Sausage-and-egg breakfast is found in many parts of the world. Sometimes, sausages and eggs are served with bread. Other times, they come with beans or other legumes. In the Philippines, sausages are called longganisa and, when served with egg and rice, you have a breakfast dish that is comfort food from north to south.
How sausages look, how they are seasoned and prepared, and how they are served vary from region to region. In the Philippines alone, there are so many variants of longganisa as there are towns and provinces. Vigan longganisa from the north is garlicky. Lucban longganisa from eastern Luzon is red and spicy. In central Luzon, longganisa is often sweet.
Go global and you multiply the number of sausage varieties by hundreds. The Spanish chorizo de Bilbao, laden with paprika and packed in lard, is a sausage. So is the Italian salami. German Blutwurst, Romanian sângerete and Latin American morcilla (a Spanish legacy) are blood sausages.
Why are sausages so common and so popular? Historically, because that was how farmers used trimmings and unwanted parts—collectively, “scraps”—of slaughtered animals. It’s amusing that how cultures that scoff at the consumption of offal enjoy their sausages anyway, unaware that sausages are made primarily from offal.
If the thought of consuming offal makes you flinch, or if you simply want to try sausage making without investing in expensive machinery, it is not difficult to make skinless sausages at home.
There are no special equipment required—just a mixing bowl and cling wrap. You can choose the lean-fat ratio of the ground meat. What seasonings and spices go into the sausage is entirely up to you. When I made sausages earlier, I used ground pork, salt, pepper, plenty of minced garlic, dried onion flakes, cayenne powder, paprika and rice vinegar.
Why dried onion flakes and not chopped fresh onion? Moisture which makes anything go bad faster. And, the less moisture in the sausage mixture, the better the tubes will retain their shape.
You can prepare the sausage mixture in bulk, form them into logs, keep them in the freezer and thaw what you require for a meal.
For my sausages, I used ordinary cling wrap. I formed tubes that were over 12 inches long for convenience. You can, of course, form shorter tubes. It will entail more shaping and wrapping but small tubes are easier to fit in the freezer than long ones.
When you want sausages for breakfast (or for any meal), thaw as many tubes are you need, unwrap and fry in a little oil.
Homemade Skinless Sausages (Longganisa)
- 500 grams ground pork (at least 20% fat is ideal)
- 2 tablespoons rock salt
- 1 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
Mix all the ingredients together. Transfer to a covered container and keep overnight in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop.
Take a length of cling wrap. Place one fourth to half a cup of the sausage mixture near one end the spread the sausage mixture to make a loose tube.
Take the end of the cling wrap nearest you and fold over the sausage mixture. Roll as tightly as you can to remove and air pockets. Twist both ends to secure. Repeat until all the sausage mixture has been wrapped.
Place the wrapped sausages in a covered container and keep in the freezer until needed.
To cook the skinless sausages, thaw and unwrap them. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the sausages until nicely browned.