After trying a bunch of sausages from a local farmer’s market in France last summer, I was reminded of how good sausage can be.
This, combined with my desire to eat local and work with offal more, made me put ‘sausage making’ high’ on my bucket list of things-to-learn-before-the-apocalypse-starts. As luck would have it, I was gifted a coupon to take a course with Mr. Wateetons and was able to sign up for his sausage making workshop.
First rule of making your-own-sausages club
Besides me and someone’s mother-in-law it was a proper sausage fest. But I lucked out when Mr. Wateetons explained rule 2 of Making Your Own Sausage Club: Befriend A Butcher. Because a very good local butcher happened to be right there with me.
Skip to 2 weeks later and I picked up some meat and casings from my newly befriended butcher and went to work.
Beginner’s mistakes, the sausage edition
Of course I made a few beginner’s mistakes. I didn’t tighten my grinder enough so stuff got stuck. And I didn’t measure out enough casing so my sausage ran a little tight. Which meant part of it came oozing out of its casing into the pan. But the texture and flavor were amazing.
There really is something special about eating your own sausage *wink nudge*. Just make sure there’s someone around to clean up the mess when you’re done *wink nudge intensifies*.
NOTE: If you don’t have a meat grinder available, just get some pork mince and use the spice mix to make a burger.
Sichuan Pepper Pork Sausage
- Meat grinder, keep it in your fridge or freezer 24hrs ahead of time
- Sausage-making attachment, see above
- Metal bowl, see above
- Drug scales
- Sausage casings, very thoroughly rinsed and soaked in clean water for 2 hours
- 9 oz - 250 gr pork fat chin or pork belly are fine, do not use back fat
- 9 oz - 250 gr pork meat shoulder or trimmings work best
- 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr fine salt
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3/4 t - 3 gr Sichuan peppercorns black seeds removed, husks dry roasted and crushed
- 1/2 t - 2 gr ground white pepper
- 1/2 t - 2 gr star anise powder
- 1/2 t - 2 gr cardamom powder
- 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr corn starch
- 2 spring onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 t - 2 ml fish sauce
- 3/4 t - 3 ml soy sauce
- 5 ft - 1.5 meters sausage casing
- sunflower oil for frying
The day before, if making your own mince
- Cut up 9 oz - 250 gr of pork fat and 9 oz - 250 gr of pork shoulder cuttings into walnut sized chunks, mix with 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr of salt and place in your fridge overnight.
- As working with cold materials is vital for sausage-making, this is a good time to place your mixing bowl, meat grinder and sausage machine in the fridge or freezer as well.
The day of
- Be sure to remember to place everything that you're not using back in the fridge any time you take a break from working with the meat.
- Take your meat out of the fridge and mix in 2 minced garlic cloves, 3/4 t - 1.5 gr of Sichuan peppercorns and 1/2 t - 2 gr of white pepper, star anise and cardamom powder before running it through the grinder.
- Once the meat has all been ground, add the remainder of the Sichuan peppercorns, 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr of cornstarch, 1 1/2 t - 7.5 ml of ice cold water, 2 finely chopped spring onions, 1/2 t - 2 ml of fish and 3/4 t- 3 ml of soy sauce.
- Mix aggressively by hand for at least 5 minutes, until your meat has a nice even consistency and has started to come together in a ball.
- If you want to do a taste test, take a piece of the meat and fry it up. See what it's like and add more seasoning to taste.
- Remember to place your meat in the fridge while you set up your sausage machine!
- Now use your sausage machine to fill your casing. It's best to fill the casing in one go. Then use a needle* to poke tiny holes in it all over at regular intervals and then twist to your desired sausage size when done.
- Fry in oil for 15-20 minutes and enjoy.