Sweet Chili Pork Sausages: Sweet and Spicy Goodness

Whenever we go back to the UK, Husband always wants British sausages.  They are different for a few reasons, the flavors are different, the British tend to favor pork sausages, while Americans tend to go to chicken or beef sausages.   The final thing is that British sausages frequently use breadcrumbs as a binder / filler.

Before my diagnosis, I used to love British sausages and we had one favorite in particular, Tesco’s Finest Sweet Chili Sausages.  Of course, after I was diagnosed, I had to stop eating many of the sausages I used to love and wasn’t sure how to replicate those flavors to make a gluten-free sausage on the same order.

Recently, on a whim, I looked up the Tesco’s Finest Sweet Chili Sausages online to see if I could get a list of ingredients and their ratios (British labeling includes the percentage of each ingredient).  From there I came up with an approximate recipe.  The most difficult thing to approximate is rusk, which is a hard dry biscuit or twice baked bread frequently used in sausage making.  I tried to replicate this by substituting gluten-free pretzels.  I think you could omit the binder full stop and not use any breadcrumbs or pretzels.  Just omit the ice water at the end.  There should be enough moisture from the tomato paste and chili sauce without the water.

If you don’t want to make sausages, you can use this to make burger patties.  Turkey or chicken would work well.  You can also forego grinding your own meat if you just want to make burger patties with pre-ground meat.  If you are making your own sausage, it is probably better to grind the meat yourself.

I buy my sausage casing at Savenor’s in Cambridge.  They are very helpful and have great ingredients.

Enough sausage casing for 6 lbs of sausage

5 lbs pork butt, boneless, you will need a little more if the bone is still in there

1 1/2 cup gluten-free pretzels

1/4 cup tomato paste

3/4 cup chili sauce

8 cloves of garlic

2 T sugar

1 T salt

1 t chili flakes

1 t white pepper

1 t ginger

1/2 t allspice

1/2 cup ice water

Cutting the meat into strips.

Cutting the meat into strips.

1. Cut the pork butt into 1-1 1/2 inch thick strips.  You want some fat, but not too much, so trim any large pieces of fat from the pork, but don’t go crazy.  Lay the pork strips out in a single layer on trays (you don’t want to over

Laying the meat out for freezing

Laying the meat out for freezing.

lap or the pork will freeze together).  Freeze for about 20-30 minutes, until the pork is firm but not frozen through.  Freezing the pork is critical because if the meat is too warm, it will just kind of gum up the grinder and push out meat that looks like sludge and not ground meat.

2. While the pork is chilling, fit your mixer with the grinder attachment. Sausage casing is kept fresh in salt water, so it is important to rinse several times.  I would start by removing it from its salt-water bath and putting it in a bowl of fresh, cold water.

Crushing the pretzels.

Crushing the pretzels.

3. Crush the gluten-free pretzels.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt and spices.  Grate the cloves of garlic using a Microplane.  In a separate small bowl, combine the garlic, sweet chili sauce, and tomato paste.

Microplaning the garlic.

Microplaning the garlic.

4. When the meat is suitably hard, pass it through the grinder one time.  The mixer will need to be on medium / high speed.

Make sure the meat that is coming through has definition, that it looks ground and not mushy.

Make sure the meat is defined and does not look mushy as it comes through the grinder.

5. Add the spices, chili sauce blend and pretzels.  Mix by hand.  Add the water, mix a little more.  I usually cook a tiny test patty here to check that the seasonings are correct.  Once you have tested the meat, freeze again for 10-15 minutes.

Make sure you have seasoned the meat correctly with a test patty.

Make sure you have seasoned the meat correctly with a test patty.

6. While the meat is in the freezer, change your grinder attachment over to the sausage stuffing attachment.  Drain the water from the sausage casing.  Rinse the casing under cold water a few times.  Then fit the casing over the sausage stuffer nozzle.

Putting the casing onto the sausage stuffing nozzle.

Putting the casing onto the sausage stuffing nozzle.

7. Remove the meat from the freezer and begin to pass the meat through the sausage stuffer attachment into the casing.  Pinch the casing at regular intervals and then twist to make each link.   You may need to freeze the meat again about half way through.

Pinch and twist whenever you would like to start a new link.

Pinch and twist whenever you would like to start a new link.

Husband likes this served with caramelized onions, mashed potatoes and green beans.

When you are ready to cook this up, make sure you cook thoroughly, this is pork sausage after all.

I trim the excess casing from each end of the links and freeze what we are not going to eat that week.  This should keep in the freezer for a few months.  Depending on how large you make your links, this can make about 20 links of sausage.

The finished sausages can be easily trimmed and frozen.

The finished sausages can be easily trimmed and frozen.

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2 thoughts on “Sweet Chili Pork Sausages: Sweet and Spicy Goodness

  1. As a Brit, I would recommend using breadcrumbs made from Udi’s plain bagel, then slowly dried in the oven to as dry as the wheat cardboard cartons. I think this would be better than pretzels. In NH Market Basket carries sausage casings on the regular meat shelves. Plus just ask the butcher to grind the pork butt for you. I asked and ready ground pork is meant to be the same fat percentage as complete butts. Shouldn’t be a problem of cross contamination. The only warning is that different stores have different size ‘dies’ for grinding. Too often either too coarse or too fine. But at least them grinding it removes your need to grind (and clean up after). Use heavy duty food piping bag to fill casings, or make them into patties or sausage shapes as I do. Sunday 20 Jan, I will be offering a cooking workshop at the healthy villi quarterly meeting. http://www.healthyvilli.org. gluten free cooking with oonagh on fb.

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