After years and years of trying to find pork sausages we like, by sheer coincidence, while obsessing about bacon (and buying and reading books about it), I came across an interesting chapter with a very understated title: “Sausage: The power and the glory: animal fat, salt and the pig come together in one of the oldest, divine-yet-humble culinary creations known to mankind”. I challenge anyone to pick up a book with a chapter titled like that and not feel inspired to do something about it.
I did, and I was, and I did (if that makes sense to you, good luck).
So off I went, and decided to try two different types of sausages, one a very basic one, flavored with garlic and red wine, just perfect for breakfast, and another flavored with ginger and sage (fresh out of the herb garden, of course).
So, started off with the recommended shoulder butt, which our butcher didn’t know about, but I am a bit suspicious he was taking the mickey out of us as he seemed to have a sudden change of memory when we showed him pictures. Lovely and marbled with all of that great artery clogging fat (or life preserving saturated fat, if you prefer the Paleo view). No extra fat added.
Two containers with chopped up pork, and flavorings added on top, ready for mixing and waiting in the fridge overnight.
Out of the fridge, into the sausage grinder. I used an attachment for the Kenwood Chef, which had been gathering dust in the cupboard for about 8 years. I followed instructions like a good boy, keeping all the bits very cold under threat of the sausage tasting like muesli if you don’t. Apparently if you allow it to get warm, it splits and gets rather unpleasant.
And now for the last bit of preparation work, the mixing. Of course, the final ingredient needs to be added, ta da!
Now for the final part, something I’ve never done before, so needed to be taken slowly. Stuffing the sausage into the sausage casings was something I wanted to get right, as it seemed to be a bad idea to get this far and mess everything up. For those of you, like me, who’ve never done this before, this is what the sausage casings look like, once they’ve been soaked and washed out.
After much care and a bit of learning (and again, following instructions), this was the result. Nice even good looking sausages!
Unfortunately, there was another unexpected trick at the end, as we had decided to get thin casings, as thinner sausages in the past were better. My view is the ratio of more nice brown outside is higher, and therefor you get more flavor. What we forgot, was that we should have got a longer bit of casing, so we had leftover sausage filling, which got made into American breakfast sausages, which you can see below, nicely vacuum packed for the freezer. (Note to South Africans: Yes, this really is called sausage).
Now for the results. Sorry, no pictures, the sausages didn’t really last long enough. We’ve tasted both, cooked in the pan and on the Egg, and they were wonderful. The vote seems to be leaning towards the ginger and sage one, but I suppose we need to make more to be sure! The most important sausage cooking tip I got was to use a meat thermometer to get the internal temperature to 150 deg F, which gives a tasty and juicy sausage. I’m pretty much always going to do this, nothing wrong with guaranteed results.