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Recipe of the week: Mr Bartlett’s Hampshire hogs

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Recipe of the week: Mr Bartlett’s Hampshire hogs

Is there anything better than bangers and mash? Everyone thinks there’s a bit of a mystique to making sausages, or that you need some kind of complicated machine, but it’s not true.

The real skill is in getting the mix right, says Alan, and he should know – his family, the Bartletts, have been making sausages for over a century. Then it’s just a case of buying some natural sausage skins (there are lots of suppliers online) and getting cracking!

This recipe for Hampshire hogs was Alan’s great-grandfather’s, from around 1900. Mr Bartlett’s exact recipe is a secret, but if you follow the below method, you’re off to a good start. Keep experimenting and adjusting until you hit upon the exact flavour you prefer.

Makes 4
100g breadcrumbs
Rapeseed oil
25g seasoning (roughly 20g salt, 5g sugar, and a pinch each of sage, thyme and garlic powder)
700g boneless pork shoulder (80% lean meat, 20% fatty meat)
150ml cold water
Sausage casings

Fry the breadcrumbs in a pan with a little oil until golden brown, then mix with the seasoning. Mince the meat straight onto the breadcrumbs (if you don’t have a mincer, pulse in a food processor) and mix, adding the measured water. Mince again.

Tie one end of a long sausage casing with string, then insert the narrow part of a wide-necked funnel in the other end. Using the back of a wooden spoon, push the meat through the funnel into the skin. Once it’s full, remove the funnel and tie the end with string.

Pinch and twist into four individual sausages, then link and tie with string – each sausage should weigh about 200g. Put in the refrigerator overnight. For the best flavour, cook over charcoal.

With a fennel twist…
For our take on Mr Bartlett’s Hampshire hogs, we use the same ingredients but punch things up a bit by adding fennel pollen (otherwise known as ‘spice of the angels’) and elephant garlic. Fennel pollen is the tiny dried heads of wild fennel flowers.

• Taken from The Pig: Tales and Recipes from the Kitchen Garden and Beyond by Robin Hutson. Read the review here

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