British Sausage Week 2012 and what could be more appropriate than bangers for Bonfire Night?
We have plenty of bangers to choose from, having processed 50lb of pork meat into sausages this year.
It was all part of our plan, we simply wanted more sausages this year. They are not all the same, but none of them are 'weird' either. I am not a great fan of adding things to sausages, I like to keep things simple and so we have stayed with herbs and spices to flavour ours.
We looked at many sources for sausage recipes and adapted them to make our own, keeping them fairly simple. We fry off samples of sausagemeat along the way to check for seasoning, always remembering that you can add but you cannot take away.
We made one batch simply seasoned with a little salt and enough white pepper to give some heat. As variations on his theme we made a batch with cracked black peppercorns and a batch with cracked black, white, green and red peppercorns.
We then adapted a 'Classic Sausage' recipe that we found, adding nutmeg, mace and coriander as well as salt and white pepper.
Looking to traditional sausage recipes we did our own version of Lincolnshire and Cumberland sausages. Into the Lincolnshire mix went salt, white pepper, coriander, nutmeg and lots of sage. The Cumberland mix included salt, black and white pepper, marjoram, nutmeg and mace. We did make some Cumberland rings but most of the mix went to make normal shaped sausages.
I was keen to try a fennel sausage recipe that we found. It contains salt, fennel, caraway, oregano, coriander and sugar. Many sausage makers include some sugar in their recipes on the grounds that, if the sausage bursts in the frying pan, the sugar will caramelise. On tasting samples of this, I was having trouble tasting the fennel but Steve could taste it. I wanted to add more but deferred to him. Now the sausages have been made I find that it is the caraway that I can taste above the fennel; Steve still tastes fennel.
Finally, we made a batch simply flavoured with Quatre Epices. This is a French blend of spices commonly used in charcuterie and it usually contains pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon or ginger, although there are variations in the blend and the spices used.
For Bonfire Night we shall be having bangers and mash with onion gravy and I shall be using our classic recipe sausages.