Irish Sausage

Saint Patrick’s day is coming. Many make Corned Beef and Cabbage or Irish Stew but how about making an Irish breakfast. In this post I will make Irish Sausage and in the next I will make Boxty Bread.

I will start about what makes an Irish sausage. Just like there are many different varieties of sausage here in Canada, my research shows there are a wide variety of sausage making in Ireland. However, there are some differences that come out.

Here, sausage tends to be mostly meat with very little if any fill like bread crumbs or rusk. The Irish recipes I found tended to use a fill and had some egg in them. This will give two distinct textures.

The spices used also had different tendencies. Here, our sausages seem to be based on salt, pepper and sage as the main flavours. We all have our different additions but these are common.

Irish sausages had a lot more herb content like thyme and rosemary.

I have designed my version of Irish Sausage to use some bread filling, egg and the more complex seasoning of Irish Sausage. So, this will be the Irish Sausage version of a fat old Canadian of Irish heritage!

I would normally use pork shoulder to make my sausage but they had pork sirloin chops on sale and they are a little leaner than shoulder so I added some pork fat I had in the freezer.  In all, I had 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of pork.

As always, keep the meat very cold while making sausage. You will get a much better texture.

I cubed the pork into 1 inch cubes.

I ground the pork through the small plate of my stand mixer and chilled it for 1/2 hour.

I put the following in a small bowl and mixed:

  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) ice water
  • 7.5 ml (1 1/2 tsp) (5.7 g) table salt
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) (2.8 g) black pepper
  • 4 ml (3/4 tsp) (0.6 g) dried marjoram
  • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) (1 g) dried thyme
  • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) (1.1 g) dried rosemary
  • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.6 g) allspice
  • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.5 g) mace
  • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.6 g) cloves
  • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.6 g) ginger
  • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0,9 g) ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.5 g) cayenne
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Beat them together with a fork. Add 290 ml (1 1/4 cup) (30 g) coarse dried bread crumbs. If the bread crumbs are fine, cut the amount in half or go by the 30 g weight measure. Mix into a paste.

Spread the ground pork out on a tray. Poke some holes in the meat with your fingers. Spread the paste over the meat.

Fold the top half of the meat over and press the meat flat. Give the tray one quarter turn and fold the top half over and press. Keep turning, folding and pressing the meat for 3 minutes to mix thoroughly. Chill the meat for 30 minutes.

You could form the meat into patties at this point and you have a nice sausage. I do like mine stuffed so I put the meat into my sausage stuffer and used 23 mm (3/4 inch) collagen casings. Traditional Irish sausage would be in sheep casings but they are hard to get here and are more difficult to use. I am lazy.

I made a point of stuffing the sausage a little less full as sausages made with bread swell a little.

When the sausage is stuffed, Measure 4 inches and press a flat spot. cut at this flat spot and continue cutting all the sausage.

Let the sausage sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavours blend.

Keep refrigerated and freeze any that will not be used in the next 3 days.

Fry the sausage up. Serve it and accept all the compliments.

The Verdict

This is a fine sausage and is quite different from my regular breakfast sausage. It has a more tender texture and the taste is complex with a lot of herbs and just a touch of spice. I really like it. It will be going in my sausage routine.

The Old Fat Guy

  • Irish Sausage

    Irish Sausage

    Ingredients

    • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) fatty pork shoulder
    • 50 ml (1/4 cup) ice water
    • 7.5 ml (1 1/2 tsp) (5.7 g) table salt
    • 5 ml (1 tsp) (2.8 g) black pepper
    • 4 ml (3/4 tsp) (0.6 g) dried marjoram
    • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) (1 g) dried thyme
    • 3 ml (1/2 tsp) (1.1 g) dried rosemary
    • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.6 g) allspice
    • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.5 g) mace
    • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.6 g) cloves
    • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.6 g) ginger
    • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0,9 g) ground nutmeg
    • 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) (0.5 g) cayenne
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 290 ml (1 1/4 cup) (30 g) coarse dry bread crumbs
    • 10 feet of 23 mm (3/4 inch) collagen casings (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Make sure the meat is very cold at all times.
    2. Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes and grind through the small plate of a grinder. Chill for 30 minutes.
    3. Mix all remaining ingredients except the bread crumbs and casings.
    4. Add the bread and stir to make a paste.
    5. Spread the meat out on a tray and spread the paste over it.
    6. Fold the top half of the meat towards you and press flat. Turn the tray 1/4 turn, fold the top over and press flat. Continue folding and pressing for 3 minutes.
    7. Chill the meat for 30 minutes.
    8. Form the meat into patties or stuff in casings and cut in 4 inch lengths.
    9. Let sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavours marry.
    10. Keep refrigerated and freeze any that will not be used in 3 days.
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