[I wrote this blog post in February while I was in France visiting my parents]
Today was sausage making, bread baking and fire building day!
For the record, I have never made a sausage, but I felt quite good about the challenge of making a tasty sausage with homemade ingredients. So often we hear about all the nasty things found in sausages and I vowed no giblets, gizzards, tongues or eyeballs! As a result, I even managed to acquire an unusual cooking partner: my dad. He very rarely sets foot in the kitchen but his love of machinery and sausages meant that he was a keen participant and it was lovely spending some quality time with him on this kitchen activity.
“If you never try, you’ll never know….”
The mincing machine was rather intimidating, and I had visions of exploding sausage skins all over the kitchen, but once I decided it would not get the better of me, I was the one in charge – not the machine! And just like cooking, making sausages is all about confidence.
With excitement and anticipation (as opposed to my earlier fear), I started to piece together the machine and figure out which end of the sausage skin was which. I then minced the pork and mixed it by hand with dried thyme, fennel seeds, 2 chopped shallots salt and pepper - if you're making your own sausages, you can really decide on your own flavor combinations as there are so many, and even add a handful of cheddar for a cheesy pork sausage. And once it's thoroughly mixed and your hands are delightfully messy, get someone to turn on the tap to help wash off the mixture for you :)
Your next challenge is tying the sausage skins and deciding on their length. It’s much easier to make individual sausages to begin with, but once you get the hang of the machine you can make one long sausage twisted into smaller ones - it's good to master a knot-free sausage because the knots can be a little chewy. And as you can see, mine did vary in size until I eventually got the hang of it :)
The sausage making seemed to last a long time and there was a lot more sausage meat left in the machine than we initially thought - after the bowl was emptied, we still had enough to make three more sausages from the meat left in the length of the machine!
Involving the whole family
The next excitement for the day was the fire. Boys definitely seem to have an affinity for fire-making from an early age, so Oscar was tasked to light the chiminea (outdoor fire) and be the chief sausage-cooker.
Everything seemed to be coming together perfectly but we were still missing one thing: freshly baked bread rolls. Thankfully, my mum happens to be a keen bread maker, and had made dough in the morning, so by the time the sausages were cooked and ready to go, we also had a basket filled with warm, freshly baked rolls to stuff our sausages inside!
Our perfect sunny winters morning concluded with homemade hotdogs topped with bbq sautéed onions, a smear of mustard and a dollop of ketchup. It was quite possibly one of the most delicious lunches I have had, and by far the best sausage I have ever eaten! And the best bit was not wondering what really was really inside the sausage :)
Have you ever made your own sausages? Share your favourite combination of ingredients in the comments below and we may even feature your recipe in one of our subscription meal plans.