Welcome to my kitchen where I cook almost everything from scratch…Today I will tell you a little about myself and one of the reasons why I cook from scratch…
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 the plate up and returned it 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 it …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 it in a sealed container but remember not to use fresh garlic but dried if storing the mix for another day which is why with this mix I just make as required as I prefer to use fresh garlic.
- 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 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. This is a really good clear video…I can buy natural casings here which do not need quite so much work but I found this video extremely helpful.
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 plastic skin that has to be removed or separated 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 meat and fat pieces.
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 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 then 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 test them out for you…x
Thank you for joining me in my kitchen today…my dearest wish is that more people would count chemicals instead of calories and cost…Carol xx