Sausage Making with Rachel Priestley – The Prodigal Daughter

crave cooking school

On Wednesday night after work we headed out to Lyall Bay to Crave Cooking School for a sausage making workshop with Rachel PriestlyThe 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.

pork mince corriander chilli

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
  • Corriander

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.

sarah mixing pork mince

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!

sheep intestine sausage casing

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.

loading sausage casing

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.

stuffing sausages hand crank

stuffed sausage tube

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.

making sausage links

rachel tying sausages

Her results were amazing next to our attempts.

rachel holding sausage links

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.

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3 comments

  1. Marco Costantini · May 16, 2014

    Hi Scott, great post and fantastic photos! It’s great to know that you enjoyed the class…many more to come. We are sure you had a delicious bbq with the sausages you made on the night. Hopefully see you in the near future – Crave

    • Scott · May 16, 2014

      Thanks Marco! I’m really looking forward to our next trip out to your school and learning much more – I can see that they will be extremely useful with the ongoing of this blog 🙂

  2. Dan · May 16, 2014

    Nice article Scott. Good to see you branching out into new areas.

    Your photography skills are great too. I can almost feel the salt and smell the spices through the pictures.