Snag passions: MKR couple shares secrets of tasty sausages
COMING into the cooler months there are few comfort foods better than a snag in bread with onion and sauce or bangers with mash and gravy.
Dan's passion for snags began more than 15 years ago when he worked causally at a butcher shop.
Once a week it was his job to create a mix and fill and tie the sausages. He loved the opportunity to experiment.
During the years, Dan has created many different flavours of snags: it's about experimenting and seeing if the flavours work.
"To make a great homemade snag, it's important to get the meat-to-fat ratio bang on: 80% meat and 20% fat is what we choose to use.
"Don't forget to add herbs, spices and seasoning.
"When creating your filling, take a small amount, cook it and have a taste. It is at this point you adjust flavours and seasonings.
"With the choice of any meat, we like to always use pork fat. You can use fresh sausage skins that you can request from any butcher or you can use collagen skins.
"Making your own sausages can be fun and, more importantly, you know exactly what goes in them.
"And you feel a great accomplishment after making a batch.
"To fill the sausage casings you can buy sausage-making machines for $250 to $300 from any electrical appliance store.
"They will fill the casings quickly. Alternatively, there are hand-filling machines available online.
"After filling the cases, allow them to hang in the fridge to firm up. Give them at least 48 hours before cooking as this will save them from bursting.
"We love to cook our snags under the grill. It gives them a nice, crispy skin.
"While they are cooking turn them frequently but do not poke them as this releases all the flavour and moisture and your sausage will then be dry.
"While on My Kitchen Rules, we created just three different flavours of sausages: duck and blueberry, which were great in flavour; and blood sausage, which was unique and the judges loved it.
"In the grand final we created a fish sausage using flathead fillets, herbs, lemon zest and cream as the fat content.
"The fish sausage was delicious and we were really happy with it but it did dry out quickly from sitting around.
"We would like to recreate the fish sausage one day but, as flathead is more than $40kg, it's an expensive sausage to make.
"There was talk on MKR that we wanted to open our own gourmet sausage shop but, after doing research, it was not viable to open one in Hervey Bay. EAT at Dan and Steph's was the best option.
"Our next new sausage flavour will be available at EAT this month and at our EAT pop-up restaurant at Relish Festival, at Queens Park, Maryborough, today."
When creating your filling take a small amount, cook it and have a taste. It is at this point you adjust flavours and seasonings.