Sausage Time at Irving Farms
I have been visiting Alan and Nicola Irving of Irving Farms Fresh at the Saturday farmers markets for years now. I had always been a fan of their sausages, and when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease two years ago, their sausages (which are made in their gluten free facility) became a staple for me.
When they invited me out to their home in Round Hill Alberta to take a peek at things, I was excited when Alan told me they were going to have to make a few batches of sausages.
With one sausage-making making lesson under my belt, I was eager to expand my meat-casing portfolio.
An Irving Sausage
While my first instructor suggested a 3-1 ratio of meat to fat, I learned that anIrvingsausage is leaner – roughly 15% fat. A helpful tip for grinding is to have your meat (mainly shoulder cuts) chilled. Alan sent the meat through the grinder twice to help distribute the fat and create a finer texture.
I barely had enough time to get a peek at the big book of recipes before I was immediately put to work measuring seasoning and mixing them into the meat. I’ve always leaned to their traditional British sausages, but after mixing the first batch of maple together… I was ready to convert.
The steps were simple, add dry ingredients, add wet, stir, mix to meat – chill again. After I had made four different types I was moved over to another side of the kitchen.
My favourite part (insert sarcasm) involved attaching the intestines to the sausage stuffer. My first go-round with this activity wasn’t too bad, and it was actually easier the second time. The intestines came extended thanks to a plastic strip lengthwise down the middle – you simple lined the plastic up to the end of the stuffer and slide the casing across.
We had packed the table-top stuffer with the maple mixture, and as Alan hand cracked it out – I was responsible for gently guiding the casing along, trying my best for neither a skinny-nor pudgy sausage width.
Once we had a large enough length established – I was able to polish up on my linking skills. Alan showed me the length of what one should look like, and I did my best to out two – pinch- and spin.
After a few minutes I had the hang of things, but the true test of my skills came down to weighing. Sold six to a pack, one package should measure out around 454 grams/1 lb for $7.00. I got a “pretty good” from Alan and kept linking.
After we were done I was eager to take a package of fresh maple sausages home – I couldn’t wait for breakfast, and not only was the maple flavour satisfying at dinner time – the kitchen smelled sugar sweet.
Note to all customers – you never poke/pierce an Irvings Sausage! They are lean and popping the casing will result in all that juicy flavour escaping. So don’t do it!
Pork and Leek
Sweet Chilli Zinger
Sundried Tomato & Basil
Rosemary & Garlic
To see additional locations to purchase Irving Farms Sausages… click here.