This weekend wrap has a quite different focus than my last ones. Granted the weekend started the way it usually does, with swimming lessons, and finished as it often does, with a roast, but the bit in between was certainly not our normal weekend activities. There was no farmer’s markets for a start and today we actually managed to enjoy a quiet weekend day at home without ending up frazzled and living in what closely resembles a disaster zone.
But what made this weekend so special was what Miss One and I got up to yesterday along with a friend, ‘The Lemon Tree Guru’ (so called for the most impressive “dwarf” lemon tree I’ve come across. It grows on her balcony in a large pot, it’s very big and it is covered in lemons. Sadly she was not able to revive my first tree). Actually it was her idea, we used her equipment and we did it at her house. So what was it? We made our own SAUSAGES, from scratch! I had Miss One in tow, Mr Good and Miss Three were at the footy, and I had warned The Lemon Tree Guru that I would bring half the house with me to cater for Miss One and keep her entertained for the day. I wasn’t lying, I bought so much stuff with me, but it worked. Miss One ate, played, and hold onto your hats, even slept! And considering it took us close to FIVE hours to get the two different types made, she was amazingly cooperative and patient. Though getting access to this cupboard did seem to be the highlight of her day.
So after doing a little research we decided on a spicy Italian pork sausage and a Moroccan lamb sausage. Both recipes came from this site, and looking at the long list of varieties, we’d be making sausages for a long time before getting to the end of the list.
We started with grinding the meat, pork first, using a mixture of pork belly for the fat and a leaner diced pork. It started easily enough, but we learned the hard way that you really do need to clean out the mechanism if things start to slow down. If there was any skin, sinew or grisly bits caught in there nothing else would get through. We also discovered that at least some of the meat should be minced twice to get a smoother consistency, especially if you want to make thin sausages. Having said that, we ran out of time to mince the lamb twice so used the wider skins and made short, fat sausages.
The pork mince was combined with red wine, parsley, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, dried chilli, fennel seeds and salt and pepper. Then mixed again and finally piped into the skins.
The Lemon Tree Guru then took up the task of twisting the long sausage into regular sized ones, ending up with four bunches (I’m sure that’s not the right word for it, but it kind of resembles banana bunches) of Italian pork sausages.
The same process was followed for the lamb, this time combining the minced meat with curry powder, cinnamon, thyme, garlic and pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Because we hadn’t minced the meat as fine, we opted for the bigger skins, making a considerably fatter sausage. In the end we had one two bunches of the lamb sausages.
Sadly by the end of the day I was a bit over looking at sausages so I haven’t tried them yet. The Lemon Tree Guru did however and in her words, “Amazing, never had a sausage like it!” They will definitely be featuring on the menu later in the week and I’ve got a couple of recipes that call for good quality sausages which I think will be fabulous with these.
In terms of making things from scratch, this was certainly one of the more labour intensive projects I’ve undertaken and definitely a two man job. And given that I don’t actually have the equipment needed it won’t be something I do often at this point, but we do love sausages and I cringe when I think of what’s in the store bought ones. As for cost these were about $1.80 per sausage, which is cheaper than gourmet butcher sausages.
The rest of the weekend has been amazingly peaceful and relaxed. The garage got a clean out in preparation for tomorrow’s hard rubbish collection – though 90% of things we put out there were taken within an hour of being put on the nature strip, nothing like a hard rubbish day to bring out the ‘recyclers’. Miss Three and I painted some wrapping paper so we could wrap a present for a birthday party tomorrow morning. And I managed to peruse a cook book or two I borrowed from the library last week.