We were sitting looking at the view of Scotsman’s Bay in Dun Laoghaire. “Provenance old man.” said L as we enjoyed one of those barely warm, sunny spring mornings. “Take those apple and sage sausages you enjoy so much. What’s their provenance? You haven’t got a clue, have you?” I had to admit that I had no idea who, how or where they were made. I have faith in my butcher. L is less trusting than I and he chastised me for my naivety. I don’t like having my shortcomings, real or imaginary, exposed. So I resolved to redress the situation by preparing my own range of sausages from scratch.
Another thing I don’t like doing is anything by half. I committed to preparing four flavour mixes. I would produce Cumin, Fennel, Mixed Chilli and Smoked Paprika Sausages. Having procured the ingredients. (Bizarrely, given the provenance issue I got the meat and sausage skin from my butcher.) I decided that this should be a pretty high-class post. It should start with a well put together shot of the spices and flavouring ingredients.
Here’s what I used:
2 kilo’s of pork belly (4 lbs American) – Yes, perhaps I got carried away.
Plenty of salt.
Plenty of black pepper.
Plenty of breadcrumbs (to bind the ingredients).
A couple of meters (seven feet American) of pig’s intestine.
The above mentioned Cumin, Fennel, Mixed Chilli and Smoked Paprika.
So far so good. The first thing to do is to mince the pork. We have a very old Kenwood Chef with a huge mixing bowl. I knew that I may have bitten off more than I could chew when the bowl was nearly full with minced pork.
Anyway, as I was making four types, There would be plenty. I toasted and added the breadcrumbs. Now the bowl was just about at capacity.
Time to add the salt and black pepper. I added what I thought was enough, mixed and fried a sample. Tasted. Added some more, mixed, fried, tasted. Added, mixed, fried and tasted. Added, mixed, fried and tasted.
When I was satisfied, I divided the meat into four and prepared the other ingredients.
I toasted the fennel seeds and ground them, did likewise with the cumin seeds, chopped the chilli and opened a packet of smoked Spanish paprika.
I then mixed my ingredients with the four pork mixtures.
I was then ready to fill the sausage skin.
Having washed the preserving salt mixture from the skin, I fed it on to the sausage filling attachment.
Side note 1. When you get given a sausage filling attachment, be sure it fits your 40-year-old mixer. Check that it is the same brand. If you don’t, you may find that there are ramifications.
It’s at this stage that things began to go a bit wrong. The photos don’t show the attachment bodge that I completed to get the Kitchenaid sausage filler on to the Kenwood Chef. Not easy when blood sugars are falling and everything in the kitchen including the chef is covered with a film of pork fat.
I got things working with assistance from eldest daughter (feeding the mixture into the machine) her boyfriend (photography and ‘helpful’ advice) and youngest daughter (questions about the need for so many sausages when she doesn’t eat them).
Side note 2: Remember that 66.66cm (26 inches American) per person is probably too much sausage to prepare.
If you have never linked sausages, there is a skill involved. I don’t really have that skill. Given that I had only had enough skin to make a couple of meters of sausages, we had plenty (and I mean plenty) of mixture left to make a range of pork burgers including pork and pepper, pork with chilli and pork with paprika, to name but a few.
This little culinary episode took 5 hours of my life. There was a fair amount of what I call ‘first time faffing’ but still this took far too long. I got myself through the closing stages by fortification with Shiraz.
The resulting meal left me somewhat embarrassed in front of the Wife. I had spent 5 hours preparing her evening meal and this is what I presented to her;
The only saving grace was the slow cooked onions in Shiraz sauce. If you want sausages, I’ll send you a link. As for provenance – Next time, I’ll ask the butcher.
Now, anybody for a pork burger?