This is a traditional Scottish recipe, not my own. The only variation from tradition is that I minced my own meat – too much crap gets hidden in commercial mince. If you trust your butcher, then by all means buy mince. Don’t be tempted to use turkey mince because it’s healthier than pork – you’ll just wind up with meat-flavoured cardboard – all forms of sausage need fat.
Of course, if you live in Scotland, your local butcher might well make this, but here in England the only rectangular sausage I’ve ever seen is Belcher’s, which is fine, but hard to find.
Lorne Sausage Recipe.
1kg minced beef (I used Tesco casserole steak**)
1kg minced belly pork (Steadmans – I buy almost all my meat there now)
2 measuring cups bread crumbs ***
2tsp white pepper
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground coriander
2 large, free-range, eggs
**Best not bought online as the quality varies wildly. Braising steak is also good, but not stewing cuts, like shin.
***I make my own, not from left-over stale bread, but from fresh. I bake a loaf just for crumbs (50-50 white flour and wholemeal, my standard loaf), slice it and dry the slices on top of a radiator (or you could use a low oven, especially if you have pets, but don’t let it brown). Once dry I put the slices in a plastic bag (double bagged in case one splits), and beat with a rolling-pin to break up roughly, then blitz until fine in a blender or food processor (you’ll have to do it in small batches in a blender). Put into fresh doubled plastic bags, seal, and store in the fridge away from strong flavours.
I used Tesco’s beef because I had it in the freezer. I’d made the Lorne sausage and eaten some of it before I remembered that you shouldn’t refreeze raw meat – so don’t. In my defence, I haven’t had the best week! Anyway, I came to no harm.
I skinned the pork, taking care not to waste too much fat, and cut it and the beef into bite-sized pieces, removing as much connective tissue as possible, and any fibrous, wet, fat on the pork – the smaller you cut it the easier it is to mince – then added the spices and seasoning, and mixed it all together thoroughly.
There’s no better way to do this than getting your hands in, and I wear disposable vinyl gloves for handling the meat at all stages – good hygiene is paramount when making sausages.
Spoonie note: If you want to do this over two days, stop here and put the meat back in the fridge, tightly covered with clingfilm, but don’t add the salt as it will draw liquid from the meat.
I minced it first with the medium plate, and again on fine – I figured the finer the texture, the less likely it was to crumble when sliced. Turned out I was right. This gives a quite dense, meaty texture, though, so if you want it lighter just mince on medium and take care when slicing, which is what I intend to do next time.
Add the crumbs to the mince (and if this is day 2 add the salt too), and mix – hands again – until no crumbs are visible
Mix really well by hand then place in a 2lb loaf tin – Sainsbury’s have a suitable one (some allegedly 2lb loaf tins are absurdly small), lined with clingfilm. It doesn’t have to be a loaf tin – any suitably-shaped container will do. After all, it only has to hold the meat in shape while it chills.
Place in the freezer for a little while till it’s well set (this depends on your freezer, some recipes say 30 minutes, I found 60 about right), you want it chilled to firmness, not frozen.
Remove it and slice** to the thickness you like (half an inch is about right***), and put them into freezer bags, or interleave with greaseproof paper of Cellophane sheets, bag, seal, and freeze. When required, defrost and fry in a little fat or oil until browned and cooked through. With care they can be cooked from frozen.
**I tried a chefs’ knife, a carver, a Santoku, and a scalloped-edge bread knife – the latter gave by far the best results, followed by the carver. Don’t use a serrated knife.
***Thicker is better, as the slices lose moisture when fried, and for this reason frying is a better option than grilling, unless you have a commercial Salamander. If you want it thin, I suggest adding a little water, say about 150ml.
And there’s no reason why you can’t use a burger press to make a round version, though the virtue – and, I think, the point – of the rectangle is that it fits a slice of bread nicely.
I was initially wary of using nutmeg, and was intending to go with ground mace, which is more usual with meat. However, I found I actually had a jar of ground nutmeg, recently bought judging by the BBE date – though I don’t recall buying it, or why, but I’ve clearly used some – so I went with that and it works really well.
Taste note: Having tasted it both frozen and unfrozen, it seems to me that freezing mutes the spicing quite a bit, so next time I intend to increase it by 50%. Possibly the seasoning too, as it could certainly use more. You might want to do what I did, and make half the quantity first, to see how it suits your own taste.
There is no reason why any sausage mix can’t be made in this way, with the addition of egg to bind it – wish I’d thought of that before shelling out on a sausage stuffing machine! On the other hand, “proper” sausages can be added to other dishes, where Lorne might fall to bits.
I’ve given this 2 spoons on the assumption that most people will buy mince rather than make their own (ordinary beef mince, not lean). If, like me, you prefer to make your own, add 2 more, as there’s a lot more work and mincers are a right bugger to wash.