Home-made sausages are often cheaper and healthier than the mass-produced variety. The wonderful thing about making your own is that you can choose the type of meat that goes into them and include fresh herbs and spices.
700g pork – preferably 3-parts pork shoulder to 1-part pork belly (this provides roughly 25 per cent fat content although this may vary depending on the pork that you purchase) or 700g pre-minced pork.
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/8 cup red wine
1-2 sausage casings (which can be bought from most any good butchers)*
*The casings sold at butchers are roughly 1–2 metres in length. My butcher (Cannings in Hawthorn, Melbourne) sells them for $4 each.
Before you start: Try to keep the ingredients as cold as possible at all times. Wash your hands before you start and make sure all equipment is well sterilised.
* See photo gallery below.
* You will need a sausage stuffer or attachment to make your own sausages. (Read more here).
1. Start by soaking your sausage casing in some cold water. Set aside.
2. Cut the meat into small cubes and process through the meat mincer. Set aside and refrigerate.
3. Prepare the other ingredients by combining the fennel, sea salt, pepper, honey and fresh herbs in a mortar and pestle. Pound well.
4. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and add in the herbs, seasonings, red wine and honey. Mix well in a food processor or mixer (with paddle setting).
5. When you have made a good, solid mixture, do a sample run. Prepare a fry-pan, with a little oil or duck fat and make a small patty of mince mixture. Fry for a minute or two on each side until it’s thoroughly cooked. Sample and check for seasoning and flavour.
6. Place your casing on the end of the sausage nozzle and tie a knot at the end. Place the meat mixture through the top opening and turn the machine on. Watch for air bubbles. Slide the mixture through and tie a knot at the end of the sausage.
7. Then twist the sausage into sections to make smaller sausages.
8. You will need to prick them with a sausage-pricker (yes, there is such a thing!) or skewer prior to cooking.
Note: Freeze, refrigerate or cook sausages immediately after they have been made. Home-made sausages can be refrigerated for up to three days or kept in the freezer for up to one year.