Making Sausages

As I’m writing this, it has been almost a week since I left the rocky cliffs and green valleys of Pembrokeshire for the lush meadows and bright yellow rapeseed fields of Shropshire. Later, I will tell you more about what I get up to here, but first up is a flashback to last weekend. The morning after our mussel hunt, we set about making a batch of sausages using meat from our hosts’ own organically reared pigs. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make my own sausages, so this was another one of those great opportunities.

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The key to making a tasty and juicy sausage is adding enough fat. Our sausages were unusually fatty, because the pigs were fattened a little longer than they ought to have been. This meant that the “lean meat” in our equation was still quite fatty, but a fifty-fifty ratio should give excellent results. We used about 4 kg of pork to make around 45 small sausages and we used the following ingredients:

50/50 lean meat and fat

sage, marjoram, salt (30g) and black pepper

2 small handfuls of breadcrumbs

sausage skins (you can order these online, they will be washed and put on convenient plastic spools)

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The first step is to cut everything into medium-sized chunks, and grind them in the meat grinder. Then you mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, making sure the seasonings are divided equally throughout.

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Then comes the tricky part: actually turning all that minced meat it into a sausage. We attached a plastic nozzle to the meat grinder and slid the sausage skin over it. Use your right hand to turn the handle and use your left hand to make sure the sausage skin gets filled evenly (too loose and it will be a wonky sausage, too tight and the skins might burst).

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You will end up with one long curled up sausage which has to be tied on the end. Use your fingers to space out three sausages and twist the middle one in the opposite direction. Continue doing this until the big sausage has become a string of small sausages. You can eat them on the same day, let them firm up in the fridge for a bit or put them in the freezer for later use.

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We ate our delicious and succulent sausages for dinner that same day, with oven-baked potato chips and the sea beet we foraged the day before, but they are equally delicious for lunch or breakfast with some scrambled eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes!

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