Winter in Perth means one thing in a few of my Italian friends. It’s sausage making weather. The daily temperatures falling below 20°C and colder temperatures at night coupled with the humidity hovering around the 30% mark. If you’ve never made your own sausages, I’m going to give you some valuable advice given to me by my foodie bestie who gave it to me.
Some very useful things to have include:
- a tarpaulin or even an old plastic tablecloth
- a mechanised meat grinder and sausage making attachements, (hand operated ones work well but if you’re making several kilograms, a mechanised one will go much quicker)
- someone who has made sausages before
While planning to make a batch of Italian pork and fennel sausages for drying, my foodie bestie and I began discussing making kangaroo sausages with bush tucker. Five minutes later, we were adding kangaroo meat and more pork meat to our shopping list. Kangaroo is a very lean meat and you need to add fat content. Our choice was to use pork meat to blend with it because we have never come across fatty kangaroo meat and thought it would be step too far in taste and texture for us.
We got our meat from Mondo’s Meat in Inglewood where the butchers are well versed in putting together sausage making orders. They also coincidentally run a sausage making course during winter. As for our bush tucker herbs used, there are stockists around Perth like The Source or if you’re into gardening which will overcome your immediate supply shortage, Tucker Bush.
- 2kg pork, coarsely minced
- 2kg kangaroo coarsely minced or diced
- 16g aniseed myrtle, dried
- 4g lemon myrtle, dried
- 8g Saltbush, dried
- 2g blood root, dried (8-16g would have been better, can substitute bush tomato or chilli flakes)
- 12g Tasmanian Pepperleaf, dried
- 100g salt
- 4g curing salt
- sausage skins, (we used pig intestines from the butcher)
- On a clean surface, (in our case, the tablecloth that has seen many Christmas lunches), blend the kangaroo and pork meat. How you may ask? By hand. Gloves are useful for this.
- Place the herbs into a kitchen appliance of choice so that it can be blitzed into a fine powder. My choice was a Thermomix.
- Add the salts and powdered bush tucker herb mix to the blended pork and kangaroo meat. Then with those gloved hands, mix it in well. This allows for even distribution of the flavour as well as allowing the meat proteins to denature a little resulting in a firmer mixture.
- Once you have a mass of firm bush tucker infused meat, it’s time to feed it through the sausage making device of your choice. There’s plenty of YouTube videos around demonstrating how to stuff a sausage. The trick is to hold onto the sausage skins tight enough for the meat to fill them without tearing.
- After stuffing them, tie off the end before deciding how long you want the sausages and tie off at regular intervals.
- Use a skewer to poke holes into the sausages allowing oxygen to enter the sausages during the curing and drying stage and preventing the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum from growing. Why? This is the bacterium responsible for producing a toxin known as botulinum. Great for removing wrinkles but deadly if ingested and we are not advocating backyard botox clinics.
- Then leave to hang in a well ventilated cold area. Where did I hang mine? In a bathroom that wasn’t being used.Make sure that the sausages aren’t touching one another.
- We left our sausages to dry for two weeks. A tip is to try a sausage at the end of each week to test and when perfect, that’s the time to take them down, prep, and store in a vacuum pack in the fridge. They should be good for up to a year, that’s if they last that long.
A couple of things you need to know. A mould will grow on the outside of the sausages. White mould that looks like the stuff on cheese is good. Black or green mould is bad and the sausages need tossing. Food poisoning is BAD!