It was a beautiful Autumn’s evening, the sun was setting, the sky was pink, the air was brisk and I had just pulled into my parent’s driveway. As I walk through the door and into the kitchen, I spot an electronic mincer, a sausage stuffer and array of butchers knives all lined up like someone was about to perform surgery. It was sausage making time! But not just any sausage, the perfect sausage. My Dad’s mate Brooksie makes sausages every year and this time my Dad and I had the pleasure of helping out. When I say sausages, I mean all sorts of sausages, we made some hot, some not so hot, fresh sausages and even made some salami that are currently hanging, just waiting to be devoured.
First we had to decide on exactly how to use this 30kg of Pork shoulder, we cracked open a few cleansing ales and sketched out a plan. If my memory serves me right, we decided on 5kg Bratwurst, 5kg Pork sausage, 5kg Italian Sausage, 5 kg extra hot Italian sausage and 10kg of Salami. It is safe to say that if there was ever a world-wide sausage shortage we would survive rather unscathed. After the plan was formed, we jumped straight into the mincing, and let me tell you I’m so glad we were not mincing 30kg of pork shoulder with a hand mincer… We would have been there all weekend! We minced in batches and then added the appropriate seasonings, and that right there is the best thing about sausage making… The flavour combinations are endless! Of course there are some general rules to use as a good guide when making sausages, you want to add about 11g of salt per kilo of meat for fresh sausages and 22g of salt per kilo for dried sausages. As with anything these are rough guides and you really should taste and adjust as you go. Within a few hours we had minced, portioned, drank a fair few beers* and flavoured all 30kg’s. We covered and refrigerated overnight to let the flavours really get to know one another. After we realised just how quick we got through the mincing, we decided that we might as well knock out the 5kg of Bratwurst so we had some breakfast in the morning. I would say in no more than 15 minutes we had triple the amount of sausages than what I ended up with the last time I made some…
After getting our beauty sleep it was straight back into it, well almost. First it was time to feast on some breakfast, we threw (aka placed gently) some Bratwurst on the bbq, whipped up some scrambled eggs and cranked the coffee machine. Can I just say that these sausages were amazing! The texture was perfect, the flavours popped and I just wanted to keep eating! You could actually taste that the meat was pork (unheard of with those supermarket sausages!) It’s safe to say I was in sausage heaven (keep it PG folks, especially you Grazza). Once our bellies were full and the caffeine had hit out blood stream, we got stuck into it and by it I mean washing the intestines, making sure the machinery was clean and cold (very important, especially with the Salami) and carrying large tubs of meat from the back fridge to the kitchen. That’s what I mean by it.
Mincing really is the easy part, anyone can mince some meat, the skill really comes down to the stuffing of the sausage, it’s all about getting the right speed happening. After a few mishaps and split casings (not as many as I was expecting) we had pretty much got it under control, that was until it came to tying the sausages in that cool little butchers loop thing.. What is that thing actually called? That’s hard work! If there is one thing I can recommend if you want to enter the sausage making world, it would be to find a Brooksie. Having someone there who has done this once or twice is invaluable. We got all the tips, tricks and we had someone who had already mastered the sausage knot. The other thing I would recommend is to allow the time for it, don’t make plans, just make sausages!
Super secrets to making the perfect sausage…
- Fat is a good thing, and you may need to order a touch extra from the butcher when you pick up your meat. Go for some pork belly fat as it will help make a juicer sausage, back fat is a little to tough and doesn’t melt quite as well so it will change the texture of the sausage (which isn’t always a bad thing).
- Keep everything cold, in fact if you have a massive walk in fridge make your sausages in there… If you are like the rest of the word, keep the sausage stuffing parts in the freezer until you are ready to use them, keep the meat/fat in the fridge and keep your hands frozen… Or just avoid playing with the meat too much.
- Taste your mixture before committing! Fry some up and make sure those flavours start a party in your mouth.
*Inspired food does not recommend drinking alcohol while playing with dangerous machinery and sharp knives. Drink responsibly while making sausages.
- 5kg minced pork shoulder (with 10% fat)
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 8 teaspoons pepper
- 4 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chilli flakes
- 1 long natural sausage casing
- Combine the mince and seasoning into a large tub and mix well without over doing it.
- Place in the freezer for a couple of hours (or overnight) to let the flavours bond.
- Unroll the casing onto the sausage stuffer tube.
- Fill the stuffer with the mince, and start stuffing. Slow and steady wins the race here. Once you are all stuffed, simply twist the casing to form the sausages (twist in alternating ways so it doesn't untwist on you)
- Fire up the BBQ and cook away. Depending on the thickness, these will take a touch longer to cook, but that's only because it is full of real meat!