Thursday, 8 May 2014
How not to make sausages...
For my first attempt I wanted to make a nice simple breakfast sausage; not too coarse not too smooth, nicely seasoned, just right to start the day with. I'd used a mix of pork belly and shoulder as I wanted the banger to nice and juicy at the end as well.
I'd got it into my head that using a hand mincer was going to be a good idea. They just look prettier ok; what the hell is wrong with that logic?
Quite a lot really as it turns out mincing belly pork, or any fatty piece of meat, with a hand mincer is like trying to force a piece of rope through the eye of a needle. It smears around the mincer resolutely not going through the mincing plate until you resort the pushing various implements into the mincing chamber to move things along.
Implements that work best are fingers and wooden spoons but for obvious reasons I do not recommend using your fingers...
After several hours of furious cranking eventually you'll have a pile of mince. Real mince! Surprisingly a lot less mince than you might expect from a kilo and a half of pork. Where had it all gone?
The next step was to season the mix and add in some bread crumbs; the key here really should have been to season the MEAT before I minced it to ensure an even spread. That and to use four times as much salt as you'd think.
I was ready now to make my meat tubes and as a first attempt I was using a collagen casing for simplicity rather than animal intestines. Feeding on a couple of metres of this shit onto the machine was weird. Can you imagine a papery condom? Yep weird.
Forcing the meat back through meant even more hand cranking action and things start to move quickly all of a sudden! OH GOD. It's happening! My first sausage baby was crowning; time to break out the cigars...
This stage is surprisingly easy, especially if you don't stop to take photos every few minutes, just make sure you keep cranking and filling the casing evenly. Just don't over fill or the thing will pop.
What could I do better next time? I'd chilled the meat before mincing but it really could do with longer than the 30 mins in the freezer I gave it. Next time I'll freeze the mincer as well so the pieces keep cold longer and stop the meat and fat smearing around the inside.
Seasoning wise check your mix before you put it in the casing. I just went by instinct but when I fried my banger it was massively under salted. Make sure this doesn't happen by frying some mix in a pan before hand! I need to do more research on fillers as the breadcrumbs just didn't add the texture I wanted.
In fairness the end result was pretty damn good; I wouldn't have expected any less though from twenty pounds worth of good quality pork. It just could have been better basically but more on this later when I make my next batch.