The homemade sausage project: the balance of texture and flavourPosted by Fiona Nevile in Curing and Smoking | 7 comments
Danny and I were given a mincer and sausage making attachment for the Kenwood Chef this Christmas. This was the final step in our homemade sausage making dream. I’ve fancied making sausages for months but have held back since Hank tipped that having the right equipment was essential in the long run.
Living near Newmarket, the award winning sausage making capital of England, the yen to produce our own must be floating in the air. Since I caught the bug I’ve researched Newmarket sausage making. This involved lots of stops at Sam’s stand for sampling and chats. Sam only serves Musk’s bangers and burgers in his pork range. He confided that Musk’s only use organic free range pork for their products. No wonderd they taste so good.
Sourcing the meat was not a problem as The Carter Street butchers only sell organic free range pork. So in between reading up on sausage making on my mobile during my lunch breaks from work I motored over to Fordham and ordered a couple of shoulders of pork.
When I went to collect them, I could hardly totter away from the shop. Fred’s shoulders of pork were small, weighing in at around 750g. These were heavyweight whoppers at around three kilos each. They also had a good fat to lean ratio of about 20%. I sliced each shoulder into three and popped them in the freezer.
Sunday was earmarked as the inaugural sausage making day. Unfortunately Danny was away so it was just me and the Min Pins at the cliff face. I’d unfrozen a kilo joint and chopped the pork. Seasoned with a basic mix of salt, pepper and a few herbs and spices the pork had been marinading in the fridge overnight. Using the heavy gauge profile I added the breadcrumbs as I minced the meat. Then I fried a tiny doll sized burger about 2cm in diameter and 1cm thick, to test for taste.
I started to tweak the mix for flavour. Frying a doll’s burger at each stage despite the impatience of my three small tasting assistants, who wolfed the remains of every sample down without comment. Each one equally good in their opinion and why wasn’t I cooking the lot in one go?
The journey from good to my perfect banger took about two hours. Lots of trips into the dark garden with the Min Pins to collect herbs by torch light. Eight doll’s burgers later we’d got the mix just right, so I passed the mince through the heavy gauge profile again. This can help mix in the herbs and spices. In retrospect this gave the perfect consistency and texture, refining the chunky mince into a country style mince.
However, geed up by the fun of an electric mincing machine, I selected the medium mincing profile and passed the mince through again. In a rush of enthusiasm I made my first chain of sausages and hung them in the larder for the flavours to develop.
The joy of cutting off a couple of sausages for supper was balanced by the disappointment of that first longed for bite. The final pass through the mincing machine had ruined the texture of the meat, this somehow affected the flavour. So I’ve discovered that a decent sausages has a perfect balance of texture and flavour, both enhance each other and it's essential to get this just right.
The Min Pins didn’t agree.
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