A Guide to Making Great Irish Sausage

Irish sausage is a delicious type of sausage that has been made in Ireland for centuries. It is most often eaten with coddle, which is Irish stew cooked in an oven pot. If you are looking to make some great Irish sausage at home, this recipe will help give you the skills needed to do so!

If you’re looking to try a new twist on your typical breakfast, lunch, or dinner with family and friends, this blog post is for you. In Ireland sausage-making is nearly as important as the cooking of the meat itself. Here are some tips on how to make great Irish sausages from scratch! 

In Ireland sausage-making is nearly as important as the cooking of the meat itself. To give it that authentic taste that can’t be replicated in America, here are some tips on how to make great Irish sausages from scratch!

What is Irish Sausage?

Irish sausage is a combination of pork and seasonings, which include: salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, and sugar. Some traditional recipes also add in bread crumbs to help with the texture. The mixture is generally flavored by having everything ground into a paste that will then be stuffed into natural or artificial casings to form sausages.

Ingredients needed: 1lb Pork (Traditionally it was made with both pork shoulder and back fat) 1/4 cup of Breadcrumbs 2 teaspoons each of salt and black pepper 1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh parsley and thyme leaves A teaspoon each of ground coriander and cumin 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar 3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. If you are using natural casings, rinse them first with warm water to make them more pliable.

How to Make Great Irish Sausage

If you’ve ever been to an Irish Pub, you’ll know the food is top-notch. And one of the highlights (in many ways) is definitely the sausage and mash — usually served with onion gravy.

I still think up new variations on this theme, but, as a starting point at least, I figured it might be useful to post my basic recipe here first… so others can enjoy it too 🙂

Ingredients

1kg (~2lb) Pork Mince 1tsp Salt 1/2tsp Garlic Powder 1tsp Black Pepper 1 Tbsp White Pepper 2 Tsp Nutmeg 2 Tsp Coriander Seed *Optional* Dash of Tabasco Sauce (or other chilli sauce… or fresh chillies)

Directions

Preparation – In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together all of the dry ingredients (including the spices). Add the mince and combine it into the dry mixture until you have a smooth paste/paste-like consistency. 

Pre-Cooking – At this point, I usually fry off about 1/4 to 1/3 of a teaspoon’s worth of meat in a little oil to taste test various mixes without wasting too much food if it goes wrong! 

Cooking – Fry off your sausage mix in a pan with some oil, breaking up any chunks as you go until cooked through completely… Drain any excess fat from the pan (it can be used later for frying other foods, if you wish)

Serving – Serve however you like! At an Irish Pub, it’s usually with onion gravy and mashed potatoes (served separately). But at home, I prefer to enjoy them fresh out of the frying pan (with a little butter), or straight from the fridge. 

Notes:

Although spices are listed as ingredients, this can easily be made using only salt and pepper for those who don’t like spice… Just make sure to increase cooking time by 30-45 minutes to ensure meat is cooked through completely (can’t really overcook ’em!)

When frying off your first batch to taste test, use a smaller amount of mince so you’ll have a better idea of what recipe works best for you — 10%-30% is usually enough to give a good idea. Start with less, and increase next time if it’s not spicy enough!

To ensure the spices evenly distribute themselves through your mince, I find adding spices to the oil/fat which you cooked your meat in helps spread them evenly… And also adds extra flavor.

The use of coriander seed can be reduced or omitted (I like that added little kick though). You’ll need to fry off another test batch (or do multiple smaller ones) after removing this ingredient to ensure proper cooking. Alternatively, you can omit it altogether if using chilli sauce instead of fresh chillies.

You don’t want too much fat left over in your pan when frying off the spices, but if you’re worried about this then just use a little less oil than stated. The meat should cook well enough that it mostly absorbs the excess fat and leaves only a little bit behind.

If not using tabasco sauce (or other spicy chilli sauces), I would recommend adding some fresh chopped/crushed chillies instead… This way, you can control exactly how much spice goes into your sausage!

Preparing the Sausage for Grilling or Cooking

Once your sausage mixture is ready, stuff it into the casing using an attachment for your meat grinder if you have one available. Otherwise, use a spoon handle to push the meat down through the hole at the end of the casing making room for more sausage as you go along (see photo below).

Once full of sausage, tie off each end by twisting until secure and then cut sausages into desired lengths – approximately 4-6 inches works best depending on what you will be cooking it with.

How to Cook Irish Sausage

Irish sausage can be grilled, simmered in a skillet with potatoes and sauerkraut for an Irish meal, or used in coddle. It’s also good when sliced into rounds, battered with flour, deep fried until browned then cooked slowly in beef stock for about 40 minutes.

Cooking time will depend on how thick you have made your sausage links. If you are grilling the links, remove them from the grill when they are about half-cooked so that they don’t dry out.

Once removed from heat, place them onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper to prevent sticking and continue cooking over indirect heat until fully finished.   

How to Make Irish Sausage at Home?

You can also find great sausage recipes online that you could try making at home. The procedure is fairly easy and similar to the above guidelines, but what makes a good Irish sausage is all in the seasoning. Remember – not too little and not too much!

For a traditional coddle dish cook the sausage links with chopped bacon, onions, potatoes AND cabbage or sauerkraut for a delicious Irish stew. For a simpler version of this dish just add in some pre-cooked potatoes and/or sausages to chicken broth for an even heartier meal when time is short. 

This is one of my favorite dishes when I go back home because it reminds me of being under my mother’s care again just like when I was a child.

No matter how you make Irish sausage, remember to enjoy it with the people you love most in this world! (This is what truly makes it an Irish dish.) I am also very sure that by following these simple guidelines that your family and friends will be making requests for more of your Irish sausages instead of just eating them all up without offering any to anyone else! 😉

Wrap Up

Making your own sausage is a rewarding experience. It can also be an easy one, as long as you have the right equipment and ingredients on hand to make it happen. With this guide for making great Irish Sausage in mind, we hope that not only will you enjoy experimenting with various types of sausages at home but also produce fresh batches of delicious homemade sausage year-round! Happy cooking!

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