SAUSAGES: THE MISSING LINKS
It is rapidly approaching time for one of my favourite events of the year, The American Royal.
This will be my third visit to the world's biggest BBQ competition in Kansas City, MO and I am still as excited as I was when I first attended as part of the Eat My Globe trip. This time, however, there is a twist. This time, the members of my team, the estimable Burn Rate, decided that yours truly was to be put in charge of the sausage category.
That was quite a surprise as, to this point, I had never made a sausage in my life and had no intention of ever doing so. However, those of you who know me, know I am never one to shy away from a challenge. So I decided I better get some practice in first.
After extensive internet research, I came across the Back To Basics combination meat grinder and sausage stuffer and was soon handing over my credit card details not only for the machine, but also for 200ft of natural collagen sausage casings. After a few days of waiting eagerly by the front door for the postie, the package finally arrived and I set about making my very first batch of homemade sausages on Saturday afternoon.
I opted to use pork shoulder (butt) because of its natural fat content and coarsely ground the meat before adding my chosen seasonings, which in this case were garlic, fresh sage & rosemary, sweet paprika and cayenne. Stuffing the meat into the collagen casings took a bit of practice, as indeed did tying the results into neat links. My mishapen attempts wer not something that would ever pass muster in even the lowliest butcher's shop. However, for a first attempt, I was not too unhappy with my efforts.
What better way to try your first homemade sausage than to throw them on the grill? Sybil invited a couple of her friends around for an impromptu BBQ and along side some tandoori chicken, roasted corn and salads, my humble efforts took pride of place (well them and Sybil's rather delicious peach cobbler)
The sausages disappeared in pretty quick fashion, which suggests they were a bit of a hit. I am going to put in some more practice this week and fill up the freezer with links for Syb to enjoy while I am back in Blighty. Who knows? It could be the beginning of a new hobby. At the very least I hopefully wont make a fool of myself when I head to KCM.
Bring on The Royal