“Well d’ye see, Auntie,” Ian said carefully, “we do mean to question the fellow.”
“And we will have answers,” Fergus said, eyes on the spoon with which he was stirring his coffee.
“And when Uncle Jamie is satisfied that he has told us what he can…”
Ian had laid his newly sharpened knife on the table beside his plate. He picked it up, and thoughtfully drew it down the length of a cold sausage, which promptly split open, with an aromatic burst of sage and garlic. He looked up then, and met my eyes directly. And I realized that while I might still be me — Ian was no longer the boy he used to be. Not at all.
Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 30 – The Captive)
I’m a big fan of homemade sausage. I imagine Mrs. Bug and I could have spent a companionable afternoon, chopping, seasoning and stuffing our way to a kitchen-induced bliss.
Here in my 21st Century kitchen, I do have sausage stuffer attachment for my Kitchen Aid, but I never seem to have any casings around when I get a hankering to make a batch. But I don’t let that stop me! Instead, I make case-less sausages, aka patties.
This kind of sausage making is more of an art than a science, and the best rule of thumb is to always cook a small piece of your mixture once you think you’ve got it right. Taste it, then adjust the seasonings before you proceed.
The recipe below is just a starting point. I kept it very simple this time and tried to only use ingredients that would have been available at the Ridge. (The black pepper might be a bit of a stretch, and there’s no doubt it would have been the most expensive ingredient, by weight, on the list.)
Thankfully times have changed and you have all sorts of exotic spices at your disposal. As an example, have a look at the Fennel, Mint and Lemon Lamb Sausage I made for Robbie Burns night a couple of years back. Mix up the meat, the spices and the filler, and you can have a different sausage every week!
If you have grinder, and you really get into this sausage making thing, you could try grinding up your own pork shoulder with added fat, or stewing beef, again with added fat. I suggest making a 4 or 5 lb batch, and freezing most of it for future meals. Play with the grind, doing at least part of the batch on a coarser grind. Texture in a sausage is a good thing.
If you don’t have a grinder, dinna fash! Use ground meat as I did here.
The picture below shows today’s recipe, with some added minced red pepper, rolled into 1 oz meatballs and destined for my smoker. I smoked them at 225° for 90 minutes. (If you don’t have a smoker, cook them in a 450° F oven for 12-15 minutes.) Those other meatballs on the right side are Andouille-spiced, and are scheduled to appear on my other blog very early next week.
And with that, my friends, I bid you Chi mi a-rithist thu (I’ll see you again). I’m off on a 3 week Scottish adventure with My Englishman! We hope to post a few pictures as we go…check out OK’s Facebook and Twitter pages while we’re away.
Make your own Sausage McMuffins at home! Just whip up a batch of Mrs. Bug’s Buttermilk Drop Biscuits, and you’ve got an addtive-free party in your mouth!
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
: A basic caseless sausage that is yours to experiment with and make your own. Homemade can be easy and is always tastier than store bought.
Yield: 1 lb
- Ground Pork – 1 lb (500 g) (see notes)
- Filler – Cornmeal, Ground Oats, Breadcrumbs, etc. – 1/2 Cup (120 ml) (see notes)
- Garlic, minced – 3 cloves
- Fresh Sage, chopped – 1 Tble (15 ml)
- Kosher Salt – 1 1/2 tsp. (8 ml)
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper – 1 tsp (5 ml)
- Mustard Powder – 1/2 tsp (3 ml)
Read the recipe through at least once before you begin.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands until the meat is a smooth consistency and evenly spiced.
Heat a small pan over medium high and cook a small patty of sausage to taste for seasoning. Adjust the spices as required then form into patties about 1/2” thick.
Cook in a pan over medium to medium-high heat until golden on both sides and cooked through. Alternatively, roast them on a rack in a 350° F (175° C) for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.
Ith gu leòir! (Eat Plenty)
- No pork? Substitute regular ground beef in its place.
- If using oats as a filler, grind them in a coffee grinder until the texture of cornmeal. Ground almonds also make a tasty, protein-packed, gluten-free filler.
- To chop the sage, stack the leaves in an even pile, then roll those as you would a cigar. Fold the cigar in half, then cut the thinnest slivers you can with a sharp knife.
- OK friend and chef/blogger at LittleWhiteApron.com, Lori, told me to grate garlic on my microplane…and you know what? It’s a great idea! Much faster than chopping and easier to clean than a garlic press
Here’s that meatball sub I talked about a little earlier…smoked garlic and sage sausage meatballs with a quick fresh tomato sauce and lots of cheese…anyone interested?