Monday, 19 April 2010

It's Sausage Day!

MamaDuck rushed home from her knitting group last Friday night and hid in the bedroom. Ten minutes later she emerged with a bright orange-gift-wrapped parcel with my name on it! It was about the right size to be a pair of cowboy boots, but she wouldn't let me open it till the next morning.

[The following is unsuitable for vegetarians - but if you want to send cowboy boots: size 44 (UK 8.5)].

Next morning came (and being basically a kid, I'd hardly slept), and I opened the package. Woot! A meat grinder / sausage stuffer! So I rushed up to the market, got me a kilo of pork shoulder and asked the guy for some tripas para hacer salchichon (casings for to make sausage). He said he didn't have, but pointed me to an offal stall. The lady there did indeed have tripas, but these were the whole things (chitterlings, in English - bleucch), not the skins. Dang. So I traipsed round every butcher in the market, a butcher's shop nearby, and finally a sausage shop near our house. Nada.

Not to worry. I'd been talking to a friend about my banger-making ambitions, and she said she sometimes makes them. She got her tripas from the butcher across the road from her flat in Malasaña, so I went there. No joy. But I remembered seeing a place mentioned on the blog of two guys who make their own bangers in Madrid ( Sadly, I couldn't remember the address or even the area, so I abandoned the search and went home.

Yesterday I assembled the meat/rusk/herb/spice mix, and this morning I went to the shop (c/Atocha 95, if you're interested). They wouldn't sell me less than 25m (€6), but apparently it'll keep for a year or two in the fridge.

I don't know quite what I was expecting, but I was surprised to see I'd apparently bought a bag of dead worms. It was a plain bag - no branding, no info, no nuffin. I opened it and pulled out this hank of shrivelled guts packed in rock salt. I pulled out a couple of metres of it (not unlike unravelling a skein of wool, but a bit smellier, obviously), and put it in lukewarm water to soak.

I've seen a YouTube video where somebody rinses water through it, so I tried that and it worked!

After a couple more hours of soaking, I steeled my nerves, assembled the equipment (half of which had spent the last 30 minutes in the freezer because colder is better for this kind of work), and threaded the casing onto the nozzle of the machine. Then I popped some of the meat mixture into the tray, switched on the machine, pushed with the pestle and waited for stuff to emerge. It took a while, but eventually, sausage extrusion began to occur, and I tried to ease the casing off the nozzle while manipulating the sausage into a regular shape. I stopped the machine after a bit, because the first eight inches were just way too thick. I cut that off, tried to twist it into two links, and broke the skin. Ho hum, try again.

This time I got the sausage down to a reasonable diameter, squeezing, teasing and coiling as I went. When all the meat mix had gone through the machine, I twisted the coil into links, and made nine fat juicy bangers. Looking at the original two, I decided to scrap them and try again. I pulled the casing off the nozzle much faster this time, and finished up with six narrow-gauge sausages. For a first attempt, I am pretty damn chuffed, and I know they're going to taste great because I fried off a bit of the meat mix this morning and had it in a sandwich for my breakfast.


UPDATE: Guess what we had for tea? Bangers 'n' mash. MamaDuck cut into a sausage and took a bite. 'My God! It's so meaty!' she said. Yep. Absolutely fabulous.


Lee said...

That store on Atocha 95 also has good and reasonably priced honey (try their honey lozenges the next time you're got a sore throat), good pimenton and lots of other spices. It's also one of the few placees I've seen here that sells molasses, if you're into baking. But don't go at the very end of November/early December. Since that's when lots of people go back to the pueblo for the matanza, there is literally a line around the block for days of people waiting to buy casings and various ingredients.

Macthomson said...

Damn it, not the best reading for breakfast time. Normally I start the day with just a coffee. Suddenly I crave a 'full English'!

the real nick said...

Looks f**ing brilliant!! Where can I buy casing in Dubai...

Keefieboy said...

Lee: it is a remarkable shop. Now I'm wondering if they sell rennet for cheese-making.
Mac: sozz.
Nick: you could try asking the butchery guys at Choithram's or Spinney's.