If you’ve been counting the moons, you’ll know that our three formerly little pigs will soon be big enough to be become a selection of hams, roasting joints, salami, chorizo, bacon and anything else that takes our fancy.
Of course, we’ll be doing as much as we can ourselves, with only Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s “The River Cottage Cookbook” and “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”, and John Seymour’s “The New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency” for company.
Unless you count a bottomless glass of wine.
(More if necessary.)
It’s a bit intimidating. Three pigs is a lot of meat. It’s got to last us as much of next year as possible without spoiling. And before the Wednesday before Hallowe’en, neither me nor Her Outdoors had ever even made so much as a sausage.
If you want to repeat our experience (and I wouldn’t recommend it, as you'll see in a moment), this is what you do:
Buy a hand-cranked sausage-making machine from your nearest sausage-making machine retailer (passing on the motorised one which, at 200 euros, is four times more expensive and many more times likely to break).
Spend a long time washing what looks like engine grease off it, fix it to some wood and clamp it to a large farmhouse table (or similar) in your kitchen (or equivalent), thusly:
Mince 1kg (2.2lb) of boned shoulder and the same of pork belly freshly bought from your favourite butcher (who even sells you the sausage skins and laughs reassuringly when you tell him what you’re doing for the first time), using the attachment with the big holes:
Then mince again with the smaller-holed attachment.
Mix with breadcrumbs and herbs, à la recette (recipe):
Fry a quick pattie to taste (and find it’s bluddie delicious):
Put it back through the mincer, with the sausage attachment on now and the sausage skin carefully shimmied on (feeling a bit tired now – beginning to wonder if the one with the motor may have been a better idea) to create One Willy Wonka of a Stonker.
Spend a few minutes twisting The Enormous Sausage this way and that...
until your plate runneth over:
Relish the delight, awe and advanced orders heaped upon you by guests at your Halloe’en party.
Then meet an English butcher. During your conversation, realise that you can mix your diced pork with your breadcrumbs, herbs etc, BEFORE YOU PUT IT THROUGH THE MINCER THE FIRST TIME. Which means you can attach the sausage teat right at the start and do it All In One Go.
Seems obvious. But so does using a Gripple.