I’ve been spending a fair bit of time researching all things homemade. I love the idea of being self-sustainable, of growing my own produce. Meat, veg, fruit. Everything.
I found a blog and book by a guy called Rohan Anderson. This guy lives out in Daylesford and talks about how everything he eats he has either grown himself, or bought / traded with his neighbours and other local suppliers. (check his blog here)
I live in an intercity apartment in North Melbourne so my ability to keep a herd of cattle, a large vegi garden and an orchard of trees is significantly diminished by the size of my balcony.
However, I can try. I can make my own pasta, my own bread. I make my own tortillas, my own salsa. I’ve been making my own dips with my new wiz-bang food processor.
This weekend, with my cooking buddy Carson, we made sausages.
Carson has one of those mincer and filler attachments that you can get for the KitchenAid. They’re pretty bloody neat.
Now these guys sell all that Italian stuff for making… Italian stuff. They’ve got tools for making wines and oils, and passatta, sausages, beer, cider. They’ve got real live Italians in there too. They sell only quality produce, the sort of stuff you pay the extra buck for with the knowledge its going to last the extra mile.
They’ve got dried sausages casings (made from collagen), but even better the fresh casings, made from sheep intestine. Fresh casings in hand (and a copy of the shop owner and sausage expert, Sarah Grazia’s book) we headed to the market to pick up 2kg of pork and some pork fat (about 300g). Shopping done, we headed home, skipping in excitement.
Now I’ve heard horrer stories about making sausages. I’ve heard the casings split, its messy, it takes ages.
None of that is true. We sliced up the fat and pork shoulder, then ran it through the mincer, splitting the meat into two bowls (for two different types of sausage) and keeping in the fridge (we read somewhere that cold sausage meat is easier to work with).
Next was preparing the casings which are preserved in a salt brine. You need to clean both the inside and outside of the casing, but after a bit of messing around we found the easiest way was to add a little water into the top part of the casing, and slowly work it through.
Casing clean we set about making some flavours. The first was a pork and fennel sausage, following a recipe we got from Sarah’s book. The second was our creation, some chilli flakes, paprika, tumeric, garlic, salt and pepper and some tomato paste. With them all prepared and mixed well, it was time to work the casing onto the filler on the KitchenAid.
Yes, we giggled like immature school boys. Eventually, the casing was “snuggly” fit to the filler pipe.
Mince goes into the top, sausage comes out the other end. Easy peasy.
And truly it was, there was a bit of “ohhhhh” as we worked out a few bits and pieces, how to manage the sausage, how to create the “snail”.
Once we had the one large sausage we gentle massaged small joins into the casing, rolling alternate directions.
Sausages complete, there was no time to waste. We simmered off some onion, and slowly fried the sausages. For me its so important to cook fresh sausages slowly. Make sure the inside is cooked through, that the skin doesn’t split and so we don’t end up with lumps of charcoal. Patience is key.
We served up in a few mini baguettes we grabbed from the market.