This article by Edward G. Foden introduces people to the idea of making their own sausages. Many of us have heard some version of Otto von Bismarck’s famous quote, “laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made”, so perhaps it is not surprising that most homemakers and even keen amateur cooks have never attempted sausage making in the belief that it is beyond their capabilities. This is largely a myth, however; with a little bit of planning and preparation, it is possible for you to take action and begin sausage making at home.
Have you ever wondered about exactly what goes in to your favourite sausages? Have you ever worried about the quality of ingredients in those sausages that your family cannot get enough of? Whilst expensive sausages purchased direct from your butcher may only contain the very best ingredients, the cheaper mass-produced varieties may not. The only way to ensure that your sausages are both delicious and nutritious is to make them yourself. If you are thinking that sausage making is some kind of mysterious butchers’ art and well beyond the average cook, prepare to think again! Read on and discover why it is fun, easy, and satisfying to make your own sausages at home.
Before you begin to make sausages, you should give some thought to stuffing them into their casings. There are many types of sausage stuffing equipment on the market ranging from inexpensive hand mincing machines with funnel attachments for less than $20 to large electric grinders for over $100. If you already have a mincing machine or meat grinder, check to see if there are attachments available for sausage stuffing. You may find that these accessories will cost less than $10 if they are available for your machine.
Prior to investing in equipment, however, it may be better to find a friendly butcher to help with your first batch of sausages. If you buy the meat and the casings from him and explain what you want to do, he may be willing to stuff your first batch for you after you have made the sausage meat to your recipe. If he agrees and you had fun making the sausages and like the results then it would be prudent to invest in the proper equipment.
Once you have the proper equipment or have brokered a deal with your friendly local butcher, it’s time to start thinking about a recipe. There are so many varieties of sausages to choose from. When first starting, it is a good idea to practice making sausages according to a basic recipe, such as the British breakfast sausage or ‘banger’ as it is sometimes called. This relatively simple recipe can then be adapted to produce many different types of sausages such as Lincolnshire sausages, pork and leek sausages, and Cumberland sausages. Then, when you have more confidence in experimenting with recipes, you can move on to create more exotic sausages.
When you have decided on which recipe to follow, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start sausage making! This is great fun especially if you enlist the family to help. When you have mixed up your sausage meat it is important to make up some small patties from the mixture to fry in order to check the seasoning before stuffing it into casings to make the sausages. If the family were nowhere to be seen while you made the mixture, you may find that they all tend to gravitate towards the kitchen at this stage, forks in hands! When you are happy that the seasoning is as you like it, the next stage is to stuff the sausage meat into the casings. If you are doing this at home with your own equipment, you may need to have someone helping you until you get the hang of it.
There are many resources on the internet to find equipment, sausage casings and recipes. At sausages-sausages.com there is a guide book including detailed instructions, recipes and a store to purchase sausage making accessories. Other sources of information can be found by browsing the many ‘foodie’ blogs on the Internet as they often have sausage recipes posted by keen amateur cooks and links to sites specialising in sausage making.
Sausage making at home is not just great fun; it can also be very satisfying. If you find a good recipe, your sausages will be the equal of any found in the best butcher shops. You may well get many compliments from friends and family and your barbecues could be the talk of the street. Most importantly you will know that your sausages are the healthiest, the highest quality, and the most nutritious sausages money can buy.