Archive for the ‘Sausage Casing Preparation’ Category

Making Pig Sausage Casings

November 6, 2011

I decided that I would like to try to make sausage casings when we butchered our latest pig.  The internet is such a marvellous resource and I found a few sites that gave me an idea of how to do it.  However none of them had photos, so when I did my own I took some pictures to illustrate the process.

I started with the small intestines from a home butchered pig.  The intestines are held coiled together by some connective tissue that I simply sliced so that the intestines could drop into a few straight runs a metre or so long.  Then the intestines were rinsed with fresh water inside and out.

It turned out that my sink tap was a perfect fit to push the intestines onto and rinse them through.  At this stage the intestines were quite thick and a browny pink colour with a strip of fat along the outside.

Next I peeled off the connective tissue that had held the intestines coiled together.  It was a thin clear plasticy tissue that was fairly strong and pulled off without too much hassle.  Then I cut or pulled off as much of the remaining fat as I could.

After peeling the casings looked like the picture below.  I turned them inside out and rinsed them both sides.  They could be turned inside out by turning a cuff in one end and running water into the cuff.  The weight of the water pulls the casing inside out.  It was kind of fun to do.

At this stage the inside lining of the casing, all those little tiny villi that absorb the food, still need to be removed.  I had a go at doing it straight away but it was hard work and was not being successful so I put the casings into a plastic bag in the fridge for later.  A week later I finally found the time to do more research into how to do the scraping.  Some sites recommended soaking the casings in salt water for a while and I thought perhaps I should try that, however given that they had already waited a week I just gave them a try.  It turned out that no further time was needed.  After turning them inside out I used a bread and butter knife and the scraping went very easily.  In fact some of the fat that I had not managed to remove earlier also came off as I did the scraping.

The final casings are thin and a transparent pale pinky white in colour.  Once again I used my tap to rinse them and you can see what they look like at the end.

Finally I put them into a brine solution (salt and water) and stored them in the fridge.

Of course I had to have a go at making sausages after all that effort.  I am very glad that I have a little electric mincer as it makes the job much easier and we use it every time we butcher one of our pigs.

And the finished product – all our own pork!

Now I have to confess that while the sausages were quite edible we did find the casings to be a bit on the chewy side.  I wonder if it was because the pig they came from was 2 years old, older than most pigs butchered commercially, or whether sheep intestines would be better for fresh sausages? Anyway I hope to use the rest of these casings to make some cured sausages instead and the thicker casings should be fine for that.