The last couple of weekends have been quite odd, as Billy has been working night shifts and sleeps through most of the day. So, I've been trying to keep myself entertained. I'm quite lucky to live so close to the coast and on Saturday I went down to the beach to catch a bit of sun and then wandered up to The Bandstand, where live music was put on.
I've also did a bit of cooking: pork cheek korma, pasta, chipatis, and experimenting with smoking chicken thighs. But, my main endeavor was to make sausages. Whilst deciding what flavourings to put in my sausages, I was thinking about what I would actually want to do with them and then I thought: cassoulet! - a French casserole dish of various meats and beans. One of the meats is Toulouse sausage, which are rich and garlicky and if I'm going to make cassoulet, I want to try and make it all myself.
But this time, I served them in a simple carbonara with homemade pasta.
To make these, you'll need a meat grinder with a sausage maker attachment.
Makes around 12 sausages (depending on the size)
Approx. 2.5m hog sausage casings (pictured)
500g pork belly, rind removed
500g pork loin
200g dried breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2g ground black pepper
2g dried sage
Few glugs of red wine
Soak the sausage skins in water overnight.
Cut the pork belly and loin into strips to fit down the feed chute of the meat grinder, then grind it using a coarse screen. Of course, you could use a fine screen, but I want to keep mine quite rustic.After all the meat has gone through, process the breadcrumbs to help push any meat left in the grinder.
Mix in the garlic, salt, pepper, sage and wine, then fry off a little bit to taste. Adjust any seasonings according to your own preferences.
Set up the sausage maker attachment, feed the sausage casing over the funnel and tie a not in the end. Using a slow speed, push the sausage filling through and try not to let too much air in - otherwise the sausages could burst when you cook them. It's entirely up to you how long the sausages are, I went for about 15cm, just put a twist in whenever you're happy with it.
And that is it. To cook them, add the oil to a frying pan along with the sausages and gently cook for around 20 minutes over a moderate heat.