Any one who has been following my website for a while will know that we try to make as many things from scratch as we can. This is for 3 main reasons. We need to save money as our food budget is low, and so that is the first. The second is that we want to become more self sufficient so that we do not have to shop in supermarkets very often. The more we enter a supermarket, the more we spend. The last reason is that we do not want to eat food that is ultra processed and full of things that I can not pronounce. Making breakfast sausages is the newest skill that we have learned this last week.
We were given a mincer and sausage maker for Christmas and can’t wait to try making lots of different flavours of sausage, but thought that we had better start with something that can be eaten for breakfast, but can also be used in other dishes like ‘toad in the hole’ or sausage casserole. We watched a number of videos on YouTube before attempting this new adventure and we were lucky enough to find the meat on a promotional offer at half price. The bread we got for 20p from a waste food project. We used dehydrated skins bought off the internet. We chose the recipe from the Culinary Exploration YouTube as we we did not want to have to buy or make rusk. An important aspect of successful sausage making is keeping everything cold. Below is a picture of one of the ‘runt’ sausages before we got the hang of filling them evenly.
2.5 kg of pork shoulder (it can be a mixture of pork belly or other fatty pork cuts. Fat provides moisture and taste ).
250g white bread crumbs (10% of pork if making a different quantity)
500g cold water (20% of pork)
50g of sea salt (It seems a lot but they were not salty. We are going to trying to reduce by 5g next time) (2% of pork)
25g of pepper (1% of pork). We did half black and half white pepper.
5g of dried Oregano (0.2%)
5g of dried Thyme (0.2%)
- We hydrated the sausage skins by placing in cold water over night. The skins were salted to preserve them and so we changed the water 3 times. For the last half hour we placed them in luke warm water. Some people run water through the skins but ours were held open with a plastic wedge and so the water down the middle when soaking.
- Cut the meat into chunks. Put the meat back into the fridge.
- Blitz the bread into bread crumbs and place in a bowl. We used about 3/4 of a loaf. Pour the water over the bread crumbs and place in the fridge.
- Put the pork through the mincer. We did some on a fine setting, and some on a medium setting. When the sausage was cooked we could not tell any difference in the sausages done on different settings. The medium setting was easier and quicker to mince. Place the meat in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Add the bread crumbs and the rest of the ingredients to the mix and, using your hands knead and massage the mixture for at least 5 minutes.
- Fry a bit of the sausage meat in a pan and alter the seasoning if needed. We did not alter ours.
- When happy, return the mixture back into the fridge.
- Put a bit of oil onto the end of the sausage attachment and thread the skins onto the nozzle.
- Take the sausage mixture out of the fridge. The next bit is easier with two people. Mr S held the end of the nozzle and the skin and guided the mixture into the skins whilst I pushed down the mixture at as even a pace as I could.
- Now and again we did get an odd air bubble but we had read to prick these if they occurred, which we did.
- We found that putting a tray under the sausage nozzle allowed the sausage to fall evenly.
- Link the sausages. There are lots of YouTubes that show how to do this simply.
- Celebrate with a sausage sandwich and put the rest into the freezer. Our sausages were fat as we had bought wide skins and so we froze them in batches of 2 and 4.
- This mixture made 31 thick sausages, 4 burgers, and also covered 2 Scotch eggs The burgers are great for a sausage breakfast in a bap with an egg on top. The rest will probably be used for main meals.
- If you have any hydrated skins left you can freeze them to use next time. Our natural skins cost £5.99 and we used about a fifth of them.
We now have sausages that have no chemicals, nitrates or phosphates in. These sell on average at £3.50 for 6 sausages. Because our pork was on promotion, the bread was from a waste project, and the herbs were home grown and dried, we worked out that we spent about £11.35 making these sausages.
In the future we will add other ingredients such as leeks or apple which will probably make the sausages cheaper. We also are excited to experiment with different kinds of meats and spices, and maybe even try to make a vegetarian sausage. I am hoping to have enough freezer room this summer to buy organic meat from a farm that sells half a pig for £99. Organic sausages are so much more expensive. Another thing that I will do to improve them is to use my own home made bread. Next month we intend to buy some thinner skins in order to make less plump sausages. Making the sausages was tiring but we had fun. I get a feeling of satisfaction when I see them in the freezer as I open the drawer, and I also feel reassured when eating them that they are nitrate, additive and phosphate free.
Do you make sausages? Does anyone have any good recipes using different ingredients, please?