As promised in my post, The Essence of this Blog, I have decided to do some sausage making. I have always been interested in traditional recipes and of course few things are more traditional than sausages and other forms of charcuterie.
Living here in France you would think that I would be spoilt for choice on the sausage front, the range of cured sausage is excellent but fresh sausages have a surprisingly limited range, mostly chipolatas, Merguez, Andouillettes or Boudins. The Andouilettes and boudins are good examples of the French art of fresh sausage making, but in terms of meat filled sausages around here you are limited to chipolatas and Merguez of doubtful quality. I’m sure if I looked I would probably find a supplier for a good range of quality sausages, but sod it I’ll make my own, have fun, be creative and be frugal.
To help it all a long my belle-soeur and husband (if I was married) gave me for Christmas a copy of Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton’s book Preserved which is an excellent starting point to for making sausages, smoking etc. I have been getting around to doing something for a while and as I said earlier in the blog, time to get on with it.
A couple of weeks ago a bought an old fashioned mincer from John Lewis, last week I ordered some organic hog casings which arrived earlier this week, then I went shopping for the fresh ingredients.
I decided to make Nick and John’s Taplow sausage. A fresh 100% pork sausage, if you want the recipe you will have to buy the book!
First thing was to make sure everything I was using was as clean as possible, making sausages is supposed to be relatively easy but is not an operation to cut corners on hygiene.
Then it was time to put the pork through the rough setting on the mincer, took a bit of faffing about until I realised that I had put the cutter on back to front! Easily done on your first go.
Then mixing up the herb and spice mixture, a bit of measuring and splashing with chopped garlic, caraway seeds, chopped sage, ground cloves, some balsamic, Angostura bitters, pepper and salt. Then hands on for a good old mix.
Then it was time to pop on to the stuffing horn the hog casing that I had cleaned and left soaking in water. I had a generous couple of meters that seemed a bit much for roughly 1.5 kilos of sausage mix, but I didn’t want to run out casing half way through. A bit a fiddling about to slide the end over the stuffing horn and I was ready.
After that time to get stuffing. I had visions of some sub ‘generation game’ moment with stuffing oozing everywhere and me swearing for half an hour, but actually it was really straightforward, the mix filled the casing steadily, fully and easily.
Until I had a sausage.
A quick twist then on to the next., then the next, and the next.
Then done. Poked the last of the meat through the stuffing horn. Tied the casing off, and despite my earlier fears I has just the right amount of casing, I was fortunate to allow what had earlier seemed a generous amount.
I pricked the sausages in several places to let the air out, then into a bowl, covered, then straight into the fridge to bloom (mature) for 24 hours.
They do smell good, well actually they smell strong and good. Julie and I are visiting friends for dinner on Friday evening then staying over to go to the cheese fair at St Maure, I’ll take some sausages with us for Saturdays breakfast. I’ll let you know how they went down.