As a complete novice when it comes to Sausage Making the following Blog post runs you through how I first came to making Sausages.
I started employment with Butcher at Home in October of 2013. My role was basically to maintain the website, produce marketing material and try to improve the awareness of the business. I have been in the web industry since 1996 so these things I have a great knowledge of, however when it came to the products offered, this is a completely different story.
I thought it would be best if I grabbed some products off the shelf and went about getting a better idea of how they work. As Sausage Making equipment is the companies biggest seller, I figured this was the best place for me to start. So armed with no knowledge in this area, but a desire to learn I set about finding out what equipment & ingredients I needed to do this.
EQUIPMENT & INGREDIENTS
Firstly there is a large range of equipment you can get, although there are many ways to simplify the process. As a novice I thought I would start with the absolute minimum requirements to give myself the greatest chance of success. So to do this I purchased a Sausage Filler, some sausage casings and sausage meals from Butcher at Home. I then went to my local Butcher and grabbed some mince. At this point I had (well I thought I did) all I needed.
Now just to get a little side tracked with the equipment I should quickly explain a few things. The Sausage Filler is a piece of equipment you use for filling Sausages. They come in many shapes and sizes, however I used a 5kg Manual Sausage Filler. Essentially with this it has a chamber where you place your mixed meat and a nozzle on the end where when you turn the handle the meat comes out of the nozzle and if you have added your Sausage Casings to this, fills your casings.
As for casings or skins, there is also a variety of these you can use as well. I won’t go into detail on each of these however the most commonly used these days are collagen casings, and that is what I went with. They are easy to store and use.
Lastly I will mention the Sausage Meal. This is not an essential ingredient if you want to experiment with Sausage Making, however as I knew nothing, I grabbed the meal to make my life easy. The meal adds the flavour to your sausages and contains any binding agents required in making the sausage.
MAKING THE SAUSAGE FILLING
Now I had all of my equipment I set about making the Sausages. Straight away I realised I needed one more thing, which was a tub for mixing my meat. If you are only doing small batches a large bowl will suffice, however I was making 6kg of Sausages and that is a lot of meat to mix. So after getting a tub, I threw all of my mince in there, read the instructions on the Sausage Meal, which told me to mix it with chilled water to make a slurry, so I did this and then added it to the meat and mixed it all together.
At this point you have completed making the filling for your sausages. Pretty easy hey. However the fun bit comes next.
FILLING THE SAUSAGE CASINGS
So now my meat is mixed, I grab the sausage filler and fill it with my mixed meat. Oh, I should mention, you add your sausage nozzle to the filler first. The size nozzle depends on the size of your sausage skins, just make sure your skins will slide onto the nozzle before committing to it. Now my sausage filler has the meat in it, grab my sausage skins and put them on the nozzle with a little bit hanging off the end, tied off read to start filling. I then slowly turn the handle until the meat starts to come out and fill the sausage skins. From here it is a bit of an art to try and get a good rhythm between filling and avoiding air pockets. This is something I have not mastered yet, but I am improving. I also just make one big long sausage and twist them at the end into links. When all of your meat mixture has been used up tie off the other end of your sausage and twist to make links. I am not going to tell you how to do this, as I am not very good at it and there are lots of You Tube videos that will show you how.
At this point you have now made your very own sausages. Clean up can be a pain and the whole process can be a little messy, but I have found the whole process is very worth it. I have a wife who is not a fan of Sausages, however she loves the flavour we get in our home made sausages. Making Sausages this way we have found with the Ingredient costs and using Gourmet Sausage Meals it costs us between $6 and $7AUD to make a kilogram of Sausages which is at least 50% cheaper then what you will pay for a similar product at the Supermarket. However if you are making plain sausages there is not much of a price difference, just the satisfaction that you made them yourself, and you know what is in them.