We’ve been dying to try the new sausage machine again so we thought we’d let you have a look at what happened. Do not laugh – you’ll be eating our home-made chipolatas, merguez and persillades this summer so its all for your benefit.
Saucisse du Maison (home-made sausages at L’Age Baston)
What do you need?
- Pork (not belly but not too lean – you need fat to make sausages work)
- Salt (you can adventure into spices & herbs as well – experimenting is fun)
- Casings – ‘skins’ come in different lengths and sizes and can be ‘natural’ hog or sheep casings or made from animal collagen. We use the natural casings because that’s what we’re used to but either kind works and the collagen ones are said to be a bit easier to work with.
We have a fairly heavy-duty electric mincer because we do a fair amount in the summer getting all those delicious meals ready. Also, when we deal with half a complete pig, as we sometimes do in the winter, it’s a lot to get through. The other bit of kit is a robust hand cranked sausage machine which is essentially a big piston driven down a stainless steel cylinder with a nozzle on the end. The rest of the kit is domestic kitchen normal and the method is simplicity itself.
This is what you do
1 – Mince your Pork
2 – Add the seasoning and mix well
If you are going to freeze them you might add a bit more salt to taste than otherwise. You can always add other things to the mix – we love them with chopped parsley and also with fennel seeds or a bit of chilly pepper – no central heating yet!
3 – Prepare and load your casings
Soak the casings for 30 mins then rinse by running water gently right through the ‘tube’ with the tap. Then you mount the casing onto your chosen nozzle – in this case for chipolatas – this can be a bit finicky to start with but should slip on easily after that.
4 – Charge your sausage machine
Feeling the anticipation? Get set, ready? Go . . .
5 – Fill your casings
It’s a bit of a trick to keep the pressure even and clearing the filled sausage away smoothly as it comes off the machine. On the other hand it’s not rocket science, it is fun to do and you get better at it very quickly.
6 – Twist to length
Once you have the skin filled and ready on a flat surface you can decide on how long you want the individual sausages to be and twist them into shape. This is where you find out if your skins are packed too tight!
7 – Hang to dry
It’s a good idea to hang your sausages somewhere cool for a day. The 100% meat recipe means a fairly high moisture content and the skins will gain a bit of strength from drying out a little.
8 – Wrap and store or cook and enjoy
Unless we eat them straight away (not this time of course – we are on diets) we usually wrap them in ‘greaseproof’ paper, write how many there are and the date. Then we put them in freezer bags for storage. They will keep in the fridge for 8-10 days or frozen for a couple of months. Bon appetit!