Making sausages

Slicing a pork shoulder for sausages
We make our sausages from a mixture of shoulder and belly pork, offcuts from the butchering process and, for some recipes, tongue, heart and kidneys. It’s best to par-freeze the pork as it’s both easier to handle and keeps the meat well chilled. (We also keep the heating off and the windows open, so it’s not a job for people who like their warmth.)

Removing the skin from the pork
After cutting a one-inch wide strip from the shoulder, the next task is to remove the skin and some of the fat. We like sausages with 5-10 per cent fat, cooked slowly and with the fat spooned off from time to time, so I tend to leave a fair amount of fat at this point.
A cross-section of the pork shoulder
The boned shoulder from our Gloucester Old Spot cross. The two Tamworths had thicker fat than this but the pork from all three is delicious.
The Wee 'Un minces pork
Little Cook at work. The boys love helping make sausages and take turns mincing, mixing and stuffing. They also work on the recipes with me.
The Big Lad gets into the swing of it
Over to the Big Cook. We mince our sausages using a coarse mincing plate and I’m firmly of the opinion that hand mincing gives a better result than an electric mince. Yes, it is hard work and takes longer but it’s also much more satisfying.
Slicing the off-cuts into strips
Our sausages don’t just include prime cuts like the shoulder. Our straightforward sausage recipes also use shanks, bellies and offcuts from the butchering process, as I’m cutting here. Our more exotic recipes also include tongue, heart and kidneys – liver is too much of a delicacy to be included in our sausages.
Grinding the spices
Grinding spices for one of our sausage recipes. I prefer to use whole spices, which are then ground in the mortar, and fresh herbs in our sausages.
The Big Lad mixes a batch of sausage meat
The really hands on part! The Big Lad mixes together a batch of Stonehead Breakfast Sausages.
The Wee 'Un gets stuck in
And the Wee ‘Un tries his hand at mixing Garlic Sausages.
The Wee 'Un and I stuff sausages into their casings
Stuffing five pounds of sausages by hand does take a while but we all join in and have a lot of fun. Just make sure to use a wooden spoon (or pusher with an electric mincer) when pushing the forcemeat in.
20 freshly made sausages
There we have them, 20 Stonehead Breakfast sasuages. Ideally, they’d be hung up in a chiller for 24 hours to dry out a little and for the flavours to develop before being frozen. But that’s not a luxury we have so they go straight in the freezer.
Cooking four of our fresh sausages
Having spent all day making sausages, what else could we have for dinner but some freshly made sausages? These are our Garlic Sausages, cooked over a medium-low heat for about 45 minutes.
sausages and vegetables
A meal that comes entirely from our own efforts. Freshly made Garlic Sausages, cabbage and carrots picked half an hour before from the vegetable patch, and Cara potatoes from our storage bins. Delicious.
(And yes, there’s another draft post in the works with the recipes but as with this post work round the croft means a few delays to the blog!)

5 Responses to “Making sausages”

  1. now, I’m definitely more sold on the sausages!

  2. The various recipes should appear soon. I have parts of them drafted but haven’t had the time to finish them (or a number of other posts for that matter).

    I write off-line in Ecto, which means I have copies of everything on my hard drive, and then publish posts as I finish them. That’s why posts sometimes appear out of order – Ecto datestamps them with the date I started writing the post and not the date it’s published to the blog.

    That’s actually quite useful as it does keep events in date order, although it may be a little inconvenient to visitors who expect to find the “latest” post at the top.

  3. Looking good,what other flavours have you made?

  4. Yes, there are more flavours and, yes, recipes will be appearing when I have a free moment as I have draft posts in preparation.

    But I do have a lot of other things to do. It’s not all loafing in front of the huge new idiot box watching Match of the Day… (shudder!)


  1. Links for the Big Lad’s P6/7 class « Musings from a Stonehead - 28 September, 2010

    [...] Making sausages [...]

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