Monday, July 29, 2013

My first attempt at homemade sausages

After much procrastination I finally got around to making sausages. A few months ago we bought a meat grinder with a sausage making attachment and I had a bit of a hiccup with getting the correct type of skins - I bought edible collagen casings which did not fit on the end of the sausage maker....oops! Finally I tracked down a butcher that could supply the natural 'hog' casings (pig intestines) and we had some pork scraps that our butcher bagged up specifically for us to make sausages, from when he butchered our last lot of home raised pigs.

I did a quick search on You Tube to make sure I knew what to do, and to get some recipes. In the end I chose to make up some chorizo sausages after watching this helpful tutorial.

I was quite pleased that they came out looking like sausages should!!

However I think it should be noted that next time they need just a bit more fat in the mix as they were a little on the dry side - although they may also have been slightly overcooked. As our butcher had already supplied the necessary bits of meat, I didn't have any ability to add more fat, but will be sure to ask him next time to supply some extra to add in as and when.

With the remaining meat (I had 2kgs in total), I made another lot of sausages, and had 2 helpers which made it a lot easier. This time I made pork and apple sausages loosely based on this recipe, which were very nice, and not quite so dry.

All in all, the process was quite easy and not terribly time-consuming and the best part was having lovely fresh sausages without all the nasty ingredients added in most shop-bought ones. I am looking forward to trying out other recipes.

Any fellow home sausage makers out there? What kind(s) of sausage do you make?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Time for an update!

It's Winter here at CTF, and we've had a few frosts, but some lovely fine days too. Fortunately not too cold being at the Northern end of NZ. We don't get snow here, it's usually just wet, with a cold southerly wind or else fine and sunny during the day but frosty at night.

I've been out pruning our many fruit trees, some of the bigger ones have needed quite a bit of work and that's very time consuming. I've been fairly brutal to them poor things but they did really need to be 'minimised' - we don't want huge fruit trees with inaccessible fruit for one thing! While we may not get such a great crop this next season, I'm hoping the following one will be good.

The pigs are growing fast. They've already eaten all of the root fodder we grew for them in their paddock (mainly mangels and sugar beet). And they've eaten just about all of our pumpkin harvest too - although I was loathed to feed them one of the only Musque du Provence pumpkins that grew in the drought - have kept this for a few winter soups for us!

They're now guzzling their way through lots of milk, crab apples and the odd handful of pig pellets.

In the vege garden, while things have slowed down over Winter, we're still managing to harvest a few greens for the dinner table.

The broccoli has been performing well, we've eaten quite a lot already with more yet to harvest. Apart from the standard green heading, I've put in some purple sprouting as well.

The cauliflowers are doing quite well. I planted purple ones this year for a splash of colour -

Also in the garden lots of spinach, silverbeet and herbs - coriander and parsley. I have found the odd chilli out there too which is amazing! Hope your garden is producing well over the Winter months.