Recent years have seen the rise of the rock star butcher. Sure your traditional butchers are still around but in order to compete with the cheap meat on offer at supermarkets, butcher shops are differentiating themselves with top produce, top service and even a little bit of glamour. Think Victor Churchill in Sydney which looks like a cross between a modern art gallery and part butchers shop. Now one of the big name Sydney butchers has arrived in Melbourne – Hudson Meats – cannily located in the centre of Toorak.
The Hudson Meats shop is for carnivorous adults what a candy store is to kids. Besides huge sides of beef hanging proudly on display there are all manners of delicious looking pickles, charcuterie and even pastas to tempt your wallet. Hudson Meats also runs various classes and I was invited along to a special sausage making class as part of Good Food Month.
It was a really enjoyable class with butcher Micah (complete with regulation tatts) demonstrating how to hand make sausages, then letting us loose with a couple of kilos of mince and some pigs intestines to have a go ourselves. A few glasses of wine and a top shelf charcuterie platter helped tide us over. We all walked out with about fifteen sausages which we had made to take away, an old school butcher’s apron to keep and the following recipe for making your own sausages.
Equipment wise you need a sausage maker or if you have a Kitchenaid, there is an attachment which you can use. One ingredient which it may be hard to get your hands on is the pigs intestine which is used as a skin for the sausage. You can buy this at Hudson Meats or any good butcher, but it’s probably worthwhile ringing up to check first. Once you’ve got the sausage maker and intestines sorted it’s all pretty straightforward:
- 1.5 kilos of pork mince (look for a 20% ratio of fat to meat);
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 pigs intestine
- 1. Mix the mince, salt, pepper, fennel seeds and parsley together with your hands. Mix well for five minutes, this elasticises the mixture so there is no need to add anything else to bind it together.
- 2. Stuff the mince into a sausage maker. Turn the handle as you stuff the mince in until the mince is all the way through the sausage maker and just poking out the end.
- 3. Get the pigs intestine and stretch it over the end of the sausage maker that the mince is poking out of.
- 4. Continue to feed the intestine on, very gently so it does not break until you reach the end of the intestine. Tie a knot in the end.
- 5. Turn the handle on the sausage maker so the mince feeds into the intestine. Use your other hand to hold the intestine and gently feed the mince in. Keep doing this until you have fed all the mince through the sausage maker into the intestine.
- 6. Tie a knot at the other end of the filled intestine and then pinch the intestine at regular intervals and then twist to create the individual sausages.
- 7. Leave to rest overnight in the fridge. For best results cook over a low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Don't prick the skin of the sausages when cooking - that lets all the flavoursome fat out.
Details: Hudson Meats, Tok H Centre, 459 Toorak Road, Toorak (Ph 03 9827 7711)
Damage: Pricey. The class cost $120 but I was offered a complimentary ticket.