We’ve been looking forward to making our first batch of homemade sausages and at last the collagen sausage skins arrived, thanks to eBay. We could, of course, have manufactured our own sausage skins by using a certain part of the pig’s anatomy but neither of us fancied emptying it and scrubbing it out. So we didn’t.

Moving hastily on, we got busy. Well, Chris did. He’s in charge of the pigs and pork-related activities. He set up the sausage maker, a fine piece of sturdy German engineering.

Now, due to the delay in waiting for the skins, the offcuts we’d saved during the butchering process to use for sausages had been given to the cats as they weren’t as fresh as they used to be. So Chris got a lump of belly pork out of the freezer to use. First he shaved off the skin and some of the fat.

Then he minced the meat, twice, the second time with crushed biscottes mixed in, also a very little salt, some herbs and some sugar.

Time for the fiddly stuff now. He unrolled some the sausage skin, which is a continuous length of collagen tube, and fitted it onto the special sausage nozzle on the machine. Then he began to push the sausage mix through again.

This is job for two people. I took over pushing the meat in while Chris handled the sausage skin and guided the newly formed sausages onto the waiting baking tray. This is when we realised we’d made a mistake. We’d left the mincing attachment in the machine which slowed things down a bit. On top of that the sausage meat is rather sticky so that I struggled to get the mix into the machine. So we swapped. Chris was much better at pushing and I seemed to have more of a knack of handling the finished product. Say no more.

Here are our very first sausages, raw.

And here they are cooked.

They taste gorgeous, the first proper sausages we’ve had in six years. French saucisses are all very well but they’re not the real deal for people brought up on plump English sausages.