The sea caviar was popular last week…A lesson to self…Don’t put it in the fridge…
By now I am in sunny Phuket well I hope it will be…We are here until Tuesday and meeting up with my daughter who is travelling over from Australia so that will be lovely…I will reply to your comments on my return as I am not taking my laptop and although I will have my phone it is not easy…Getting old and I like a properly sized keypad…haha…
What has been cooking in my kitchen this week then? Chilli Con Carne was on the menu the other night…After my epic disaster with the last one, I was relegated to being the sous chef and chopping vegetables…
I have added the link for chilli just in case you missed the recipes last time and there is also a recipe for a vegetarian chill made by my friend Richard…
Just lately my phobia about food when I don’t know its origin or who made it has got worse maybe it is because I am reading and researching more about food…My phobia stems way back from childhood when we were on our annual holiday to Great Yarmouth and for many years we stayed at the same guesthouse…I have many happy memories apart from this one…Mrs Horne was the lady who owned the guest house and she did all her own cooking and baking with the help of her mother…
This particular evening homemade meat pies were on the menu…Bear in mind I was about 8 years old and my father was a stickler for manners and eating up our dinners.
Cutting open my pie …This green stuff came out…My reaction was horror and at the top of my voice, I said I am not eating that it is green…My father’s reaction was to tell me through gritted teeth to be quiet and eat it!
My mother on glancing at my plate quietly picked up and returned to the kitchen telling my father… she can’t eat that…What transpired was that a very apologetic old lady came out of the kitchen and explained that with the bit of pastry left over she had made herself a greengage jam pie…That was what landed on my plate with potatoes and gravy…
Needless to say for an 8-year-old it scarred me for life…haha…From that day to this anything which I don’t know the origin or if it looks or sounds suspect in any way invokes that feeling of horror and I can be turned off anything in a trice…Hence why I have always cooked from scratch…So there you have …A humble greengage pie covered in gravy…gave me my phobia…
Hence I always make my own sausages or buy them from a friend here who makes her own sausages ( I have watched) she was married to a German gentleman so makes really lovely German sausages also many of the markets here make their own sausages which means natural sausage casings are freely available…
A quick tip on how to spot a natural casing is if the sausages on display are not all a uniform shape but all slightly different and maybe wider at one end from the other.
Firstly I will give you two recipes for Sausage spices which are easy to make as most people have the spices in their store cupboards and it helps with the rotation of your spices as they do lose their flavour if they sit in your cupboard for an extended period…
These mixes are lovely if you are buying your meat already minced… I will also give you a recipe for making your own sausage meat from scratch.
Sausage Spice Mix
This spice mix is enough for 1lb of meat once mixed in the meat chill for about 3 hours as the meat must get really cold before filling your casings…but of course if you want to make a larger amount then store in a sealed container but remember not to use fresh garlic but dried if storing which is why with this mix I just make as required.
- 3 ½ tsp of Paprika
- 1 ½ tsp of salt
- ½ tsp of fennel seeds
- 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes ( optional)
- 1 tsp of garlic granules ( I use fresh garlic)
Mix all the spices together or if you like your fennel a bit finer then blitz or grind in a pestle and mortar then use as required.
This Italian seasoning is very nice if you don’t have Italian seasoning but have dried oregano and rosemary then use those…
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of minced garlic
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp minced shallot
Mix all the ingredients together this mix is enough for 2 lbs of meat.
A Quick Tip I always make and cook a small patty just to check the seasoning and adjust if required.
Natural sausage casings are generally made from pigs intestines although sheep’s, goat or cattle are sometimes used. The intestines are scraped, flushed and washed with salt and water either by hand or machine and have been used for centuries.
A video showing how to clean the casings.
Organic food regulations only permit natural casings.
As I stated above you can spot whether or not natural casing is used in sausage production as the sausages will not all have a uniform shape.
Artificial casings are made from collagen often from cattle skin, cellulose or plastic (not eaten)
If you buy a lot of sausages you may notice some have a plastic skin which has to be removed or it separates when cooking.
Are 100% plant-based and used in Halal or Kosher food making.
I expect you were wondering when I would get to this part… I think making sausages is a great idea as you can introduce so many flavours and spices which to buy are generally expensive and unless you are buying Artisan ones the other ingredients are probably questionable…
- 2 ¾ lbs Lean Pork…Hip or shoulder
- 1lb 2 oz Belly Pork
- 1lb 2 oz Pork back fat
- 3 oz salt
- 1 ½ tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 6 oz breadcrumbs or medium oatmeal
- 250 ml iced water
- 6 metres (20 feet) 28–35mm (3⁄4–11⁄2in) sheep or hog casings, soaked and one end knotted
A quick tip If you put the Pork fat into the freezer for 30 minutes, it will mince more easily without melting.
Let’s make Sausages…
Chop the meat and fat into chunks and chill thoroughly.
Mince the meat and fat through a coarse mincing plate onto a deep, wide tray when mincing alternate pieces of meat and fat.
Mix the salt and spices with the bread crumbs or oatmeal if using and sprinkle this mix over the minced meat and get those hands in there and start to mix. Drizzle in the iced water and mix thoroughly to ensure the spices are distributed evenly.
Now make your little tester patty and cook…Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
Now mince the mixture again through a fine mincing plate.
If you are lucky to have a filler nozzle then fit it and fill those casings making sure it is not too tight or they will burst when you make your links.
Twist the end of the sausage to close it and decide on the length you desire for each sausage and pinch the sausage easing the meat away to form a gap in the casing then twist the sausage twice…Remember when you do the next sausage twist in the opposite direction or the links will unravel easily.
If you have any air bubbles then prick the skin at that point using a cocktail stick or a sterilised needle. If the mixture is too loose within the skin squeeze from the closest link and twist the skin again…
As with anything new practice makes perfect.
Your finished sausages on the BBQ
I hope that you have enjoyed this post on how to make your own sausages and if you enjoy as there are so many different flavours you can make …
You can mix pork and beef, chicken sausages are nice…
My favourite sausages are:
Cheddar cheeses and jalapeno
Chicken, pancetta and rosemary
Basil and tomato
Apple and caramelised onions
Red onion and parmesan
The beauty also of making your own sausages is that you can make a mix of flavours something to suit everyone…How good is that?
Enjoy and have fun …xxx
I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…x
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
Connect to Carol
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx