metres at a time and snip, and tie the end off.

This is handy to have 2 people doing this part as you need the hands to make it less awkward. Luckily we had little helpers as well. Feed the mixture in to the mincer, this time with no mincer attachment, just the sausage nozzle, skin attached. Wind away. First one came out and I got carried away, so it was rather large… then you get the hang of it. Turn the sausages when they’re the right size and keep going.

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We made 35 sausages with our 2kg of meat. Plenty!

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Once they were all made, they need to be hung overnight. We hung them on the clothes horse, seems logical, and froze the bulk the next day once dried more. Awesomeness.

Can’t wait to try some different mixes now. Chilli sausages. Get in.
 
Soldato
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I'm really looking forward to trying more. Belly is cheaper here than it is in the UK and shoulder isn't bad (c.5-7 EURO a KG I think?) so can have a good play about.

I'd recommend that cheap mincer as well. It's just a cheap way to do it if you're not going to be doing it daily for 300 sausages. It's not hard and just easy to use and results are good.
 
Soldato
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I hope your bangers turn out well, although you're technique goes against much of what I've read and learnt about sausage making. I would normally expect sausages to be made at near freezing rather than room temp is all.

I like the sound of your spice mix, I may give that try.
 
Soldato
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Thanks. I wasn't told about making them at near freezing, but will check with the guy I was talking to and see what he says. He rears pigs and makes amazing sausages so hopefully he should put me right.

The mincer is just like: http://www.amazon.co.uk/TALA-6250-Meat-Mincer/dp/B000W0AVSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334645324&sr=8-1

Plenty of variations on the same, but like on the above you can buy the adaptors for pennies more. (The above one shows with a burger adaptor, for example)

Yep, IKEA mat and bowl. The mat is a PITA though as over time they do distort (especially if the Mrs puts on it a really hot pan...) should really get some new ones.

One thing I didn't mention, is that a best way to do things spice mix wise would be to add your bits in, mix it up really well and then take a bit out of the bowl, make a patty and fry it off to try. This way you can get the flavour the way you want it before committing to 35 sausages you didn't salt well enough. I did this, then added too much more Mexican oregano (it's much more fragrant than normal stuff too) and then didn't retry them, hence them being quite a herby banger, but they're nice.


I was expecting the mincing to be hard work, like, it's a cheap as mincer and didn't expect it to mince much without me sweating my moobs off doing it. It was pretty damn easy though. As long as the meat is in ~2" cubes it goes through fine.

Will do burgers next with a nice proper mix of beef. And some chilli sausages are high on my list!
 
Soldato
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Quick oven cooked shot...

photo.jpg


Didn't grille or fry but came out well. If I was going to pick anything, I'd say they need a higher fat content to keep them really juicy, so I will play about with mixes next time on the pork and see how it works. Tasty though.
 
Caporegime
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Making me hungry :)

Oh and yes the Ikea chopping mats are a PITA when they curl up, even washing them in hot water does it if they aren't placed perfectly flat.
 
Soldato
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Awesome Monsieur Tart!

I've got the same casing as you :) I may well have over filled the casings, not that it burst, I'm just thinking density of sausage. Definitely something I will play about with though and flavour combinations.

Will try the merguez though, that will be fun.
 
Man of Honour
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Ah..just realised that you posted in my thread ages ago so you'd already seen it. Doh :p

I think density might be down to not keeping the meat cool enough during the sausage making. Your casings don't look that over-filled to me and if they're not splitting I'm sure they're fine :)

Merguez are really delicious btw. Probably one of my favourite sausages.
 
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