Introduction: Pigs in Blankets!
Pigs in blankets, PIGS IN BLANKETS! Homemade meaty sausages wrapped in bacon; if you don't want that, you're only lying to yourself.
I first made this for a Christmas side-dish and I'm not going to lie, I buggered it up. Didn't mix the chili powder in properly, some people got big ol' mouthfuls of the stuff and some didn't get any. Don't do that. This time was good though, promise.
What you'll need is:
Step 1: Step 1: Grinding the Ancillary Bits
So on this particular occasion, I decided I was going to make pork and apple in a "one kilo of pork to one apple" ratio. I also stuck some mustard seeds, crushed chili (I'm not one to learn from my mistakes), salt and pepper in there.
Start by dicing your apple up, removing the core. Take the skin off too, while you're at it. It'll only get stuck between your teeth, and once it's in there it's going to bug you for hours. Shove that apple and any spice in a food processor along with a tablespoon or two of your favourite flour. I used almond flour, but you can use whatever suits your own personal preference, hippy allergy*, or even a real condition. The choice is yours!
Get it all blended up nice and coarse. Too fine and you've just got a paste on your hands. It'll work, but where's the fun in textureless food? Stick it in a bowl to one side.
*not an allergy to hippies, but a dislike of certain foods that you'll tell people you're intolerant to regardless of medical evidence
Step 2: Step 2: the All-Important Meat
So you've got a decision to make here. How lean do you want these sausages? The cheapest, bestest way to do this is probably with minced meat as it has a higher fat content than a proper slab. If you're okay with that, skip this step. If you want something leaner, grab your slab and stay right here. Be warned, though. Lean meat dries out much faster.
Chop the meat up into manageable chunks. Your food processor will thank you for it. When you fill up the processor, don't fill it more than 1/4 of the way up, otherwise you'll just get one big chunk hovering around on top of the blades.
Once that's all blended up (again, nice and coarse), you're ready to start forming these suckers.
Step 3: Step 3: Mixing and Portioning
Mix your minced meat up with your ground additives. Really knead it, like you're making bread.
Next, divide it (if you used a kilo of meat as I did) into either 16 or 32 portions. Each of these portions should be mushed into a ball, then rolled into a sausage (what, really?) shape. Or not, maybe leave them as spheres and ignore me altogether with your weird meatballs.
Step 4: Step 4: Baconing and Cooking
Sausages have a skin for a reason. It keeps all that ground meat together, and in commercial sausages stops you seeing the trotters and eyelids. Since we didn't put trotters or eyelids in ours (we didn't, right?), we just want it to stay together. This is where the bacon comes into play!
If you made 32 smaller sausages, you're going to want to cut your bacon in half. Then again, you might want it extra bacon-y and want to double wrap. Up to you. Just wrap them and don't complain when you've had to go out halfway through making them and buy more bacon because you ran out.
Next: Oven! I must confess, my oven's a little bit old. All the numbers and symbols have long rubbed off the dials, so I haven't got a clue what it was set to. Probably about 175C on convection. Leave them in there until your bacon goes all nice and crispy. See: first page for that lovely picture of how they come out.