The kind folks at Spicely Does It have sent me a real artisan’s treat. A sausage making machine complete with the basis to bang out my own chorizo sausages – how exciting! The kit, first of all, is superb. A compact machine capable of grinding a coarse mince with various attachments that has the added benefit of storing away easily after. Also included is clear instructions on how to make your own chorizo plus the casings and twine to secure the ends.
For this, I needed some top quality pork mince. I headed to Leicester Market and proceeded to clean them out of the days supply of pork mince. In addition to that I needed some smoked pancetta and a little red wine to complete the mix.
The key to sausage making, so i’m told, is to keep your ingredients as cold as possible while working the mix through the machine. After combining the mixture together, I placed the bowl covered with cling film into the fridge before beginning to make the sausages. Once the mix had chilled, I was ready to begin making chorizo.
The machine was a little tricky at first to get to grips with but as time went on it became easier. Rolling the casing onto the nozzle is simple – just be sure to tie a knot in the end so your filling doesn’t escape. Press down with the plunger onto the meat mixture, turn the handle to activate the grinder and before you know it a sausage begins to form out of the end.
I found that the casing produces quite a thin sausage to begin with but by drawing the casing back towards the nozzle you can pack the meat a lot tighter and into a larger sausage. I continued to grind the meat out and produce a sausage around 12 inches in length, the first one inevitably was not perfect but passable. Stick with it though, it does get better.
It took me to just after I snipped the twine to realise that you can just tie a slipknot into the twine and link all the sausages together. Oh well! I had committed to single knots so there was no going back. I managed to bang out 7 sausages all together before I ran out of time – fortunately the excess mixture can be made into chorizo burgers and frozen in vac-bags. Ideal for the BBQ this summer.
The pack instructs you to leave the sausages to hang in an airy, hygienic place. I chose my airing cupboard, mainly because of the slatted boards that I could tie the chorizos on to. It was quite a sight seeing these amazing looking products of my time hanging proudly. The guideline for the curing time is between 5-8 days depending on the airflow in your house.
When hanging the chorizo it’s a good idea to check for any air pockets. I went ahead and popped each one with a pin to ensure that this wouldn’t affect the quality of the final product. After 6 days the chorizos were firm to the touch and looked just like something that you would find hanging up at a Spanish market, truly amazing.
These sausages are ideal on a charcuterie board as they are fully cured. Slicing into my first was so exciting, the cross section was just like the authentic Spanish style of cured chorizo – not quite the bright red of the sausages we get over here.
The taste was sensational – a real deep, smoky flavour with that amazing cured texture, an absolute triumph. What I love about these chorizos is how versatile they are, you could eat it as it is, snack on it or add it into dishes – I ended up doing all three!
I made my way to Marks and Spencer to pick up something that caught my eye a few weeks back, Atlantic scallops. Usually from supermarkets the quality of scallops really isn’t that decent with the horrible grey offerings from the fish counter. These were bright white and inviting, perfect to go with some chorizo, parsley and a touch of lemon for an easy tapas dish.
I began by slicing up a chorizo and frying it gently in a little olive oil to infuse the flavour. Remove the chorizo and set aside, meanwhile turn the heat up and get the oil nice and hot. Add in the scallops and fry each side for around a minute or until golden brown but still juicy in the centre.
All that’s left to do now is to toss in chopped parsley, the cooked chorizo and a good squeeze of lemon along with seasoning. It’s so simple but incredibly delicious, sharp lemon with sweet scallop and smoky chorizo – absolutely perfect for a simple dinner or light lunch.
I can’t thank the guys at Spicely Does It enough. This has opened my mind to other possibilities of making my own sausages and charcuterie. You can order your very own kit here and join in the fun of making your own quality products from scratch. It’s so worth it!