I love sausages but always feel a bit funny about not knowing what’s in them, I know there are some really good quality ones out there but if I can make my own I will!
Not having access to a proper sausage making machine I thought the next best thing to a sausage in a skin would be a sausage in a naturally delicious skin- of more pork!
I’ve served these up with an Autumnal rosti of pumpkin and potato but these components will mix and match up beautiful with plenty of other tasty bits.
Sausage Ingredients (to make 8 sausages):
750g lean pork mince
6 cream crackers
A stalk of fresh sage- about 6 large leaves
Salt and pepper
8 slices of parma ham (or any thin cured ham, you can use streaky bacon as long as it very, very thin)
Rosti ingredients (makes 4 rosti):
350g pumpkin (sugar pumpkin is best- you can use butter nut squash if pumpkin is not available)
350g white potato
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1 small red onion
2 rashers of smoky bacon
Splash balsamic vinegar
½ glass red wine- I used Malbec
300ml pork stock
Salt and pepper
Start by finely crushing the cream crackers then peel and finely chopping the apple to a very small dice. A small dice will mean little pockets of sweet apple nestled in the finished sausage. If you would rather an overall sweeter flavour to the sausage then you could grate the apple.
Place the crackers, apple and pork into a large bowl and scrunch together. I really recommend using your hands to do this as it means you can really squash the ingredients together and get the pork mince very smooth.
Finely chop the sage and sprinkle into the pork along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper then mix in well.
To test the seasoning, pinch off a teaspoon sized piece of the pork and fry until cooked- add more salt, pepper or sage to taste.
When you are happy with your flavours, divide up the meat into 8 portions, they will be generous!
Hand form the portions into fat sausage shapes, place a sausage on the end of a piece of parma ham. Roll at a slight angle along the ham so that it spirals around the sausage meaning the mince is completely covered by the ham.
Repeat with the rest of the mince portions then place on a wire rack on top of a baking tray to oven bake, this means any excess fat will drip away and the parma ham will have a nice crisp to it.
The sausages will take about 25 minutes to cook in the oven at 185c- if you are serving them with the rosti then don’t pop them in the oven just yet, but if you are serving them with something simple like mash then get them cooking.
To make the rosti, peel and grate the pumpkin and potato then press into a fine sieve to get rid of as much moisture as you can. This will make sure your rosti is nice and crispy on the outside rather than soggy.
In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin and potato together so that they are well combined. Shake over the spices, salt and pepper and mix well.
Heat some butter or oil (your preference) in a large frying pan ready to fry the rosti. You can form the rosti one of a few different ways: Hand form for a more rustic look; use a metal ring in the pan to form the sides and compress with a spoon or (as I did) press the rosti mixture into an individual tart tin then turn upside down and tap into the frying pan so you have a perfectly formed patty.
Fry on each side for about 5 minutes on a medium high heat, so that they are a lovely golden brown and there is a crispy ‘skin’ that knits together the potato and pumpkin strands on the top and bottom of each rosti.
Transfer to a baking tray, or if your frying pan is oven proof just leave them in the pan, and pop in the oven for about 25 minutes at 185c. If you are serving these with the sausages, add these to the oven now as well so they are ready together.
While the sausages and rosti bake, get on with the gravy.
Cut the onion in half and finely dice one hemisphere and slice the other. The fine dice create flavour whilst the slices will provide texture.
Dice the bacon and add to a medium hot pan with a drizzle of oil and fry until most of the fat has rendered down and melted into the pan, add the onions and continue to fry until soft and translucent.
Turn up the heat under the pan until the onions sizzle furiously and splash in the balsamic and wine immediately. You want the pan to be hot enough to reduce the liquid quickly and burn off the alcohol but not burn the onions.
Let the liquid bubble away and reduce then add the pork stock, turn the heat down and leave to simmer away for about 10/15 minutes-about the time the sausages and rosti are ready!
Serve up with a nice glass of red wine for a lovely warming wintery meal.