Rainy Sydney Saturday and Two Recipes for Homemade Sausage
What do you do on a rainy Sydney Saturday? Well you could go to the aquarium, or you could go to a museum, or you could go to the cinema (I’ll save that for a rainy, Sydney Sunday), so failing all that I cook. It can get a bit hot in Sydney in summer for lengthy cooking processes, so we eat VERY seasonally in our house. Summer is for salads and BBQ’s and anything else that is quick to prepare. Winter is roasting, stewing, comfort eating and for meals that involve a bit of preparation. With the weather cooling down for winter I took the opportunity to stock up the freezer with sausages.
Only last week I ate the last of the duck sausages from the freezer and was keen to a) make more sausages and b) try some flavours I’ve not tried before. Sausage making is not a quick process, so a very rainy day meant I could set aside the whole day for sausages.
Sausage making also calls for a little preparation, which in this case meant an early mark from work on Friday to get to the butchers before it closed. I felt marginally guilty leaving work early in the name of sausage making, but when you’re the boss (sort of) you can get away with things like that. The early dart to the butcher was worth it though. Not for the sausage casings or the pork but for the compliments of the new butcher. I hadn’t been in there for a few months and they have a new employee, who had never been asked for sausage skins before. It threw him a little, he wanted to sell me sausages. When I told him I wanted pork leg or shoulder as well, he asked “What for, roasting?” “For the sausages, of course” I replied. To which he was also a little confused “We sell pork mince, you know.” This then led to the comment that made my week “You look to young to be interested in making your own sausages” and of course I couldn’t resist asking how old he thought I was, and when the answer was somewhere in my twenties he secured my business for life!
Anyway, I digress, I’m here to write about sausages not how my butcher secures more business. Today’s sausage recipes included two chicken based sausages; a fresh chorizo; kangaroo (more of this in another post). I wanted to make the most of the fresh herbs in the garden before they die a death for winter, so I divided the basic chicken sausage recipe in two. I followed the chicken, tomato and basil recipe from Charcuterie with one half and with the other half, I combined the flavours that I thought would work. My chicken sausage recipe is as follows:
Chicken, Tarragon and White Wine Sausages
1kg chicken thighs, skin removed
450g pork back fat
10g garlic, finely chopped
30g tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
10g fresh parsley leaves, chopped
120ml white wine, chilled
Mince the chicken thighs and pork back fat through the medium plate of a mincer. Add the dry ingredients to the minced meat and and combine until the mixture starts to become sticky. Gradually add the white wine until it is thoroughly combined. Stuff the mixture into the sausage casings and link into sausages. Leave in the fridge to bloom overnight before cooking.
I have been desperate to make some chorizo sausage since starting the Charcutepalooza challenge. I haven’t quite managed the cured version yet, but I figured the fresh version would be a good start. I found a recipe in the Movida cook book which I adapted to my taste, that is I had to reduce some of the hot paprika (I have very delicate taste buds) and added in some white wine to give it some moisture. My recipe is as follows:
1kg pork shoulder
200g pork back fat
20g sweet paprika
5g hot paprika
20g garlic, finely chopped
20g dried oregano
100ml dry white wine, chilled
Ensure the pork and fat are well chilled before slicing into lengths and mincing through the medium plate. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well until the sausagemeat starts to become sticky. Gradually add the wine until it is thoroughly combined. Stuff into large caseings and link into desired lengths. Leave in the fridge to bloom overnight before cooking.
After all this hard work I had to try some of the sausages. I chose the chorizo, because it is one of my all time favourite sausages and just smelt so authentic I had to give it a go. Being a rainy Saturday, I thought I should go for some weekend comfort food, so on the menu for Saturday night was sausage, egg and chips. Happy childhood memories, vastly improved by homemade sausages, of the chorizo variety; homemade chips; fresh eggs from a friends back garden. The flavour of the chorizo was outstanding. It was so close to the real deal, I couldn’t quite believe this could be achieved without curing.
The authenticity came from the strength of the garlic and paprika. I have my parents to thank for the paprika. I am the proud owner of two tins of La Chinata paprika, one hot and one sweet. This is a DOC product from Spain, so I don’t think you could get more authentic than that. It was a Christmas present. Awesome present, but I do feel slightly guilty every time I use it as it wasn’t declared at customs when it arrived in December, no more shall be said about the matter…
The only criticism of the sausage is they are a touch dry, and I guess this might be the case with all of this batch of sausages as none of them contain any breadcrumbs or rusk as all my other favourite sausage recipes do. Always room for improvement, but that’s OK, it just means I get to make them all again.