Spend, Spend, Spend

It's been a week of spend, spend, spend. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining 'cos it's not been that sort of spending, you know the sort when things go wrong. No, it's been the pleasurable sort, but it still gives you funny pains in the wallet!

Some time ago a fellow forum member who lives in the US got in touch to say he was coming to the UK and was there anything I wanted bringing over? Why, you may think did he do this? Well sausagemaking supplies, not only equipment but ingredients as well, are so much easily sourced in the quantities used by non-commercial curers in the US. Obviously, we thought twice about him bringing any cures and powdered ingredients just in case UK Customs didn't see the funny side! So I settled on asking him to bring some large collagen casings (sausage skins), well very large actually, they're 90mm (3½") wide and about 680mm (27") long!

Collagen casings

It turned out that my forum pal Laurence, known as This Little Piggy has an uncle in Loughborough and was visiting him, so it was great to go in person to collect my goodies. I also got him to bring some smaller 60mm casings, hog rings, and hog pliers. What are hog rings I hear you ask? They're those metal rings that seal off the end of cooked sausage in the supermarket. The pliers make it easier to use them. In all £50's worth.

I'm going to use the casings to make luncheon meats; not the cheap and nasty stuff that we all remember as children, but bologna, mortadella and some of the ones of German origin. The first one I'm going to try is a Ham Roll Luncheon Meat from the great sausage maker Len Poli's website. I've got a piece of ham curing and will hopefully cook it on Saturday and make the sausage on Sunday.

I also ordered sausage making and curing supplies from Sausagemaking.org and Weschenfelder's. Cure from Sausagemaking cost me about £16 and casings, vacuum packs, stockinette and a mincer plate from Weschenfelders, about £80. All-in-all the week was shaping up to be an expensive one!

To cap it off, last Friday was my birthday so I used this as an excuse to treat myself. Now, the luncheon meats and the hot dogs that I make are what are not just minced, but processed with water. Commercially they're done in a machine called a bowl cutter. No, I didn't buy one of those; the smallest ones are £1-2 thousand! The nearest we can get to this at home is a powerful food processor.

Magimix Food Processor

One of the best for home use is the Magimix with it's 1100w motor. The hairy biker's review of it can be viewed here. They don't come cheap though. The top of the range one cost me £240 but, if it's anywhere near as good as the ones I've owned before, it should last for years.

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There are two comments


Glad to hear you already have plans to start filling those sausage casings, Phil! It was a pleasure to meet you and your wife, and to know the man behind the name. Speaking of which, meeting you put a whole new spin on your moniker, “wheels.”

This weekend, I’m working on reproducing an Italian sausage that I was able to taste in London, but I’ll make one batch using local bison meat. We really have gone global!

Laurence, (Email ) (URL) - 03-04-’09 18:56

I look forward to reading about the Italian Sausage. Believe it or not we have a producer of bison in Leicestershire!


Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 06-04-’09 14:14

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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