Having thoroughly enjoyed making sausages for the BBQ I decided to have another go, though with a more traditional method.
My previous attempt used a kit from Lakeland, with dried beef casings and a premixed seasoning/filler. This time I wanted to use traditional natural hog casings and an organic breadcrumb filler.
The natural casings came pre-spooled and just need a little rinsing before threading them onto the sausage stuffer, they’re far more flexible than the Lakeland ones and stuffing went much smoother. I got the filling and spices from Weschenfelder, whose ‘Gold’ mix is gorgeous, lots of nutmeg and sage. I used a dried organic breadcrumb filler which gave a beautiful moist texture.
I decided to just fry them rather than giving them a spell in the sous vide or poaching them first. The skins held together really well and browned in to a far crispier texture than the beef casings. The result was great, porky, rich and with a subtle savoury hint. Next time I’m going to try some more interesting flavours – pork and apple beckons.
I made a large mix of sausage meat so I decided to make some rolls as well. Having never made puff pastry from scratch I thought it would be fun to try making it from scratch. The results are great, a lovely light savoury pastry with a yummy moist filling.
A colleague told me about this fantastic little place just behind South Kensington tube station. It’s a pretty comprehensive wine merchant, with an excellent champagne selection, but the real selling point? Wine vending machines. You get a little card which you can charge up and then use to sample around 80 wines which rotate every couple of weeks. It’s a great chance to try some more unusual wines and sample some very expensive ones. I was delighted to discover they had a coupe of vintages from one of my favourite producers – Domaine de Pegau, its very hard to find! They also offer swanky nibbles and a cheese board – ill definitely be back to sample that!
The perfect brownie is a bit of a minefield – some people like it dense and cakey, others want an airy sponge and thick rich fudge is also popular. I’ve done several recipes recently but my sister said I had to try these.
It’s a Good Housekeeping recipe, which really takes the ratios to the extreme – 550g of dark chocolate to 75g of flour. It’s pretty dense! Judging when it’s cooked is very difficult, it’s forms a thin crust very quickly so you need to keep prodding it with a knife to double check. The verdict?
Fab – really really good. I like a little more ‘cake’ to it, but this is an excellent recipe if you want something slightly airier!