lunes, 3 de agosto de 2009

Chorizo Criollo and Chimmichurri recipies

A special Summer Bar-B-Que recipe – Chorizo Criollo and thanks to El Turco’s Brother-in-Law in Argentina for sending me this – makes about 2 Kilos

1.25 kilo minced shoulder of pork.
1 kilo minced beef.
44gr. salt.
10 gr. ground ‘aji’ (you can substitute cayenne pepper seed for this).
4 gr. ground black pepper.
2 gr. ground nutmeg.
6 cloves of garlic.
1 glass of white wine.
3 gr. ground fennel seeds.

The meat mix should only be minced once to get the right consistency.
Mix up the spices and mix into the meat well.
Heat the wine, add the garlic cloves (crushed) and boil for three minutes, strain and add the garlic to the mix.
Leave the whole mix, covered, in the fridge for about 10 hours then stuff it into your preferred casings.
You could always ask the Proper Sausage Company to do it for you.

No bar-b would be complete without Chimmichurri sauce. It goes with any kind of meat from the grill
300 ml. Olive oil.
200 ml. Red wine vinegar (you can experiment with proportions or types of vinegar though I'm begining to find that less vinegar is better).
2 Tbsp. orégano
2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper (crushed type are better than ground)
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 Tsp. salt
1 cup of chopped, fresh parsley
1 Tsp. thyme
1 pinch of ground black pepper

Mix it all well together and leave to stand in the fridge for a few hours before using - Tip; Don't blend it or whizz it as it ruins it - I know.

The Mega-Stuffer

The Proper Sausage Company are proud to announce the arrival of a smart piece of hardware, none other than a 'Trespade' Mark 5V sausage stuffer, this will make our lives so much easier and allow us to produce even more. Another great piece of news is it looks as if we have a backer so things will be going global. Meanwhile, our products are available from the usual outlets.

domingo, 24 de mayo de 2009

How to make sausages Part 4

So here's a straightforward, basic, traditional breakfast sausage recipe. As I've said before, the beauty of this is you get out what you put in so if ground clove or nutmeg doesn't do it for you, leave them out and try something else.

1 K minced pork shoulder

1gm ground black pepper

1gm ground clove

1gm ground nutmeg

1gm thyme

20gm salt

100gm rusk (I use the dried breadcrumb type known in Spain as 'pan rallado')

A couple of cups of water, enough to moisten the mix but not too much as to turn it into a pasty goo as you will then be faced with exploding sausages which is where the word 'banger' came from. Apparently, in England during the Second World War, sausages contained quite a lot of water and were prone to burst so if the Luftwaffe didn't get you, the sausage would.

jueves, 21 de mayo de 2009

How to make sausages Part 3

So you've bought a kilo of (minced) pork, it saves time if you can get the butcher to mince it once for you. Now you make up the secret recipe. There are loads of recipies available in THE BOOK or on d'Internet. A handy thing to have is a small weighing scales, the type favoured by anorexics and drug dealers. I got a digital one that measures in tenths of grammes. It's useful for weighing out spice, herb, salt and rusk. It's a good idea to make a note of what and how much you put in to a batch, this way you can repeat the success or learn from the mistake. By the way, you eat your mistakes. Useful guidelines are up to 15% of rusk, I use 10%, and less than 3% salt, so for example for a 1K. batch I'd use 100g. of rusk and 20g. of salt. Mix it all up and put it in the fridge to chill, you could also put the mincing part of the machine in the fridge too as the whole process works much better when everything is chilled. Crack a beer and chill for an hour or so. The skin should be soaking in water. Make sausages. Interesting tip; though I've never tried it, you don't need loads of machinery, you can actually stuff a sausage by using a piping bag, the thing your mother used to put dainty floral arrangements on birthday cakes. There's only one way to do it and that's jumping off the top board in Blackrock baths without looking down. Fresh sausages will keep for up to 5 days but it's always a good idea to freeze a few for a rainy day or if you want to impress members of the opposite sex with your handy work, assuming that your patois, chocolates and dubious choice of lighting and/or music are going nowhere.

miércoles, 20 de mayo de 2009

How to make sausages. Part 2

As with most things on the planet, you only get out of a sausage what you put into it. The raw ingredients are fundemental and the choice of them will only dictate how seriously you want your sausages to be taken. This is a kind of neat lifestyle philosophy which can be applied to babies or investment banking.

Skins or 'casings' as they're known in the trade are one of the secrets to a good product. Keep away from synthetic or dried casings as they affect the final product. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A VEGETETARIAN CASING, or at least as insofar as I've been able to find. All synthetic casings will contain some animal. More of that later. By far and away the best casing is fresh 'hog' or 'sheep'. It comes prepared, covered in rock-salt and in lenghts of about 25 M. Any you don't use can be covered in salt and stored in the fridge for later. The sheep casing has a smaller diameter so make sure you have the right nozzel for that. In Madrid I get my casings (and spices) in 'Casa Pajuelo', C/Atocha 95, Metro Anton Martin, they also do excellent honey (bring your own jar) and herbal teas.

Meat. It's a good idea to get to know your butcher and aquaint him or her of your intentions. Even if they don't make sausages, they will know where you're coming from. The best pork cut is shoulder ('magro' in Spanish) as it contains a good ratio of fat to meat which is very important. Don't think that you can make a good lean sausage - it's a contradiction in terms. A good sausage must have between 5% and 10% of fat to make it 'cook'. If you are going to use beef as well (good bar-b-que saussies demand this) splash out and get steak.

Herb, spice, rusk and sex.

It's a good idea to expand your spice rack and get in special quantities of ground black pepper, ground nutmeg, ground clove, cayenne pepper, thyme, cumin, salt and whatever you think would look good wrapped in the aforementioned hog casing. Oh and the sex, apparently hog casing was, and maybe still is, used as a prophylactic to prevent the spread of nasty disease as opposed to birth-control or worse still, holding hands and watching the sun go down.

Don't be put off if your first attempt looks like this. It was delicious.

How to make Sausages. Part 1

OK. So you want to make your own sausages - Easy Peasy.

First you need 'The Book', the best one I've found, or rather was given for Christmas is 'The Sausage Book' by Paul Peacock. It's published by 'Farming Books and Videos' and it's funny code is ISBN 978-1-904871-17-0. It's full of useful easy-to-understand tips as well as some demon recipies (more of that later) as well as some great contacts for supplies e.g. who I've used for bits and pieces. Another book, American, is 'The Sausage-Making Cookbook' by Jerry Predika, published by 'Stackpole Books', Ref: ISBN 0-8117-1693-7, it has loads of recipies as well as serious advice on curing and smoking.

You need a machine.

I bought the Anthony Wirrel Thompson Meat grinder and Sausage maker in Argos for about 100€. It's electric and does the business and can also provide you with great mince for meatloaf, burgers and so on, the BEAUTY being that you decide what to put in it. I regularly make 20K+ of sausage with this at one go and it's held up for a year. You can also get hand-crank mincers in any good hardware shop, make sure they provide the all-important nozzels for sausage stuffing

Sausages will travel

I asked The Irish Times for permission to post part of an travel article about Corsica but they never bothered replying so here are some extracts;
Corsica is a perfect destination for the hungry hiker, writes Elgy Gillespie, especially if you’re a fan of all things sausage.
But after a week of hiking through rosy peaks and dining on Corsican sausage wolfed on crusty bread by mountain pools, my hiking buddy and I threw our picnic knife down.
Enough sausage. Enough, we moaned, of wild-boar saucisson, of donkey sausage, of mule chipolatas, of pork terrines, pâté de campagne and rillettes de horse. Especially rillettes de horse. Assez de saucisson.
Why so much sausage? Wild boars and goats, cows and sheep wander Corsica’s canyons willy-nilly, grazing on aromatic mountain thyme, marjoram, laurel, lavender, lemon balm, scratchy rosemary and a strong local mint known as maquis . This is how Napoleon said Corsica smelled. If you are what you eat, Corsican pigs are made of maquis herbs, and Corsicans of sausages and maquis.
So we grazed on boar, extra-smoky liver sausages called figatelli , home-made coppa and tenderloin, wild boar ragout, omelettes of brocciu, or rosemary-encrusted goat’s cheese, and Fleur de Maquis ewe cheese with fig jam.
That’s just snacks – le fooding, as they say in France. It’s washed down with amber Pietra beer, perfumed with local chestnuts, maquis herbs and honey, rough red wines, eau de vie or, failing that, Orezza mineral water – iron-rich and somehow tastier.
Where to go
The Scala de Santa Regina. En route to Albertucce, this back mountain road winds around ravines and passes before eventually bringing you to the charming village of Evisa and from there to the sea.
The Les Calanches rocks. These red and orange granite outcroppings are on the famous coastal road from Porto to Cargèse, an hour northwest of Ajaccio on D81 to Calvi. Cargèse is worth a closer look, thanks to its strong Greek links.
Ajaccio. The port town is more sophisticated than bustling, vivid Bastia.
Don’t miss Napoleon’s birthplace, a fascinating place to browse (rue Saint-Charles, 00-33-495-214389).
The Fesch Museum. 50-52 Rue Cardinal Fesch,
Ajaccio Cathedral. Rue Forcioli Conti, 00-33-495-210767. This ancient building is never locked.
Beaches. The Corsican capital also has many sandy beaches, fine dining options, a good fish market and high- and low-end shopping options.
Hiking tips
For rando à liberte-style hiking, where your bags travel ahead to the next comfy bed, try Vagabondages (, 00-33-495-786519) or Grande Angle (, 00-33476-952300).
Buy walking sticks. You might think they’re geezer-like but you’ll change your mind when you are half-way up Restonica.
On the rails
For one of the greatest train rides of your life, take the Bastia route on the “trinighellu” to the citadel and Vizzavona ( corsica/uk/venir/move/fer.htm). From Corte, this tiny train winds around crags and past ravines and over Eiffel’s bridge to Vizzavona for €10.80. It’s an unforgettable ride.
Thank you Irish Times - I'm there next hols.

martes, 12 de mayo de 2009

Nuff said

Another bloddy telly chef

viernes, 1 de mayo de 2009

We do French

As part of the ever expanding Proper Sausage Corporation, we now do French. Well, it's my French homework for the weekend and what better way to do it than with a Proper ad'. Also it's the 2nd. May when the people of Madrid rose up and told the French to go and stuff a sausage in it. Although a lot of Madrileños were slaughtered in the uprising, they did manage to get rid of 'Los Gabachos' however, there are rumours of a secret meeting place in a bunker near Santo Domingo where clandestine groups meet to practice FRENCH and above all, torture newcomers with subjunctives.

miércoles, 29 de abril de 2009

Proper Cider

I was challenged to produce a bottle of 'Proper Cider', never a good idea on my birthday week when my intelligence quotient is inversely proportional to the amount of cider consumed - I 'produced' a bottle of Proper Cider - well I re-labled a bottle of fine Asturian Sidra. I'm not going to turn my kitchen and bathroom into a cider press just yet.

viernes, 24 de abril de 2009

A new logo for the girls and maybe some boys too

Some comments have been made which leads me to believe that some people think our logo is 'sexist' or 'feminist'. Just get a grip. Freud said 'there are times when a cigar is just a cigar', I have made an extra proper effort and pulled out all the stops to come up with a logo for the girlies. I hope you like it, there's loads more where that came from. Oh and by the way, if you want some sort of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada pink flowery stuff you are on the wrong blog and you should be at home with your cats munching on a warm rocket salad and balsamic cheese and toasted nuts.

jueves, 23 de abril de 2009

Another batch is squeezed out

A very successful eveng was had making another 20 kilos of sausages at our secret location. We have decided not to continue with the curry line as only a few people went for them - your loss, though the recipe is there and available on request. I'm going to try a blue cheese variety soon and the bar-b-que season is starting so watch this space...

A slightly rude sausage joke

This is the first of the sausage jokes, not a great on but you've got to start somewhere. This one has been around the planet more times than a fart in a spaceman's suit;

Seamus and Murphy fancied a pint or two but didn't have a lot of money between them, they could only raise the staggering sum of one Euro.Murphy said 'Hang on, I have an idea.'He went next door to the butcher's shop and came out with one large sausage.Shamus said 'Are you crazy? Now we don't have any money left at all!'Murphy replied, 'Don't worry - just follow me.'He went into the pub where he immediately ordered two pints of Guinness and two glasses of Jamieson Whisky.Seamus said 'Now you've lost it. Do you know how much trouble we will be in? We haven't got any money!!'Murphy replied, with a smile. 'Don't worry, I have a plan , Cheers! 'They downed their Drinks. Murphy said, 'OK, I'll stick the sausage through my zipper and you go on your knees and put it in your mouth.'The barman noticed them, went berserk, and threw them out.They continued this, pub after pub, getting more and more drunk, all for free.At the tenth pub Seamus said 'Murphy - I don't think I can do any more of this. I'm drunk and me knees are killing me!'Murphy said, 'How do you think I feel? I can't even remember which pub I lost the sausage in.'

martes, 31 de marzo de 2009

Onion Gravy

Finally Aafke got to try a sausage and she she did it in no better company than the wonderful Marie, though any future communal sausage activities will have to be monitored by the ethics committee. They made hot-dogs, a particulary Dutch thing, not surprising considering that Aafke is a Dutchess, a refugee from sausage persecution in the Nederlands. They also made onion gravy, a noble venture which seemed to have fulfilled expectations. I include my own particular recipe for onion gravy. This version is the medieval one which requires you to individually grow the onions as well as employing scullery staff in the chopping of said Allium;

3 - 4 large onions, thinly sliced in rings, ideally including at least 1 or 2 red or sweet onions
400 ml chicken or beef stock
100 ml of red wine or beer - personally I'd use Murphy's Red as there is no way you can drink the stuff.
75 g butter
2 teaspoons French mustard (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy pan and cook the onion on the hob for 20 minutes, stirring frequently until soft
Turn the heat down low, do not cover the pan and cook until the onions are brown, this should take around 1 hour or more, dont rush it, leave them cooking and read the paper, recommended newspapers are; The Irish Times weekend and literary supplement or any part of The Daily Telegraph. The long, slow cooking gives the depth of taste and colour to the gravy
Add the stock, wine/beer, Worcestershire sauce and mustard
Bring the gravy to the simmer, stir frequently, check the seasoning and serve.

Marie's fingers are optional and are available in a variety of nail colours.

martes, 3 de marzo de 2009

Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers is one of the best comedy series ever and that's a fact. Over thirty years old and still getting laughs, not like Russel bloody Grant. Anyway, the classic 'The Kipper and the Corpse' episode 10 has more than one sausage reference. Dr. Price (Geoffrey Palmer) wants sausages for breakfast, so does Mrs.Chase (Mavis Pugh) for her little Chitzu. Polly gives the dog bangers 'a la bang', there's a corpse upstairs, British Leyland are on strike and Dr. Price is left without his saussies (wouldn't happen in Triskel). His great line is ' I'm a doctor and I've got to have my sausages...'

Mash it up

One of the milestones in the history of 'The Proper Sausage' was passed last Sunday (1st Feb) when we were allowed experiment on humans. The occasion was the Carling Cup Final and the venue was Triskel Tavern in Madrid, Spain. Pilar, the regular chef and who supplies needy nourishment to the hungover on most Saturday and Sunday mornings, had the day off. So Wendy, ever mindeful of the epicurian requirements of the clientel on such momentus occasions i.e. footy on a Sunday, offered Bristol Dave and myself the chance to show what our Proper Sausages are made of, or made into rather. If you weren't there, tough, you'll have to wait 'til the next time.

From little piggies, big saussies grow

Hello, this is the first of, what I hope will be a journey 'round planet sausage. Some of the stories, history, myths, legends, links (pun intended), recipies and up-dates on the ever-developing 'Proper Sausage Company', operating from Madrid, Spain.

"Snorkers - good oh!" was uttered by First Lt. Bennet (played by Stanley Baker) on board the 'Compass Rose', in that great war classic 'The Cruel Sea' (1953) starring Jack Hawkins. Baker wasn't a particularly likeable chap but he did like his 'snorkers'. 'Snorker' was the name given by submariners, so I'm reliably informed, to 'Palethorpe's' pre-cooked tinned sausages during WWII

NOTE; for 'BRITISH' substitute 'IRISH', 'SCOTTISH', 'WELSH', 'TRADITIONAL' or whatever floats your boat.


Great sizzler o’ the banger race,

Wi ye a’ luv tae fill ma face.

Mix’d wi’ stilton, herbs or apple,

Ye still a’ welcome doon ma thrapple.

Unlike haggis filled wi’ oat an’ offal,

Why did’nae Burns aboot ye waffle?

Ye’re nae sleekit lak a chipolata,

Which weel hardly mak a breckie starter.

But as ye lie mid wad and rashers,

Saliva slobbers roond ma gnashers.

So al’ ye luvers o’ a bit o’ porker.

Gie a grand “Och Aye”….