So I actually really enjoy sausages. Generally I think sausages have a bit of a bad rep. Not just because they are a bit of an inappropriate looking food item, which is, I think, why subconsciously I choose to photograph these coiled up. But, I guess when someone says “We are having sausages for dinner”, it doesn’t really plant the seed of a gourmet feast for the tastebuds, but rather makes me go “Well someone couldn’t be bothered to cook tonight!”. So, what I am saying is, I think that attitude, that even I sometimes have towards sausages, is completely unfair.
Now there are some bad sausages out there, and I think that the problem with the “bad” sausages is that, there is simply too much going on. Namely, half a tonne of dried herbs which overpowers the tasty cuts of meat. And anything you plan to eat for the next few days. The other thing I don’t like about about some commercial sausages is the wheat based sausage meal binder. There simply isn’t a need, other than the bottom line, of course. I think that this also takes away from the flavour of the meat, sometimes its hard to even pick which meat it is.
So this recipe obeys all my rules for my kind of sausage. Good lean meat to fat ratio. Well seasoned. And most importantly, the fennel flavour is subtle, it doesn’t take over. So if we have the same taste in sausage, make these please.
- 800g lean pork rashers or pork belly
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh course ground black pepper
- Natural pork sausage casings
- First thing to do is trim up your pork, remove any skin from your rashers. Cut into rough cubes and place in a bowl.
- Place your casings in a bowl of water to soften.
- Next, place a fry pan on a medium high heat, add fennel seeds and toast for a few minutes until fragrant, moving constantly to toast evenly. Add to a mortar and pestle. Allow to cool slightly and then roughly grind up the fennel seeds to make a powder. It doesn’t have to be a complete powder, some whole or part fennel seeds are nice too.
- Add the fennel, salt and pepper to the pork and give it a mix to disperse the flavours fairly evenly.
- Grind the meat using a course setting on a meat grinder. Put the ground meat into a bowl and give it a little mix just to ensure that the salt, pepper and fennel flavours have been mixed evenly. Then I like to grab a spoonful and fry it up in a fry pan just so I can check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Plus I am a big of a pig and really just can’t wait to try it. Any excuse will do.
- Once you are happy with the flavours, place back through the machine, without the grinder attachment and stuff into the softened sausage casings and shape into a thin sausage. Then twist into about 6 inch lengths.