You can buy so many varieties of sausage these days; it’s no longer a question of pork or beef, you can choose from exotic sounding combinations of wild game, gourmet treatments of the humble pork sausage and even get vegetarian ones, so why would you bother to make your own? Making your own homemade sausages gives you control over what goes into it, you can experiment with spices and flavourings and make sure that only good quality meat is used. And they taste great!
You can make your own sausages with the minimum of equipment: a large piping bag, or a funnel with a stick to push the meat through, is enough to get you started, but if you get serious about homemade sausages you can invest in a sausage machine or an attachment to your food processor.
Homemade Cumberland Sausages Recipe
450g / 1lb pork shoulder
450g / 1lb pork belly without the rind
50g / 2oz white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of mace
pinch dried marjoram
pinch cayenne pepper
The meat should be fridge cold before you start. Chop the meat into cubes then mince or process the meat coarsely, until it has the texture of the beef mince that you buy in the shops. Don’t over-process it: you don’t want a smooth paste.
Mix in the breadcrumbs and the herbs and spices, salt and pepper.
To check you like the flavour, and don’t need more salt or pepper, take a small piece of the mixture and fry it, so that you can taste it before stuffing the sausage casings.
Stuff the meat into the sausage casings, either using a piping bag or funnel, or else a machine. It is easier if you start off with lengths of casing no longer than a metre. Gather the casing on to the nozzle of the piping bag before you start and don’t forget to tie the end of the casing! Make sure that there are no air bubbles and that the sausage is firmly but not over-stuffed. Rest the sausage for several hours before cooking to let the flavours develop. Cumberland sausage is traditionally cooked in a coil, rather than individual sausages, so you don’t need to twist it into shorter lengths unless you want to.
Sausages do need a certain proportion of fat in them for succulence and flavour, so don’t be tempted to use only lean meat, which would end up with rather dry and unappetizing sausages. The ideal proportion is 50% fat meat such as belly pork and 50% lean meat, as in this Cumberland sausage recipe.
Making your own home-made sausages sound like too much hassle? Why not go out and eat the great British banger at one of the fine British restaurants in Nottingham on a map.