Today is one mega “DIY” recipe. We are making our own sausages completely from scratch. Yeah, I mean grinding meat, mixing ingredients, stuffing sausage casings, drying…. the lot.
aaaaaaaaaaand I’m guess that’s either exciting or scaring you right now, huh?
So if you’re excited, read on.
Scared? No worries, there are a few shortcuts to this recipe which make them non-DIY cook friendly. The mixture can even be used for tasty burger patties. No need to sausage stuff or anything. You want to read on now don’t you?
So welcome to the Third Recipe of The Nude Food Hero’s Sage week. It is safe to say that my sage plant/ bush – which was getting out of control – is now back to a suitable size and shape for I’ve been butchering it all week testing out and making these recipes.
The result has been sage and walnut pesto, sage and goat’s cheese gnocchi and, now, these Sage, Brie and caramelised onion sausages. The strong kick of sage is complemented by the sweetish onions and then, as you cut into it, out oozes molten brie. You’ll never want to buy those crummy (literally, they’re full of breadcrumbs) store-bough sausages again.
I’ve never made sausages before – ***Newbie Alert*** – and I am here to share with you the enjoyable, and surprisingly successful, experience I had in making them. I used Sausage Mania and Let’s Make Sausage as my guide but if you have any other tips and tricks that could help, please do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below.
Before we begin I just want to go over the equipment needed to make your own sausages. Once again I am not an expert on this. If you want foolproof, in-depth, experienced advice and information I would head on over to the sites mentioned above.
Although, like any DIY project, you can go out and spend a vast amount of your hard earned cash to get the “best of the best” equipment, you can easily begin making your own sausages on a small, shoestring budget.
The Meat Grinder
I, fortunately, own a Kenwood Chef Kitchen Machine which came with a meat grinding attachment. This attachment has sat in the cupboard for about six years. The paramedic and I, over the course of these six years, have often talked of making our own sausages and finally, this week, it happened. ?
But, if all else fails, you can simply ask your local butcher to grind the meat for you or make this recipe using good old pork mince. It’s really up to you.
The Sausage Stuffer
Once again my Kenwood Chef Kitchen Machine came with a sausage stuffing attachment. But, if you do need to purchase a sausage stuffer, they come in a variety of sizes and prices from small hand-operated machines to larger industrial type contraptions
Sausage casings can be bought from certain butchers, speciality food stores or online. There are various different types (natural or synthetic), shapes and sizes. I went with the standard Hog casings – apparently they are less delicate and easier to work with than sheep casings, perfect for us sausage-making newbies – at a size of 28 – 30mm.
It should be noted that most sausage making information sources do not recommend using synthetic sausage casings for a whole list of reasons I won’t get into on this post but will look into at a later time.
So, that’s all I have on the equipment. Ready to make some sausages?
Step 1 – Soak the Casings
Soak the sausage casings in cold water for the recommended amount of time. It is suggested that Hog cases are soaked for at least 2 hours but overnight is preferred.
Step 2 – The Ingredients & Preparing the Onions
To make around 28 – 35 regular sized sausages
You will Need:
- 5lb (2.45Kg) Pork Shoulder or other, moderately lean cut – or mince if using
- 2 Med/large sized onions, finely chopped
- 300g Brie cut into 1cm(ish) cubes.
- 2 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped Sage
- 2 Tbsp Ground black pepper
- 2tsp ground fennel seeds
- 1 1/2/ Tbsp salt
- Sausage Casings
- Olive oil
Place the chopped onions in a pan with a little olive oil over low heat. Slowly cook them for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until they have turned dark brown and have caramelised slightly.
Step 3 – Grinding the meat
Use your meat grinder/ attachment to grind the meat down to form mince. I found the fat on the pork became very stringy when grinding and clogged the grinder. There were frequent stops to clear out and clean it before continuing making this probably the longest and most arduous step of the entire process.
Step 4 – Combining the ingredients
In a large bowl combine together the ground pork, onions, brie, sage, pepper, fennel seeds and salt. Using your hands, massage the ingredients together for about five minutes making sure it is thoroughly mixed and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Place the sausage mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes and allow the ingredients to mingle together for a while.
Step 5 – Setting up the casings
Remove the casings from their soaking liquid and rinse them with cold water. Lubricate the nozzle of your sausage stuffer and slide the casings onto it (yes, I know what this looks like and the innuendos during sausage making are abundant and, to be honest, far too easy!?)
Slide the entire casing over the nozzle save for the last 5 or so centimetres and tie a knot in the end.
Step 6 – Stuffing
Fill your sausage stuffer and begin filling your casings. It’s a little hard to explain what to do here so this video may help (don’t worry I certainly couldn’t go as quickly as the guy in the video. He’s had some practice)
Step 7 – Twisting and Air bubbles
Once you have finished filling you cases, tie off the end with another knot. To form individual sausages, at your desired length twist the sausage round a few times. Move to the next sausage and twist in the opposite direction. Continue until the entire length has been twisted. Note: for synthetic casings you will need to use butchers twin to secures the twists.
If there are air bubbles in your casings , take a sterilised needle (held in a flame or in boiling water) and poke into the area of casings where the air bubbles are.
Step 8 – Drying & Storing
You’ll need to air dry you sausages before you can prepare them for eating and/ or storing. I hung mine out on an indoor clothes dryer but whatever you have at hand will work fine. They will need to dry for around 24 hours.
The sausages will keep in the fridge for about a week but can also be frozen.
Step 9 – Cooking
Start cooking the sausages on a very low heat and build up as you go. Placed straight onto high heat and the sausage skins may burst.
And that is all there is to it! Have you made sausages before?