On Wednesday night after work we headed out to Lyall Bay to Crave Cooking School for a sausage making workshop with Rachel Priestly – The Prodigal Daughter. This fun event was put on by Lucy Mutch of Wellington Foodies.
Rachel has spent 10 years previously in Italy honing her culinary skills and opening restaurants. Now she is back in New Zealand where she runs her The Prodigal Daughter business and supplies many top chefs and restaurants her gourmet products.
We began the evening with a glass of wine upon arrival. Introductions were made and we got right into it. First up was a sample of Rachel’s own pork and fennel sausage that she had frying on a pan while we arrived. It was amazing and now it was our turn.
We were paired up and assigned a station around the tables and got to work. Each pair received 1.5 kg of pork mince and access to all manner of herbs and spices to create our own sausage filling.
Rachel shared with us lots of tips that I will be using myself in my own cooking back at home for both burgers, meatballs and now sausages.
For Sarah and I, our creation was made up of the following:
- Pork mince
- Salt (lots)
- Pepper (lots)
- Garlic (stupid amounts)
- Fresh chilli
- Hot sauce
- Chilli flakes
One of Rachel’s tips that sat well with me was to “not be afraid of salt and pepper for flavour” which was to not be scared to use lots of seasoning. I will be sure to make great use of this in my cooking from this moment on.
After mixing everything together the next great tip was to take a sample of the mixture and mound it into a patty and fry in the pan to try before committing the mix to sausage casings. A great tip and something I had never thought of to do before hand but I will employ every time I am mixing meat!
Rachel’s preference is to use sheep intestines for sausage casings and not the synthetic type. She then showed us how to prepare the intestines and load them onto the stuffer. It was a bit tricky but she shared the secret and that was to keep the casings wet while working with them.
She then went on with the help of her wonderful assistant to show us how easy (for her) it was to then fill the casings with the sausage mixture.
And finally what I thought was the most impressive demonstration of the night was how to turn our long tubes of sausage into links and tie them all together.
Her results were amazing next to our attempts.
We had an incredible evening out at Crave cooking school and now have a fridge full of sausages that we made from scratch waiting for the Weber to be fired up.
I’d like to thank Lucy for arranging this evening and Rachel and her wonderful assistant for hosting it and I cannot wait for our next Wellington Foodies meet up.