The Ultimate Guide to Sausage Making: Quality Sausage Casings from NZ
Making a quality sausage is an art, and using the best ingredients is crucial. Among these, the casing plays a pivotal role. If you're looking for premium quality sausage casings, New Zealand (NZ) has some of the finest. Let's delve into why NZ’s sausage casings are renowned worldwide and provide a comprehensive guide to making the best sausages and boerewors at home.
Why Choose Sausage Casings from NZ?
Sourced from one of the purest regions globally, NZ's edible sausage casings have a reputation for excellence. The hogs come from New Zealand pigs, and the sheep casings are obtained from grass-fed sheep that roam freely on the lush pastures of NZ.
Using only traditional techniques, NZ produces sheep casings by adding just water and salt, ensuring consistency and high quality. Their natural casings possess a unique semipermeable wall, allowing for a delicious infusion of BBQ and cooking flavors while retaining the sausage's natural juices. The result? A sausage that's juicy, flavorsome, with an unbeatable sizzle, pop, and that iconic "smile" that only natural casings can provide.
Mother Nature's Best: Natural Over Artificial
Why opt for lab-produced casings when Mother Nature provides the best? NZ’s casings are organic and created by nature itself. Since ancient Roman times, sausages have been made to honor the entire animal, making for less waste and more deliciousness. Remember, a good sausage should always "smile." Those straight, synthetic collagen casings? Well, they're just not the real deal.
The Ultimate Sausage Making Guide:
- Preparation is Key: Begin by rinsing all visible salt off the casings. Massaging between the folds will ensure all salt is removed. Remember, preparation is the first step to perfection.
- Soaking Time: After rinsing, submerge your casings in warm water (ideally 37°C) for a minimum of 45 minutes. Alternatively, an overnight soak in cold tap water works too.
- Chill Before You Grill: Always ensure all your ingredients, especially meat and fat, are chilled to maintain emulsification. Cold meat grinds perfectly while warm meat can turn to sludge.
- Spice it Up: If your sausage seasoning includes spices, always toast them for maximum flavor extraction.
- Meat Matters: Remove any undesirables like sinew, nerves, and silver skin. Cube your meat to about 2.5cm/1 inch sizes.
- Mix to Perfection: Using hands, blend diced meat, fat, seasonings, and other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl for even flavor distribution.
- Grinding for Texture: Your grinding choice affects your sausage's texture. For a smooth texture, grind using a 4.5mm plate twice. For a coarser texture, start with an 8 or 10mm plate.
- Binding Together: Once the meat mixture is ready, add any liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly. This step is crucial for perfect sausage binding.
- Stuffing Done Right: Prepare your sausage stuffer, ensuring the insides are wet to prevent sticking.
- Select the Right Nozzle: Depending on the casing, the size of the sausage maker nozzle matters to prevent tearing.
- Thread and Knot: Slide the casing onto the nozzle, tie one end, and get ready to start filling.
- Filling Finesse: The key is even filling while ensuring no air bubbles remain.
- Linking Up: Create links in your sausages by pinching and twisting at intervals.
- Rest Before the Feast: Let your sausages rest overnight in the fridge for flavors to develop fully.
- Storage Smarts: Always keep any leftover casings salted, airtight, and stored in cool temperatures for prolonged shelf life.
- BBQ Time: Avoid pricking sausages or cooking on high heat. Remember, perfect sausages deserve perfect cooking.
When it comes to sausage making, the quality of the casing matters. New Zealand's natural casings, with their unparalleled quality and authenticity, are the top choice for the best sausages in the world. Follow the above guide and welcome to a world of impeccable sausages. Happy grilling!