Butcher or Bin Man

Feb 28, 2014 by

This Italian-style sausage was made using off-cuts from my last pig slaughtered. When I say off-cuts I mean pieces of meat that my butcher was casually carving off the shoulder I had asked him for and binning. I stood chatting to him not really registering what he was doing. But then I shouted stop. He looked startled then amused. He fished the pieces out of the bin and bagged them up for me still looking amused.

I thought about it afterwards. How far have we come from The Famine? I mean have we actually progressed at all? 

How have we become so casual about food waste? How have we got to the stage that we bin perfectly good meat because we can’t be bothered doing anything with it?

With these pieces of meat I made an Italian-style sausage. I just looked up a recipe and loosely followed it. I know now I added too much salt but apart from that it was really good. I wrapped it in cling film and left it in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I then used my small vacuum packer and vac packed it and cooked it in a water bath for an hour at just under simmering point. I left it in the fridge again for another week.

I can’t find the recipe again as I really had no idea what it would be like and was just trying this out as an experiment. I do know there were dried herbs (I used Herbs de Provence that I bought last year in the south of France), paprika, chilli flakes and garlic powder and lots and lots of salt. The pork cuttings were from the shoulder and had a good coating of fat. Essential to carry flavour.

Italian sausage and bean casserole

I made a pork and borlotti bean type casserole with the sausage to serve with pasta. It had lots of red wine and garlic and the usual mirepoix.

I really wish I could butcher my own pigs because to be honest, when you go to the trouble to feed them and care for them the way I do, it really galls to think a butcher can casually bin any part of them.

Next time I will go over to my butcher and gather up all the off-cuts to make some more. I have since found this recipe here.

It’s not the same as the last time but the great thing about making sausages is it is all trial and error. Just don’t do what I did and lose the recipe.

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  1. Imagine such off cuts would make far nicer sausages that the slurry that's used in commercial production.

  2. What you have just written about is exactly true, I see the same every time I visit my butchers boning hall. Great meat .pork/beef/lamb offcuts/scrags casually being binned for removal to a processing plant for animal feed.


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