1kg (14 sausages)
- 1kg chuck steak or 1kg regular beef mince
- 35g (1/2 cup) fresh breadcrumbs or 60g (1/2 cup) finely ground rusks
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh continental parsley
- 50g (about 5-6) eschalots (French shallots) or 1/2 medium brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 90cm lengths thick natural sausage casings
- When making sausages, you can either make your own mince or buy it. Making your own gives you control over the amount of fat the sausages contain. If you decide to make your own mince, it is important to use a cut of meat that has some fat - chuck steak is ideal. Fat adds flavour and helps ensure the sausages are tender and moist. If you decide to buy ready-made mince, look for a regular grade with some fat as lean mince does not contain enough fat for sausages. The easiest way to make your own mince is in the food processor. Use a small sharp knife to remove any sinew from the meat. Cut into 2.5cm even-sized pieces to ensure it minces evenly. Place enough meat in the bowl of a food processor to cover the base (about one-third of the quantity for a large processor). Use the pulse button or process in short bursts until the meat is coarsely minced. If you process too much meat at one time, the meat will mince unevenly. Repeat with remaining meat.
- Place the mince, breadcrumbs or rusks, parsley, eschalots or onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a large ceramic, stainless steel or glass bowl. You can use either breadcrumbs or rusks. Breadcrumbs give a slightly lighter and more tender result, but rusks are good if you are looking for a yeast-free option. The salt is important as it will bring out the flavours in the sausages. Use clean hands to mix until evenly combined. Divide mixture in half and place each portion into a bowl. Cover and place in fridge until required.
- Casings come either packed in salt or rinsed. Either way, it is a good idea to soak them to make them easier to fill. To soak, place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 1 hour. Use your fingertips to find the opening at the end of a casing and run cold water all the way through, removing any excess salt. Check for any holes and cut the casing where they occur. Repeat with remaining casing.
- Place a large (about 1.6cm diameter) round plastic piping nozzle (as used for cake decorating, such as Loyal brand, available at kitchenware stores) into a clean large piping bag (metal nozzles can tear casing). Open one end of the casing and gently slide it over the end of the piping nozzle. Hold the trailing portion of the casing in one hand and use the thumb and forefinger of your other hand to gently push all the casing on to the nozzle, leaving about 5cm loose at the end. Once you've mastered this technique, it is quite easy.
- Place a wire rack over a baking tray. Place one-quarter of one portion of the mince mixture into the piping bag. (Too much filling in the bag will make it difficult to manage.) Twist the top of the piping bag. Hold the piping bag in one hand and use the other hand to hold the casing on the nozzle. Gently squeeze the piping bag to slowly fill about 2-3cm of the casing with the mince mixture. Carefully push any air out of the casing and tie a knot in the end below the filling. Continue filling the casing with the mixture in the piping bag, slowly releasing the casing. Refill the piping bag with the mince mixture and continue until the casing is full. (Be careful not to overfill the casing or it will break when you twist into links.) Don't worry if air pockets form as most of these will be removed. When you have finished filling the casing, gently ease any remaining casing off the nozzle. Use your fingers to carefully redistribute the filling in any uneven spots, so the sausage is an even thickness. Push any air out of the end of the casing and tie a knot. Lay the sausage out flat and use a small pin to prick any remaining air bubbles and gently press out any air. Place in the fridge. Repeat with the remaining casing and mince mixture.
- To twist the filled casings into links, start at one end of the sausage and twist at 12cm intervals into shorter lengths. Repeat with the remaining sausage. Place on a wire rack in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to allow the skin to dry out. The sausages are then ready to cook. Store in the fridge or freezer (see instructions over page).
- Casings can be purchased from any butcher who makes sausages. The natural casings are made from sheep (lamb), beef or pig intestines and come in different lengths. Lamb casings tend to be slightly thinner and break more easily. You can purchase thick or thin casings. Artificial casings are also available, although not recommended for these recipes.
- These sausages are delicious served with creamy mashed potato and steamed green beans. Beef sausages also team well with wholegrain or Dijon mustard, sweet chilli relish or tomato chutney.
- Red wine & herb beef sausages: Increase breadcrumbs to 60g (1 cup) or rusks to 105g (1 cup). Add 60ml (1/4 cup) dry red wine (like shiraz) and 1 tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary to the mince in step 2.
- Spicy beef sausages: Omit the parsley. Add 2 tsp sweet paprika, 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground ginger and 1/2 tsp chilli powder to the mince in step 2.
- Take a trip around the globe with our range of international recipe collections. Start with our French recipes, Thai recipes, Turkish recipes and Spanish recipes.