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Ever fancied making your own sausages? It’s long been on my ‘to do’ list… so this month I got to have a go… and it was so much fun!

It’s an exciting time for me right now…

I’m doing the final testing of recipes and I’m getting my new book ready for publication. It’s the culmination of several years of work, and it’s such a good reminder that a small amount of work everyday can build into something really significant.

The final recipe test was for my home-made sausage recipe and I had been putting it off because a) I only have a hand-mincer at home and b) I’d had conflicting advice from more experienced sausage makers.

So… I was chatting to the butcher one day about the finer points of sausage-making and he said if I was going to make a reasonable batch size, that I could come in and use his equipment. He’s supplying the meat too, so he knows that it has been stored appropriately and is safe to eat. Result! I know it wouldn’t be everyone’s idea of fun, but to me this was a dream come true… I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and try out my recipe on a larger scale (with professional equipment that would make it so much quicker to process the meat and put the meat into the sausage skins).

First I assembled my ingredients… to me the main benefits of making my own sausages were taste and quality of ingredients. I want to know what I am eating… and I want it to taste sensational.

My main query was whether all those ingredients that bind or extend or act as fillers were really necessary… my long-held view is that they weren’t but I needed to really test my recipe on a larger scale to find out.

So my ingredients are pork shoulder, pork fat, garlic, salt, onion, herbs and spices. I’m also bringing Panko crumbs and iced water in case I need them.

So first, I mince the pork meat and fat together, then add the other coarsely chopped ingredients, and mince again. I’m happy that my mix holds together well and I don’t add any crumbs or water. The mincing machine has a built-in flat bed to mix the ingredients on and then you just push everything down a hole and it comes out beautifully minced on the other side of the machine into a bucket. So fast and efficient…

Next I have to learn how to put the sausage meat into the skins. Using a hydraulic system, the water pressure pushes the meat out at a steady rate – I just have to learn how to let the skin off the machine at an equally steady rate so the sausages are even – harder than it looks! The first few are a bit lumpy but I get the hang of it eventually.

Next, I learn how to loop the sausages together into links and hang them up to season overnight… and when I get the sausages home – I put them into bags of six and freeze them. I’ll use them up over the next few months.

So that’s the last recipe fully tested and I’m super happy with the result. The sausages taste great and so far I’ve used them on the barbeque, in casseroles, for Toad in the Hole and other classic sausage recipes. Yum!