2 June 2010

Homemade sausages

One of the great benefits of eating food you have cooked from scratch is that you know what you are eating.  The ideal is that you buy all the raw ingredients, then you add what you want to add.  But what happens when you buy things like sausages?  They're raw, but what's in them?  Who would know.  In Australia, sausage, by law, must contain 50 percent meat - but that meat may come from any part of the animal.  And what about the other 50 percent, what's that?  Well, you could ask your butcher and be guided by what he says, but you could also make your own sausages at home.  It's simple.

Homemade sausages are a great way to play that trick that mums all over the world play with their younger children - hide the vegetable.  If you finely grate carrot, pumpkin, celery, onion or cabbage, often it goes unseen into little bellies.

When you make sausages you need to use meat that has a small amount of fat on it.  The fat helps with the flavour and to bind the meat together.  When you cook the sausages, a lot of this fat melts and drains away so you're not actually eating it.  Making sausages is a great idea if you buy your meat in bulk, or hunt, because you can use all those pieces that might go into a casserole or you have no other use for.  I don't use casings for my sausages - often sausages are encased in intestines - and if you want to use them, you can buy them from your butcher and fill them.  I find they're just as easy to cook with no casing of you mix them well and them put them in the fridge to firm before cooking.

Regarding the mincing/griding of the meat. One of the meats will have to be very finely minced/ground so that it binds the sausage together.  I like to have little pieces of pork in the sausages so I don't mince the pork as finely as the beef.

These amounts are approximate as it's not essential to be exact.  The meat below made 8 fat sausages but could make 10 - 12 long thin ones.
½ kg/1 lb beef with some fat - very finely minced/ground
½ kg/1 lb pork with some fat - not so finely minced/ground
½ cup dry breadcrumbs - I used crumbs from the shop but you could just as easily use stale bread that you dry out in the oven, then pulverise in a blender.
a couple of leaves of sage - or any other herb you like
salt and pepper to taste

You could add any spice, garlic or finely grated vegetable that you like - I just used the ingredients listed above.

Combine all the ingredients and work it well using clean hands.  Working the meat around in your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients, helps the proteins stick together, and will keep the sausage together as it's cooking.  Form sausage shapes and place them in the fridge until you cook them.  I'm not careful about shaping, I'm sure you'd do a better job than I did.

If you're cooking for children, you might like to dip the sausages in plain/all purpose flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs. That way you'll get a golden crumbed sausage in which you could hide many nutritious vegetables.

Cook the sausages in a little olive oil on all sides,until they're brown, then lower the heat and allow them to cook for about 15 minutes more.  I served ours with some gravy, herbed mashed potato and green beans from the garden.  Delicious! and no MSG, unknown meat bits, colourings, preservatives or intestines.



  1. Thanks for sharing, Rhonda Jean. This is something I have never thought to make, but it looks to be relatively straightforward. It looks to be an easy formula to adapt to other inclusions/ingredients. Might have to give this one a try!
    Tracy (Brisbane)

  2. NUM! We do that with our venison in the fall/winter! DELISH!

  3. I like this, and I think I will try it soon. I'm always hesitant to buy sausage because of all the other "stuff" in it, especially the nitrites. Being able to offer a healthier choice for my family is great and I'm always hiding something in my meals, so this another wonderful way to do it!

    Thank you!

  4. This sausage sounds great. I like that you have control of what is "not" in it as what is. I shall try mincing the meat in the food processor. Hiding a few fresh grated vegetables for the grandkids is an idea I shall spread to my daughter for some are picky eaters.
    Thanks again for taking the time to spread your knowledge and insight.


  5. What a great idea! I may just have to try this. Thanks for the recipe, Rhonda.

  6. Another item to add to the made from scrath list...thanks rhonda, living in a small town we have a wonderful butcher with the best sausages ever! maybe I can now give him a run for his money lol thanks again. Carole

  7. My Grandfather makes sausages using All sorts of combinations...Yum!
    Often the casings Particularly supermarket snags are'nt even Intestine but "something" manufactured.....Hate to think!

  8. Mmmm, yum. I never thought about making them without casings. We get our sausages made (by someone we know with a mincer) with our homekill beef offcuts and add other bits and pieces from hunting - like swan and paradise duck breasts. And yes, I do the 'hide the vege' trick!

  9. It really should be obvious, shouldn't it! But, it weasn't so here come the home made snags. Thanks again Rhonda.

  10. I have the mincer attachment for my Kenwood and it came with a sausage casing filler. On my first attempt, I got casings from the butcher (who seemed quite taken aback by my request!) and made the sausages, but when it came to it, I couldn't eat them. The thought of the casings put me off! The supermarket casings are synthetic but I don't know what they are made of. The mind boggles! I buy rump steak on special and use that for mince. Has a great texture and flavour and is often cheaper than store-bought mince which has who knows what in it.

  11. so dang cool! someday...

    and i was just stopping by to say thanks again for the silverbeet pie recipe-another yummy variation just filled my family up!

  12. Love the suggestions for sausages, my DP is a snag fiend, these look much healthier options, will definitely be giving them a try :-)
    Melissa (Hunter Valley)

  13. Hi there Rhonda, love a recipe that you can share with mums that have many children to feed!
    Thank you.
    I have a little version of this that I use veal, some pork and beef mince, egg and parmesan cheese.I roll these into little patties, oval shaped, but dosnt really matter, the smaller the better as it is a favourite meal with my family...........and, like you say, you know exactly what is in them.....sometimes my little girl helps make the patties which gives kids an idea and a feel for the food that they are going to eat for dinner...and of course praise at the dinner table for helping cook the tea...xxx

  14. What a brilliant post Rhonda. They look scrumptious and I really wish I could cook! maybe when I retire......

  15. Hey Rhonda,

    This post really made me smile. I was at a dinner party once and stated how I would love to live more simply, grow my own veggies, have chooks and..... make my own sausages, an elder friend at the party turned around and said ' oh for goodness sakes child don't be so ridiculous make your own sausages how absurd'
    'shame she will not be here to taste them when I try out your recipie this week!
    THANK YOU again for your inspiration and and helping me realise the dream.

  16. I have been wanting to make my own breakfast sausage for a while (the girls eat a lot of breakfast sausage, and I was looking for a lentil recipe, but looks like I could play with this recipe and substitute cooked lentils for part of the beef or pork. Maybe even try turkey. Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Late last fall my husband and I made venison jerky with the deer he got. This was our first time, normally we take our venison to the butcher to be processed. Doing it ourselves saved us a lot of money and we knew exactly what was in our jerky. This year we plan to not only make jerky, but sausage as well, adding beef from his parents farm. Once you start making your food from scratch and find out how easy it is and how much better it tastes you just can't go back to store bought processed foods.

    Your recipe looks like a good one, we purchased packaged seasoning to make our first batch, but I want to get away from that as well and make our sausage and jerky truly homemade.


  18. Oh I remember fondly making homemade sausages with all my Italian aunts and Nana--we did it in the cellar kitchen in an old grinder and stuffed them in the skins. Best sausage ever!

  19. Oh wow, those look sooooo good! Do you ship to England? ;)

    BTW I'm amazed I can comment again, for the past couple of months (when your blog changed to a slightly different format in the comments) I couldn't. Kept meaning to email you...!

  20. I really enjoy your blog. You have a great world view, and so many different aspects to your life.

  21. Very timely blog post.

    Tonight I'm making pork sausages from scratch, but will be adding apple to one half and leek to the other half.

    I know I won't get a look in on the pork and apple ;-))

  22. We were only talking about snags the other night we find the skin they use for snags is so chewy, when I buy more snags I was going to take the skin off. ( or are we getting old )

    Going to give these snags ago for sure and no skin they sound lovely.


  23. HI , I tried this sausage with Chicken and Garlic. It came really nice. My little one loved it.


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