Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Mystery bags no more

It's 2 am and the power has gone out. You know where your one and only torch is - it's lying near your son's bed, an important emergency tool easily doubling as an amusement piece and just one more toy with which to channel funds to Energizer or Duracell. 

You can't see an inch in front of your face, but sense of direction is the easy bit- what makes this quest challenging is the fact that you know full-well the usual state of your kids' bedroom floor. 

The probability of stepping on a piece of Lego or a truck with little sharp exhaust stacks pointing upward is exceptionally high. But you need the torch, so you bravely venture through the minefield and when you do inevitably pick that plastic 'whatever' out of your foot, the knowledge that you had expected it makes it no-less unpleasant. 

Of course it's an over-dramatic comparison, but that is roughly how I feel when eating a sausage bought from a shop. Any shop. I love sausages, little plastic cases full of fatty meat and who-knows-what-else, but I absolutely hate the inevitable sensation of biting down on some unknown animal part - collectively known to me as 'gristle'. Gristle is probably bone or cartilage, but also possibly some random piece of offal or anything the butcher swept off the cutting bench and into the grinder. My brain doesn't really care that I don't know what it is, all it cares about is the message it is getting from my gums, teeth and tongue i.e. "ewww, that was bloody awful". 

So despite my love of the mystery-bag/snag/banger, the nagging thought in the back of my head has grown into a knocking intruder who shouts "you're a bloody idiot for putting that shit in your mouth".

So I got one of these, the Tefal LaHachoir 800W meat mincer:
Presumably an image to send shivers down the back of a vegan's spine
La Hachoir is apparently French for "The Chopper", which I thought was brilliant. If it was made in any English-speaking country I'd expect it to be called something ridiculous like the Gladiator 3000. 

Adding some nice fatty pork shoulder and some sheep and pig intestines from an online supplier:

It's probably wrong on a number of levels that the intestines remind me of both umbilical cord and a foreskin, but anyway, I got to work:
They're not uniform or pretty, but it was my 2nd attempt so give me a break
And my love for sausages has bloomed. Partly because when I make something myself I am inherently biased, but mostly because I can safely bite into these wonderful fatty meat sacks, secure in the knowledge that I will definitely not strike a gristly, nasty, funky glob of yuk. 

100% fatty meat, herbs and spices in an intestine casing:
Presentation is not one of my strong points

Granted, if you don't like sausages, you're unlikely to go to the effort I have here. If you are partial to some piggy deliciousness, I can attest to the satisfaction of making your own.