Sausages and Bacon

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I’ve had these two “make your own” kits sat in the back of a cupboard for a couple of years.

Picked one up cheap in a sale and the other was a Christmas present or something.

I’ve had intentions to use these for ages but keep getting waylaid.

Also I have a fairly unlimited supply of scran from our hotel and pubs. If I ever want really good home made sausages, bacon or anything else, I can just raid the fridges at the various businesses. It’s all made by our chefs, using ingredients from our farm.

As things have been closed over lockdown, we’ve obviously been producing less, which means less fridge raiding parties.

So time to give these a try........
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That says 20 sausages. There must be some mistake.
 
I’ve had these two “make your own” kits sat in the back of a cupboard for a couple of years.

Picked one up cheap in a sale and the other was a Christmas present or something.

I’ve had intentions to use these for ages but keep getting waylaid.

Also I have a fairly unlimited supply of scran from our hotel and pubs. If I ever want really good home made sausages, bacon or anything else, I can just raid the fridges at the various businesses. It’s all made by our chefs, using ingredients from our farm.

As things have been closed over lockdown, we’ve obviously been producing less, which means less fridge raiding parties.

So time to give these a try........View attachment 488914View attachment 488915
Jeebers, what I would give to have access to hotel fridges to raid
 

Tool

LE
I tried making my own sausage (boerewors, you perverts) some years ago. I found it easier to hand-stuff (SHUT IT, SMITH!) the casings, rather than using a machine to do the job - it just went a lot smoother than fiddling with casings and funnels etc. At least you have the opportunity to check your ingredients and know what goes into your food.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Bacon kit first.

It’s got 3 packets of curing salts. A sweet cute one, traditional one and a smokey one.

All seem to contain the same thing give or take one ingredient.

Saltpeter
Salt
Sugar

The sweet one has extra sugar and molasses, the smokey one has smoked paprika in it.

The instructions call for 500g if pork belly.

You stick it an a sealable bag (supplied in the kit), add your chosen cure, seal it up and make sure everything is well coated.

Then just stick it in the bottom of the fridge for 2-4 days until the next step in the process.

I found that there was nowhere near enough cure mixture for 500g of pork belly. My experience with curing meat and fish before smoking it tells me that I definitely need more.

Easy solution, I just added more brown sugar and salt (the good kind that you grind, not the powdery sort with anti caking agents in).
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I’ve only got two cuts of pork belly, so I’ve gone for the Smokey one and the sweet one, the traditional one can wait for another day.

As described above. It just goes straight in the bag and then in the bottom of the fridge.

It’s been in about 4 hours now and you can already see quite a lot of liquid coming out of the meat.

It’s tempting to open the bag and discard this but the instruction specifically tell you not to.

So that’s it for the bacon until the middle of next week.

Next step is to get it out the bags, wash off all the cure mixture, then stick it in muslin bags (again supplied in the kit) and hang it in the fridge on hooks to dry out for a week.

As an accomplished smoker of meat, I’m also gonna give these a low temperature hickory smoke at the end.

Unsmoked bacon is the devil.
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Tool

LE
Matt Tebbit gave a recipe for bacon on this morning's Saturday Kitchen:
4 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp juniper berries
60g/2¼oz coarse salt
30g/1oz light brown sugar
2kg/4lb 8oz boned pork belly

Rub blitzed, dry ingredients into the pork and sling in the fridge in a plastic box for 4-5 days, turning every day. Take meat out and quickly wash the excess rub off.* Dry and wrap in muslin and back into the fridge for a couple of days to dry out.

Something to play around with if you have the pork available, I guess. It sounds similar to the instructions you were given. Just don't be tempted to open the bag for the whole time.

* You don't want to wash the rub out of the meat. He also mentioned saltpetre to give it that pink look.

Here's the link:
 
I made my own bacon before with a recipe without saltpetre. Just pack it in the cure in the bottom of the fridge on something plastic and drain the juice off regularly and re rub with cure.

It was ok but a bit too salty , it was good for using like a pancetta . If I had the space I would have cured it for less and made a smoker.

Tried sausages as well , hand stuffed as well as I did not want to buy a stuffer thing that might not get used. I bought bits from Weschenfelder , a great company that has everything including all the seasoning mixes and skins.
 
Got a Freddy Hirsch factory store a few blocks from me. If you want boerie spices and mixes, as well as for pork sossinges, Cumberland, russians, cabanossi, salami and anything along those lines and you have a tame BA/Virgin crew member to carry it for you, let me know.

 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Sausages next.

The kit was only a fiver. It’s got a sausage making making press thing, collagen sausage casings and 3 different mixes (Cumberland, old English and Lincolnshire) to add to minced pork. Also supplied are rubber gloves.

Now these have a lot to live up to. I’m not just saying this cos it’s our gaff, but our sausages at the pub are without a doubt the best I’ve ever had. We spent a good few months tinkering to get the recipe right, before eventually settling on our current one. We’ve been open 12 years now and this recipe has stood the test of time.

I fondly recall sitting round the kitchen table trying different ones and picking the best. Our flash as ****, ex VIP hospitality pub head chef, going up against Wendy, the in law’s family cook.

Wendy’s recipe was better and what we have now is an evolution of her’s.

One thing I learned from this process is that you need mince with a decent fat content or the sausages will be dry and nasty.

So, this recipe calls for a kilo of mince, 300ml of water plus one packet of mix.

The mix looks and smells like Paxo stuffing mixture. It’s got rusk, breadcrumbs and all sorts of other things in there, things that I know our pub sausages don’t contain.

We’ll see how they turn out.

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gorillaguts981

War Hero
Tried the dry cure bacon with salt/saltpetre/brown sugar, but although tasty was too salty. I'll go for the wet cure next with a splash of liquid smoke. When I can be arsed, I make Lincolnshire sausages and Haslet but I can get them sent from Boston Sausage. Also I have to run the freezer down as I make about 30lbs a time to make it worthwhile.
 

Tool

LE
Got a Freddy Hirsch factory store a few blocks from me. If you want boerie spices and mixes, as well as for pork sossinges, Cumberland, russians, cabanossi, salami and anything along those lines and you have a tame BA/Virgin crew member to carry it for you, let me know.

Not sure if that was aimed at me, but thanks. We can get most Seffrican spices here in Pomland through a company in Littlehampton (near Portsmouth), and go to ZA often enough to pick up what we can't get here.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
In goes the pork mince, water and mixture, I’ve gone for “Old English”. It gets mixed up by hand and loaded into the sausage maker.

Then you put the casing over the nozzle, tie a knot in the end and start turning the handle.

Simple as that.....

Well not that simple it turns out. The casing is too small to fit on the nozzle unless you completely unravel it.

As you put the meat in, pockets of air form leaving bubbles and saggy sausages. The casing splits a few times. As you twist it to make individual sausages, the previous sausage unravels.

It’s fiddly as ****.

Just as I’m getting the hang of it, the machine needs refilling with more meat leaving me with a half filled sausage.

I get there in the end. I’ve got 14 or 15 big fat sausages. 5 - 6” *******. I could’ve made 20 plus of I’d made them a bit more normal sized, but I wanted big ones.

I’ll save the Cumberland and Lincolnshire mixtures for another day.

I’ll report back in the morning on how they taste.
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Over stuffing them. Don't let the meat force the casing off the nozzle, but apply pressure to pull it off to avoid over stuffing, giving you space to form links.
 

endure

GCM
I can remember when I were a lad if you went to the butchers and bought sausages they made them while you waited.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reading through your replies, I’m now pretty sure I’ve added too much extra salt to the bacon.

We’ll see. I might leave it in the bags a bit less than stated.
 

Tool

LE
In goes the pork mince, water and mixture, I’ve gone for “Old English”. It gets mixed up by hand and loaded into the sausage maker.

Then you put the casing over the nozzle, tie a knot in the end and start turning the handle.

Simple as that.....

Well not that simple it turns out. The casing is too small to fit on the nozzle unless you completely unravel it.
As you put the meat in, pockets of air form leaving bubbles and saggy sausages. The casing splits a few times. As you twist it to make individual sausages, the previous sausage unravels.
It’s fiddly as ****.
Just as I’m getting the hang of it, the machine needs refilling with more meat leaving me with a half filled sausage.

I get there in the end. I’ve got 14 or 15 big fat sausages. 5 - 6” *******. I could’ve made 20 plus of I’d made them a bit more normal sized, but I wanted big ones.

I’ll save the Cumberland and Lincolnshire mixtures for another day.
Sounds like the schlep I went through the first time, hence my decision to hand-stuff. I found it easier to determine how much went into the casing. As Lardbeast says, let the machine and filling determine the speed. I does look like you managed well in the end.

The Cumberland would be more like boerewors - roughly 500g (1lb) of meat in a single ring, no need to separate into individual sausages. If I remember, 12-15% fat content for grilling (braaiing), 7-8% fat for pan frying.
 

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