What is more traditional than a good old sausage? You can have them with any meal on any occasion with a variety of sides.
I have been hankering after a mincer after indulging in some Tom Kerridge recipes and my wish came true courtesy of my keen to keep me in the kitchen, husband. You can of course ask your butcher to do the mincing for you, but where’s the fun in that?! Once I made these I had a real sense of achievement, there’s something great about making food totally from scratch and knowing exactly what has gone into it.
I have a Kitchen Craft Hand Mincer, it’s an old style cast iron mincer that looks great in the kitchen ( this is not a promoted link!). It takes a bit of time to get to grips with the technique – small chunks of meat are the way forward. If you don’t have a mincer, I did read that you can use an icing bag to put the mixture into the skins – this would be tricky and you may need someone to help you, but definitely worth a try!
I bought natural hog sausage skins, a word of warning – these stink! You have to soak them for a couple of hours in water to remove the salt, after that the smell improves! You can get collagen casings that aren’t as smelly, but they will give your sausages a bit of an artificial taste.
I did a little bit of reading up on the proportions of meat and flavour ingredients – you don’t want too much, in this case, stilton and walnut, otherwise you will overpower the flavour of the pork. Breadcrumbs are a must. I used pork belly to get a good fat content along with pork shoulder which has a great flavour.
This recipe makes 8 ENORMOUS sausages – if you are a dab hand you will probably make 12 normal size sausages! They freeze well, so do a big batch and they are an easy to prepare week night dinner.
I served mine with baked herb and chilli chips and baked beans, but you could serve them up as breakfast, a toad in the hole or with mash and onion gravy.
- 400g pork shoulder
- 600g pork belly
- 150g breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 chilli
- 50g walnut halves
- 75g stilton
- 10g fresh sage
- 200ml cold water
First off, soak the hog casing in cold water.
Chop the belly and shoulder in to chunks of around 5 to 8cm depending on the size of your mincer. Use the coarse disc and collect the minced pork into a large bowl. Tip in the breadcrumbs and salt and pepper. Mix well using your hands.
Put the chilli, walnuts, crumbled stilton, sage and water into a blender and whizz until you have a smooth mixture. Pour this into the pork mix. Once again, get your hands stuck in and make sure everything is well combined.
Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours – this will give the breadcrumbs time to soak up the moisture.
Clean the mincer and pop on the sausage filling attachment. When the casing is ready, carefully feed it on over the attachment and tie the end. A spoonful at a time, put the sausage mixture into the mincer, and feed it through into the casings.
This is the tricky bit. You don’t want to overfill the skins, or get air bubbles in. At my first attempt I probably did both! It is tricky, but you will soon get the hang of it. If you have an electric mincer, rather than a hand one, this process will be a bit easier.
Once you’ve filled the casing, try to remove and air bubbles, if you have them, and tie the end in a knot. To link the sausages, twist each sausage carefully, first clock wise, then counter clockwise all the way up. Pop the sausages in the fridge for a couple of hours to let them settle.
At this point you can put any sausages you won’t cook into the freezer, where they will keep for up to a month.
To cook the sausages, use a very lightly oiled frying pan over a low heat. Sausages will burst if the heat is too high, if they are over filled or have air bubbles in. A couple of mine burst, they weren’t pretty, but the flavours are still fantastic!
Do give it a go, it is well worth the time and effort, and possibly the meal that has most impressed my husband!