Monday, February 29, 2016
Homemade Mini Bangers
Mrs. Featherbottom is my favorite English nanny; sorry Nanny McPhee.
I bought a meat grinder attachment and then I bought a sausage extruding attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer a little while ago. I thought about what kind of sausage I wanted to try making for my first go around. I considered breakfast sausage and Italian sausage, but considering that they're both readily available at my local grocery (and already pretty delicious), I thought I'd give something a bit less accessible a go. My sister brought up an amazing sausage we had at the Wetherspoon's chain at the London Victoria station years ago. It was a super tender, soft sausage that made us go wide-eyed. That settled it: I was going to try and make a banger.
Bangers got their name from their tendency to explode during cooking. During WWI, the sausage mixture was literally watered down (with water) and with bread. The increased moisture content would cause the mixture to expand drastically and split the casings. I decided to go with smaller sausages, which I thought would help prevent the splitting phenomenon (because that makes it harder for the sausages to cook evenly). And, I thought it would be cuter.
I didn't water down my sausage mixture with water but I did add breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs give the sausages a more tender texture, which is exactly what I was going for. I used fresh thyme and grated nutmeg because I like the way they taste with pork but I think sage is also a common seasoning (and I think it would be delicious). I had actually bought sage to use in this recipe but I guess it fell out of the cart at the store. It worked out in the end though, because the thyme was fragrant enough and the sausages turned out delicious.
3 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped (or sage)
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup breadcrumbs
+ ⅜" sausage casing
By the way, this whole week is going to be dedicated to English fare.
These turned out so good. The casings had a nice snap, the filling was delicious and tender, the seasonings were on point, and I'm so happy I have about two pounds left in the freezer which I will happily enjoy over the next few months.