Pauline's Ham in a Bag

About a year ago I replied to a comment on Pauline's Ham and said: "...I have done this cure with a lot less liquid by using a vacuum bag and just putting 100 - 200 ml of brine cure in with the meat (after injecting, of course)." It was my intention, at that time, to write further about this with an explanation and more detail.

Ham cured in a bag

Contrary to popular belief, the reason's not because I'm tight-fisted! There are also some technical reasons why it's a good idea. They're not related to injection-curing; it's the immersion part of the cure that's the potential cause for concern.

The recipe and further details are here » »

The Far-Famed Cambridge Sausage

Cambridge SausageWhen I came across a sausage called the "Far-Famed Cambridge Sausage" in a 1938 'Handy Guide for Pork Butchers', I couldn't resist making it? But what type of sausage was it?

I'm guessing that it was far better known in those days: I'd only ever heard of it in passing. A quick online search told me that the best know brand was Palethorpe's 'Royal Cambridge sausages', though they were made in Shropshire, and that there were 2,500lbs of them were aboard the Titanic when she sailed on her maiden voyage!

Looking to my books: Anthony and Araminata Hippisley Coxe in the 'Book of Sausages', say "This is probably the most popular sausage in England". Not now it's not: not one of the 'big three' supermarkets sell them!

The 'Book of Sausages' goes on to say that the distinctive flavour is from sage, cayenne, mace, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Other sources omit or have sage as optional. The few places that make it nowadays all seem to include it. Some recipes include ginger and pimento and less commonly mustard. Two recipes, including a butcher's handbook, and a respected traditional curer and sausage-maker, have levels of white pepper of around 1%; a massive amount, similar to a very spicy Cumberland sausage. I think that both must be from the same source, and that there was an error in the original because I can find no reference to the taste being very peppery.

What all have in common is the use of scalded (cooked) rice as a 'filler'. This interested me, as on the sausage-making forum, we are asked for gluten free recipes quite often. Now, before anyone tells me, I know that the rusk that I've included in the recipe contains gluten. However, I'm sure that it could be left out with no problem.

As I already make a Lincolnshire Sausage with sage, and as the Cumberland Sausage that I'm working on also contains it, I've chosen to make a version without sage. My recipe is based on 5 recipes from trade handbooks from the 1930's, 40's and 50's.

Click here, there's more to read...

Horse Burger Anyone?

Is it just me, or is there a certain irony, that on the day after the British press have been up in arms about traces of horse DNA being found in beef burgers, the following headline appears on the BBC's News Nottingham website:

Nottinghamshire police horses: Bringing back unit 'would cost £400,000'

Oh well, it amused me!


Picture of sausages

I've tried a couple of new sausage recipes: more about that later.

In the meantime, these are some of The Thurlaston Sausage.

Happy New Year

New Year

Smoked Salmon Canapes

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