I always thought having a food blog would be awesome, however I don’t think I ever really thought I would be able to blog about anything interesting enough. That all changed the day that I stumbled across a kitsch, olive-green meat grinder. It was sitting at an opportunity store, with a hefty price tag of $7. That day, I decided I would try making sausages. They weren’t an epic failure, they were pretty good. Well, they were dry but the flavours were there. That first attempt provided the first lesson: add more fat.
But that’s the beauty of doing it yourself. You make know what that the contents of the sausages are, and you can make them of a higher quality. Compared to the shit you get at the supermarket, it’s refreshing to know sausages can be something that doesn’t just have anuses and ears.
It took some time for me to figure out just how much fat I had to put in them, but the quality is much better. Plus, if you’re not keen on the fat, you can avoid it all together and opt for a dry and heartless sausage. The first I made, with pork shoulder and fennel, were obscenely dry. I also made some with Portobello mushrooms and beef. Lean beef, with dried mushrooms. They were sawdust cylinders that not even tomato sauce could help.
In saying that, I could take heart in the fact there were no scraps from the abattoir floor, cartilage, bread crumbs, or other weird bits. There’s no pink sludge either, so maybe Snoop might one day give my wieners a taste. That pink stuff is in the “flavoured” sausages at the supermarket. Sizzlers, from what I understand, are not legally allowed to be called sausages. That’s because there’s not enough meat content – they’re pure pink meat mousse – in the fake cheese-filled cylinders.
I’m not opposed to the weird bits, but I’m apposed to the fact so many of the foods we eat are laden with ingredients we have no idea about. It could be blamed on us, I understand that. We don’t read the ingredients, sure. But, why can’t we trust that the product that we’re buying is what it says it is?
Why can’t we trust that a sausage, which by definition is: “an item of food in the form of a cylindrical length of minced pork or other meat encased in a skin” is really a sausage? It seems mental we might buy a can of chicken flavoured meat and actually be eating minced rats’ anuses. I need to stop right there. You get what I’m saying though.
The point is: I think the fact that many of us don’t know what we’re eating is even more reason to bring back the good ol’ savaloy-slinging community butcher!
I don’t really know if, or when, or whether it will actually happen, so let’s take it into our own hands. I did. This is how I did it. With my hands, a couple of knives and a trusty (kind of) old meat grinder.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A meat grinder, or a food processor (paired with a shit load of patience)
- Meat- what ever you meat you desire
- Fat (1:4 ratio works well)
- Pig or cow intestines, or lamb. Just get the intestines from an animal. The guts. You’ll be able to find it at your local butcher, Google them.
- Time, and a little hard work
Next, you do the work. Chill everything before you start, yes, everything. Tools, meat and far. The colder it is, the easier it is to work.
- Chop the meat up into small pieces, with a knife, stick it in a bowl and back into the fridge. Prepare your herbs and spices.
- Mince those pieces of meat, with fat, with your grinder or food processor (you sadistic bastard)
- Mix in whatever the fuck you want. You like parsley? Put it in. Rosemary? Chuck a shit load of that too. You want to have a boring sausage? Forgo all steps and buy some “flavoured” bullshit.
- Stuff the sausages.
I might have simplified it a bit too much. But if you want step by step instructions you’ll have to wait for me to get around to sorting something like that out. The idea is to try. Try it once, it will be okay. Try it twice it will be better. Personally, I’m going to keep going with it, because the results so far have been way better than anything from the supermarket.