sábado, 27 de marzo de 2010

Cumberland sausage

The 'Cumberland Gap' by Lonnie Donnegan was No. 1 on the day I was born and one of my favourite series of books as a child (apart from 'Biggles') was 'Swallows and Amazons' by Arthur Ransome about the exploits of a group of kids in The Lake District. There was also a H.M.S. Cumberland which went all over the place.

Anyway, the Cumberland sausage has been requested by a potential client and who am I to stand in the way of progress. The sausage is normally presented in a large coil and then either baked whole or sold in lengths, it's ideal with mash and gravy. The raw ingredient for this was the Cumberland pig, a breed that died out in the 60's but has since been re-created genetically.

The Cumberland sausage's main characteristics are a courser mince and a reliance more on spice than herb although I think I will have to go there to find out.

To make 1 kilo, more or less. By the time butchers have finished adding bits and with rusk and water it can come in at 1.5k but the spice mix is constant;

900 gm pork shoulder

100gm fat

100 ml water

The mix;

20 gm salt

10 gm black pepper

3.3 gm nutmeg

.3 gm marjoram

1 gm ground cayenne pepper

.5 gm sage

100 gm rusk

Get your butcher to coarse-mince the meat and fat once, they can also just mince it once with their normal plate, end of story, sometimes a butcher might be reticent to start taking his mincing machine apart at 12:30 on a Saturday midday with a counter full of anxious shoppers, none of whom want to make sausages. This is where having your own little machine comes in handy.

Make up the mix and add to the meat.

Add water, just enough to make it 'sticky' but not enough as to turn it into a paste - way too much.

Chill the meat, drink cider, talk to women, watch Star Trek, footie, rugby...This process is quite important as it allows the mix to permeate and there are some discreet chemical things happening too and I'm not talking about the mixture of cider, women and Star Trek.

Stuff into hog casing.

As with most sausages, they are best left overnight in the fridge to 'bind' before cooking.