Learning How To Make Sausages with Jenius Social

Ode to Sossidge

by Kavey Eats

Oh porky banger of goodness,
how I love thee so.
I love thy tightly stretched skin,
pulled taught around thy meaty filling.
I love to char thy surface, till thee art good and hot,
and thy fat oozes out into the pan.
And then to slice – that moment of resistance
as the knife pierces thy skin,
and eases through you.
A dollop of ketchup and oh porky banger,
how I love thee so.

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I probably love sausages (aka sossidges) a little too much!!! By sausages, I’m talking here of the great British banger, traditionally made by filling animal intestines with a filling of minced meat, pork fat, seasonings and, these days a little rusk – a cereal-based filler that helps to bind the meat and fat.

During the second world war and the years of rationing afterwards, the ratio of rusk increased to make the meat go further, but these days good quality sausages usually contain 10% or less, and sometimes none at all.

UK regulations allow sausages to have far less real meat and far more connective tissue and rusk filler; to be sold as pork sausages they need only have 42% meat (of which almost half can be connective tissue) and if the vendor drops the word pork from the label, they can include far less meat again. Be aware that if the vendor replaces the word sausages with bangers, the contents are less regulated, and often have very little real meat at all, using mechanically recovered meat instead.

Suddenly the British banger, or at least the cheaper end, sounds far less appealing!

The best way to make sure you know exactly what’s in your sausages is to make them yourself, though this seems a little daunting for home cooks.

Pete and I recently attended a two hour sausage making class teaching us all the skills we needed, run by Jenius Social.

The class was run by the school’s in-house chef and tutor Andrew, and we loved his teaching style. Andrew is a bundle of energy, shooting handy tips at us throughout, and encouraging everyone to ask questions if anything is unclear or they want to know more. He teaches by explaining briefly and then getting the students to get stuck in themselves, which is by far the best way to get to grips with this kind of practical skill.

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This means that within minutes of starting the class – as soon as hands were washed, introductions made, and Andrew had told us which three types of sausages we’d be making – everyone got their hands deep into mixing bowls of minced meat to create the sausage fillings. Andrew had already weighed all the meat and flavourings out so all we had to do is add these together and mix mix mix. We made two pork-based sausages – Toulouse and Spicy Italian – and beef Merguez sausages. Full recipes were provided after the class, and Andrew assured us that we could use similar ratios of meat to flavouring for any kind of fresh sausages we wanted to make.

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Throughout the class, we worked in pairs, each pair making two kilos each of the three different sausages. A 2 kilo batch is a good size to make in a go, as it fits into a pork intestine casing – typically these are around 5 metres long. Of course, it’s not a problem to work in smaller batches, or bigger ones and pause to tie off one intestine and push a fresh one onto the filler tube so you can certainly scale the recipes up or down as you like.

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The key phases of the lesson included mixing the stuffing, assembling the sausage stuffer (we used an upright manual model), packing in the meat, carefully loading the intestine casing onto the filler tube, evenly cranking the machine and easing the intestine along the growing sausage, and finally, twisting to divide each very very long sausage into individual ones. Last of all, Andrew demonstrated how to form the bangers into little bundles of three, which was particularly satisfying and not as complicated as we expected.

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Before the class, I had wondered how we could possibly cover everything we needed to learn in such a short class. But although the two hours flew by we didn’t feel at all rushed and we each had plenty of practical experience working through the entire process end to end.

At the end, sausages were divided evenly between each pair, with each student taking home a whopping three kilos of freshly made sausages.

That haul of home made sausages certainly makes the £85 price tag of the course more reasonable, considering you’d pay around £25 to £30 for the same weight in good quality sausages from a supermarket, butchers’ shop or farmers market stall. I mentally divided the price into £60 for the lesson and £25 for the takeaway sausages. Most of the other courses are priced at £75 or £85, which seems a touch steep for such short classes, but the learning is no doubt similarly intensive and practical.

Next for us is to choose and buy a simple sausage stuffing machine so we can put our newly learned skills into practice, which we are really keen to do!

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Sausage recipes you may enjoy:

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Sausage Making at Jenius Social (Kavey Eats)

 

Artisan Sausage Making is a two hour class and costs £85 per person. Kavey Eats attended the class as guests of Jenius Social.

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36 Comments to "Learning How To Make Sausages with Jenius Social"

  1. [email protected]

    Looks like a fab course. Quality sausages guaranteed. I too love your sossidge poem. Thanks for inclusion in recipe section. Fun and informative post as always.

    Reply
  2. Claire

    Such good fun! I’ve made sausages three or four times now and it does get easier every single time but I still get a wee bit muddled when it comes to looping and tying them up.

    Reply
  3. Kate

    It sounds like such fun. I really must make more effort to go to specialist classes. Love your ‘sossidges’ poem!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Ha, thank you, glad you like the poem. Worth attending this class for sure!

    Reply
  4. Amanda

    This looks like a fun activity. I’m afraid I would have to take classes to get the hang of it. By making your own sausage, you can guarantee it is gluten free and delicious.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes, for us the class was very worthwhile and absolutely, one of the best things is making sausages that meet your own diet restrictions or preferences.

    Reply
  5. Agata

    What a fantastic class to attend. I would really like to give homemade sausages a go… so many possibilities

    Reply
  6. kaveyeats

    That’s my husband Pete, the cook in our household. He did a great job on shaping and linking those sausages!

    Reply
  7. Annie @ Annie's Noms

    I love sausages a bit too much as well!! You just cannot beat bangers and mash or a sausage sandwich with ketchup… now I’m hungry!! I’ve always wanted to make my own sausages, but haven’t got round to it. I really must at some point as I bet it’s so fun and delicious!

    Reply
  8. Mindi Hirsch

    I love sausage too, so this class looks awesome to me, especially since you got to take so much freshly made sausage home with you. I somehow suspect that it didn’t last too long though.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes, it’s such a great aspect of the course, I think it makes the price good value too.

    Reply
  9. Janice

    Oh these look so good, what a fun class to take. I made sausages in 1980s, even bought an electric mincer for mincing up the meat for sausage meat.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    We have an old manual crank mincer but I’m considering getting a new one to attach to the stand mixer.

    Reply
  10. aish das-padihari

    My kids love sausage though I’m not a fan. Loved reading this post though. Nothing like freshly made sausage.

    Reply
  11. kaveyeats

    No kidding, right?! Good news is that it’s just the minimum, but of course many sausages sold have much higher meat content, and make a point of stating it on the packaging!

    Reply
  12. Diana

    Sounds like a really fun activity! I never tried making my own sausages at home, but now I really want to try!

    Reply
  13. kaveyeats

    Haaa, I don’t eat the crappy ones either. We only buy ones with high meat content and no dodgy crap listed!!!

    Reply
  14. Corinne

    Love this. I need to learn how to make British bangers now that I’ve “mastered” German bratwurst. It’s so much fun to stuff sausages, don’t you think?

    Reply

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