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carlux

Making raw sausages at home in France

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Where I live, in the Perigord, we have lots of great foie gras, and good saucisse de Toulouse, but I decided I would like to start making my own sausages. We don't see Italian sausages here, let alone South African boerwors, both of which I have begun to make. So far I've used poitrine, usually with some filet mignon de porc. About to try echine, but not sure of proportions yet.

I've found a number of good North American sites with great recipes, but of course their ingredients, and their cuts of meat, are different.

I haven't found many French sites, possibly because most people here go to the charcuterie. Also many people are fairly conservative, and wouldn't be likely to make boerwors. So what I find are recipes for USING sausages, rather than making them.

So far it is the different cuts of meat that are the issue. I've found various drawings of little pigs with their parts described, and have been comparing French cuts with others. But there's not a lot of consistency even within one country, and certainly not between countries. (I was actually given a copy of Pork and Son, by Stephane Reynaud, and had to go out and buy the original version, Cochon et Fils, so that I could follow the recipes. Neither version expects you to be making your own sausges.)I can however get the casings, boyaux, at the butcher, which is no problem.

Does anyone know of a site that uses French cuts of meat for sausages? Language isnt an issue, I can easily follow the recipe in French, one I have the ingredients.

I have no interest in cured/smoked sausages, just raw. There must be other people doing this here.

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In France, sausage-making is considered a job for professionals. And the commercial products are so good that nobody feels the need to make them from scratch. Hence the relative rarity of available recipes.

But you can find some recipes on the Net if you google "saucisse fabrication" or "saucisse toulouse fabrication". I'll let you discover them.

You might for instance want to take a look at this page and try the links you'll find in the posts.

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You actually need quite a high fat content, so shoulder + belly (maybe 67/33) is a good start.

If you are talking about sausages for cooking, in English, I'd call them "fresh" sausages.

I'd reserve the word 'raw' for those that are not going to cooked - the dried/fermented types

An excellent tutorial book on technique is 'Charcuterie' by Ruhlman & Polcyn. The recipes (FOR sausage, not WITH sausage like 'Pork & Son') are a bit American, and 'authenticity' isn't high on the priority list! But its very good on technique, like cold mixing.

There's a big thread on eGullet about the book - here's the index http://egullet.org/charcuterieindex

Jane Grigson's 'Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery' is slightly dated (and accordingly heavy on the saltpetre) but high on the authenticity scale. However, I'd suggest that you see Ruhlman first; it'll help you appreciate the depth in Mrs G's writing.

There are many sausagemaking resources on the web, with lots of recipes, of variable provenance.

I'd suggest taking a look at the UK-based http://forum.sausagemaking.org/


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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For general purpose pork sausage making most butchers or supermarket will sell you ready ground pork (char). This makes a good base for simple sausage making.

I too make my own sausages and find this works pretty well especially as I don't have a grinder or for that matter a stuffer.

I just form my sausages by hand first then wrap them in cling film then roll them to the desired thickness. This works well & has the virtue of simplicity.

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Thanks for the suggestions.

Dave, the reason I want to make my own is so that I don't have to use chair a saucisse. Not that it's not good, but I want to know what I'm putting in. I have a grinder/sausage making attachment for my Kenwood Chef, which seems to work well. It's quite exciting seeing them come out and filling the casings.

Sorry about the bad English - I thought 'raw' sounded a little off. I think I will end up speaking two languages badly, or at least 'quirkily.'

The references to sausagemaking.org is great, as is the Jane Grigson reference. What I would really like is something like that written for France. I haven't found it yet.

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Although I haven't made sausages in France, I'm a reasonably experienced sausage maker in the US. Since I've been living in France the best cut I've found for the fat content of terrine is gorge de porc, and that's what I'd use for sausages where I wanted to keep the piece integrity, instead of the homogeneous texture offered by the chair à saucisse. I'd say you're best off with échine plus gorge, and I'd nix the filet. You really don't want any dry lean meat in the mix or you're liable to get crumbly sausage. So I'd try maybe 70% échine, 30% gorge, or maybe toss in 10% poitrine instead of part of the others. That ought to get you started, and then you can adjust the balance to your liking.

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I envy your Kenwood. Our last one was 115 volts for the states so didn't make the trip. The one before that was given to my sister-in-law when we moved to the states. Sometimes you just can't win. Maybe I should look on eBay.

Echine as Abra suggests is a good cut for sausage making. I don't think I'd use Gorge though. For added fat content any butcher will sell or even give you gras. Or you could even buy good quality lardons to grind, the smoked ones might be good in the right mix. I couldn't stand the waste of using poitrine just to get some fat.

Although its an American book if you can find a copy of "Pig by the Tail" it has an excellent chapter on sausage making with some excellent recipes. It you can't find it send me a PM & I should be able to help.

Good luck with it.

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Reporting back: I have been using half echine, half poitrine (maybe it's a waste, but it seems to work) Have found a recipe with fennel seeds, paprika, lots of pepper, which so far has wowed my French friends and neighbours and visiting American buddies. Still experimenting, but so far it's fun, and successful.

Too bad you left your Kenwood behind, Dave. I brought mine, at 115v, with me from Canada, and used it successfully with a transformer. I just got tired of lugging the machine and the tranformer onto the counter when I wanted to use it. So, given the original machine was 30 years old, I decided to upgrade to a Kenwood Chef Titanium, attractive enough that I could leave it on the counter, and nix the transformer.

If you get one, just hope you never have to get service for it - on another thread I have detailed (some of) my 8 months without a machine and with no response from Kenwood , following a visit to their authorized service agent. Too bad, as the machine works well, and the meat grinding accessory in particular is strong and well designed.

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I'm still envious of the Ken wood. Maybe Santa Clause will get generous or I'll get brave enough to buy a used one on eBAy.

One of my favorite sausage recipes also involves fennel, but I pair it with garlic and oregano. I'll try your recipe using my crude rolling method.

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I'll try your recipe using my crude rolling method.

I'm not sure from reading your posts, but are you putting your sausages in casings at all? If you want to use casings, you could try a funnel for stuffing sausages. I use a nalgene funnel with a tube opening of about 20mm. Model No. 78014 here:

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/variant.asp?catalog_name=usplastic&category_name=25422&product_id=20578&variant_id=78014

It's slow, but it works, and you do become faster once you get the hang of it. I listen to music and stuff sausage. :biggrin:

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I'm still envious of the Ken wood. Maybe Santa Clause will get generous or I'll get brave enough to buy a used one on eBAy.

One of my favorite sausage recipes also involves fennel, but I pair it with garlic and oregano. I'll try your recipe using my crude rolling method.

For sausage stuffing a piston stuffer is massively better than a screw-feed unit (such as a mincer ('grinder') with a 'horn' on the front). Its much easier to use, and it makes better sausages. Better? Yes really - if you are trying to maintain an interestingly varied texture. A screw-feeder is fine if you are after a uniform homogenous 'banger' effect. Lots of comments in the Charcuterie thread in the main cooking forum.

Kenwood mincers. The A720 fits antique 700 series machines - only. The 900 series and KM machines can take either the A920 or the better, newer A950, which has bigger plates (and two different sized stuffing horms). So check the model number on the serial number sticker/plate BEFORE buying bits!

BTW, the Electrolux DLX mincer makes even the A950 look like a toy.

And incidentally, for anyone with an old 110 volt Kenwood, you can get an overhauled 240 volt (replacement) complete motor unit for about £26 in the UK - so overseas postage extra. Makes it a 240v machine! Same chap does refurbished gearboxes too, btw ...

http://www.kenwoodchefusedmixersandspares.co.uk/cat2.cfm?recordID=13918


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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... Maybe Santa Clause will get generous ...

As Chico Marx famously said "You can't a fool a me, there ain't no sanity clause". :biggrin:


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Ruhlman's book is awful. The brine percentages are far too high and the more accurate gram measurements are round up or down to even numbers. Grigson's book is noteworthy for its traditional recipes but for proper formulations based on percentages of initial meat, consider Len Poli, the definitive intertron cured meat resource. While Poli does not use curing salt (#1, sodium nitrite) for many of his fresh sausages, such salts (stable variations of salpêtre) will give the cooked meat a more pleasant pink appearance rather than brown. Shoulder by itself provides an acceptabe lean/fat ratio on its own for fresh sausage.

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