Beef, Caramelised Onion and Mustard Sausages
Recently I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making sausages from scratch; which was a little mad, as I don’t have a sausage machine, or a food processor! I thought to myself “all I need is a knife and a piping bag – I’ll be right!”. Well, I started the process at 2pm in the afternoon, and we finished dinner at 8:30pm! Of course, not all that time was spent slaving away in the kitchen, but it did take a long time to mince the meat and fat with just a knife and my Tupperware QuickChef II. Also, because the meat and fat wasn’t minced into really small pieces, it didn’t emulsify too well and the texture was a little bitsy. Please use a meat mincer or food processor if you have one. They were yummy sausages, but I won’t be making them again without the use of some Power Tools!
You may raise your eyebrows at the amount of pure fat is in this recipe. I was merely following directions from my friendly butchers at Barrowlane Butchers and Greg from Masterchef. Everyone was in consensus that there has to be at least 20 % fat, but about 30% fat makes a good tasty sausage. A lot of the fat runs off when you cook it, so please don’t be intimidated by it. But I have to admit, I’ll be eating pretty light for the rest of the week!
Making sausages was really fun, but if you’re squirmish about animal products, you may want to just pop down the shops and grab a pack of ready-made sausages! Parts of the process were flat out hilarious but gross, but the sense of achievement I felt once I twisted off that last sausage made it all worth the while.
450g chuck steak
200g Pure Rump Fat
1 garlic clove
Parsley – 1 cup
1tbsp grainy mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
at least 2metres of Natural Sausage Casing (sheep intestines)
1. Rinse the casings in fresh water. Find the end of the tube with your fingertips and let some water run in from the tap. Pull the casing up and let the fresh water run through the tube. Do this a few times. Let it soak in water for about an hour
2. Meanwhile, Chop the fat and meat into small pieces. Mince it all with a food processor or a meat mincer. Some suggest putting the meat and fat through the mincer twice.
3. very finely dice the onion and garlic clove. (1-2mm pieces)
4. Put some oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. cook very slowly on a low heat until deep golden brown. Set aside to cool
5. Pull off all the leaves from the stalks of the parsley and roughly chop
6. In a large bowl put all the meat, fat, parsley, onion, mustard, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. With clean hands squish all the ingredients together. Keep squishing until the mixture is nice and sticky – a ball of mixture should be able to stick to your overturned hand.This process emulsifies the fat so it doesn’t all render off when you cook it, and it keeps the sausages from going dry.
7. Rinse the sausage casing again with fresh water. Get a piping bag with a very large nozzle (at least 12mm across) and start to feed the casing over the end. This is the tricky part! For this, I recommend that you dry off the casing a little with some paper towel, and have dry hands. This prevents it from slipping. Then, feed the start of the casing over the end. This is the funny part – but I swear! it works really well… Blow into the end of the piping bag so the casing fills up with air, and as that’s happening feed more of the casing onto the nozzle with your fingers. It looks hilarious, and we did take a photo of the process, but it’s just too suggestive for this forum!
8. So, Once you’ve got all the casing on the nozzle, fill the piping bag with the mince. There is no need to tie off the end of the casing. Squeeze the bag to fill the casing.
9. Once filled massage the meat around in the casing to get it even, then twist off the sausages at regular intervals.
10. To remove any air pockets, get a small pin, pierce the skin and press out the air.
11. To cook the sausages put the whole string of sausages into a cold pan with a little oil. Slowly cook the sausages on a low heat – this prevents the skins from bursting. Raise the temperature at the end for a while to get some colour on the skins. Once cooked, snip the sausages apart with kitchen scissors.
So… go on, have a go! You might have fun!