Meaty Fennel Garlic Sausage Recipe
Unlike a traditional English banger that has rusk in to make it more juicy and smooth, this one is more similar to the continental style. Course mince and no rusk to give you a really meaty sausage, well suited to slow cooking.
Serves 8 (makes 25-30 sausages)
2kg lean pork mince (shoulder, coarsely minced)
1tsp ground nutmeg
500g fatty pork mince (belly, coarsely minced)
1 tsp thyme leaves
5 cloves of garlic, grated
40g fine sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Mix the pork mince with the seasonings.
When well incorporated, add the water and mix thoroughly. (It will be a looser, coarser mix than other sausages, but this is the nature of it.)
Fill into the hog casing as follows:
Ideally, make sausages the day before you want them so they can firm up in the fridge. You need casings, either hog or sheep, according to the recipe, which you can order online or ask your butcher for them. You also need a sausage stuffer to help you fill the casings, otherwise this is no fun at all and you might as well makes patties or meat balls instead. Sausage stuffers are inexpensive and well worth it, and once you've got one you can make sausages to freeze so you've always got a supply.
Once you've got the salty bundle of casings, grab a piece and yank it out, loosening about two meters worth, cut it, put it in cold water to soak, and put the rest back in the fridge, or freeze it. You are soaking the casings to wash the packing salt off and loosen them up, it takes about 5-10 minutes.
When you are ready to stuff the sausages, slip the casings on to the stuffing machine, leaving a tail of about 15cm at the end of the tube. Put the meat in the top of the sausage stuffer, and crank the handle to press the meat out. As soon as the meat appears at the end of the tube, tie off the tail, this is to avoid having air pockets in the sausage. If you tie too soon, you might end up with a sausage dog ballon. Then, using one hand to regulate how fast the casing slips off the tube, continue to fill the entire length. Don't overfill, have it well packed but not tight. Let the sausage come out in one long coil. You will make links later. You should have about 15cm of tail left at the other end of the casing when you've finished. With two hands, starting at the knotted end, pinch off and twist to make sausages of about 5inches long. Finally, knot the casing at the other end. Don't cut them yet, but leave the coil in the fridge to firm up, ideally for a day.