Truffle sausages are a variation on the coarsely ground Italian sausage and the French Toulouse. They are, at their pinnacle, minced-up roast, with no emulsifiers, no starch, and no preservatives – just meat, salt, pepper and truffle.
- 1 full-length natural hog casing (see Note)
- 2 kg old-breed free-range pork shoulder, skin off (you could substitute half with belly meat)
- 20 g pure sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground white pepper
- 200 g fresh black truffle, finely diced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Hanging time 12 hours
Place the removable, sterilised parts of a mincer in the freezer for at least 1 hour before starting.
Soak sausage casing in cold water for 1 hour, then rinse inside and out. Thread onto the sausage nozzle and put on a plate in the fridge.
Remove the mincer parts from the freezer and assemble the mincer as per the manufacturer’s directions. Cut the meat into pieces small enough to grind through the mincer. Using a medium-size disk, grind the meat into a stainless steel bowl that has been sterilised and kept in the freezer.
Combine the ground meat with the salt, pepper and truffle, mixing with well-washed hands, until the meat goes a bit sticky. Return to the refrigerator if it gets too warm. You want to keep the meat below 7°C so it emulsifies naturally, not with breadcrumbs, rice meal or anything else.
Set up the sausage cannon. Fill the bowl of the cannon with the forcemeat. Be careful not to leave any air pockets in the mixture, as this will create air pockets in the sausages and you don’t want that. Attach the nozzle to the end of the sausage cannon.
Start to pump the mixture out the end of the nozzle before you tie your sausage skin in a knot. This will also stop air pockets from happening. Tie a knot at the end of the casing. Slowly start to crank the cannon and fill the sausage. Be careful not to over-fill or under-fill the casing. Over-fill and you will break the sausage every time you twist them to form links; under-fill and the snags will be baggy. It’s better to under-fill, and then you can at least squeeze the mix up into decent-size bangers. If you over-fill, just do one long sausage!
Guide the casing out of the cannon using your thumb and forefinger, onto a clear sterilised work surface as it fills. Once it has finished, massage the sausage to ensure that it is filled evenly. From the end that is tied, twist the filled sausage to make 5-inch sausages and then continue along until the whole casing is done. Once you come to the end of the sausages, tie the final knot. Hang the sausages overnight. Use within 2 days, or wrap tightly and freeze.
• Your butcher may have access to good sausage skins, if not there are specialty websites. The best sausage skins to use at home come already threaded onto a plastic strip for easy attaching. They’re more expensive but worth it. Normal casings come tangled and have to be untangled over a running tap before using.