Sausage making

Only simple equipment and a little elbow grease is needed to make tasty home made snags. p.s. make sure everything is VERY clean and cold prior to starting food prep

Some time ago a mate of mine from work, Sean and I got onto the topic of sausage making. We both really like the idea of making our own hardy, home made food, which is both healthier and tastier than what you can buy at your local super market. So on the weekend we finally decided to take the plunge and make some sausages!

The idea was to use as many ingredients that we already had in the garden and the rest we buy from local food markets, game butchers and the supermarket as a last resort. All of the ingredients ended up being easy to find. Here’s a list.

– Minced meat: Kangaroo (game butcher), pork shoulder (butcher) and lamb and pork mince (supermarket) – Meats high in fat usually produce the tastiest sausages and 20-30% fat content is normal. Most of the sausages we made were probably a fair bit lower in fat, especially the leaner kangaroo meat, which may mean a slightly drier sausage after cooking.

– Natural sausage casings can be purchased from most local butcher shops and for around $5 you can grab enough casings to make 8kg worth of sausages so its pretty cheap

– Spices and flavours: Its all about what might go well with different meats. We chose 2 flavours for each meat (6 different flavours in total). Flavours like mint, rosemary and garlic for lamb sausages or chili and onion with kangaroo work well together

– Salt: helps to preserve and flavour the sausages properly, add it to all sausages. Ratios for different meats can be found on the internet

– Equipment: plenty of bowls, somewhere to hang the sausages (preferably in a cold place), hand wind/electric mincer with sausage fitting, sharp knife

After preparing all the spiced mince meat make sure it goes back into the fridge/freezer to remain very cold (it helps when running the meat through the sausage machine). Gather up the casings (photo above) and string out roughly what you think you will need to thread onto the sausage nozzle, rinse twice and run some water through the inside of the casings once. Try not to tangle the casings when you are handling them.

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Mincing with a hand grinder is not a quick job but they are cheap to buy and give you muscles 🙂
We minced up 1kg of pork shoulder in this machine and it took about 20 mins so it is probably easier to buy pre-minced meat and only use the mincer for filling sausages.

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Threading the casings onto the nozzle is easy and it feels really weird.

Feeding sausages is an easy job with two people. One to feed the mince and one to wind and control the width of the meat going into the casing.

Keeping the snags flowing

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Keep churning the sausage machine until you change meats or until you finish. We found that if you leave both ends untied until the end it helps to keep the air out of the casings, you can then tie the sausages without too much trouble.

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After hanging the sausages for about an hour to drip dry we poked any air pockets with sterilized needles. After this point you can refrigerate or freeze the final product

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The finished product, which left the kitchen smelling very meaty

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After 4 and a half hours, 42 freshly made sausages and a few beers we were pretty happy with the final results

Update: So far the lamb and pork sausages have been cooked and they were really tasty. The pork and fennel was quite strong and a fair bit drier than store bought sausages, which was a nice change from all that grease.

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