This recipe should make 12 large sausages.
-1 lb of boneless pork belly
-12 oz pork shoulder
I have used free-range Hampshire Breed pork. This means that a pure-bred Hampshire boar was mated with a cross-bred sow, producing tasty pigs.
-½ oz salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
-6 fresh sage leaves, very finely chopped
-2 oz fresh breadcrumbs
I used a synthetic skin that was kindly given to me. Natural skins are dried and preserved in salt. They require soaking before use and are (apparently) difficult to work with.
You will note that I have not used any preservatives apart from salt. The sausages must be refrigerated and eaten within two days. They will freeze. When needed, defrost thoroughly in a fridge for 24 hours and use immediately.
Large piping bag with 1 inch nozzle
Things to check first:
Make sure that your sausage casing is slightly larger than the piping bag nozzle. You may have to experiment with different nozzles. Make sure that you can roll the sausage casing inside out as described below. If not, you will have to make individual sausages, rather than links.
It may be useful to get someone to help you, although you should explain the whole process to them in advance. If you make a mistake when filling the casings, the mixture can be squeezed out and recycled.
You will need a large, flat, clean surface to work on.
Use the food processor to chop the meat coarsely. Make the breadcrumbs and assemble all of the other ingredients. Get a large bowl and mix the lot together.
At this stage, it is worth using a small amount of the mixture to make a “mini-burger”. Shallow fry and taste--you may wish to add more salt, pepper, herbs or spices to get the right taste. This is especially useful if you are experimenting with other ingredients.
Put the mixture in the fridge for half an hour. Open a bottle of wine and drink at least two glasses. Return to the fridge.
Take a large handful of the mixture and put it in the piping bag, ensuring that the nozzle is filled. Continue until the bag is half full. Get a yard of the sausage casing and tie a knot in one end. Gently roll the casing backwards so that it looks like a rolled-up condom. Slide the rolled-up sausage casing and ease it over the nozzle. Putting the bag on the surface, gently squeeze the bag and slowly fill up the casing. In theory, you will end up with a length of sausage which you can twist at regular intervals, forming individual, perfectly formed sausages, linked together in a “string”.
That’s the theory. The facts were different. I made the mixture OK and the mini-burger tasted wonderful (but not as good as the finished article). I increased the salt to the level in the recipe and that was that. The palaver that followed had my assistant in paroxysms of laughter.
As I was rolling the casing she criticized my “technique”. Things did not improve when the casing split. I was subjected to a barrage of innuendo about male inadequacy. It got worse when I attempted to twist into links. I ended up with a variety of lengths and shapes and it’s a good job the floor was clean(ish). If the sole criteria were looks, these would have been the only sausages in Gloucestershire that did not qualify for an award.
Taste is a different matter. They were delicious, accompanied with mash, onion gravy and a dollop of English mustard. We had second and third helpings. We ate all of them. In fact, we made pigs of ourselves.
©2009, Charlie Burling, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England.