One Legged Robin



I have had a number of requests to share some recipes. Here are some of the recipes I use for making my favourite cheeses and charcuterie. I have credited the original source but have adapted them to suit my tastes and quantity requirements. Please remember that the chemicals used in curing are toxic, so take care when weighing out and, for everything, cleanliness is key; prevention is better than cure.

Non-cured sausages

Cured meat products


All quantities here are per kilogram of meat. I like to use a mixture of pork shoulder and fatty belly pork (skin removed) in a ratio of about 2:1.

Plain old Pork and Sage

1Kg pork mince

16g dried sage*

100g breadcrumb or rusk**

10g salt

6g ground black pepper

100ml cold water***


Mix together and stuff into hog casings.


* You can use fresh sage if you have it but I prefer dried because it is easier to be consistent and its clean.

** I have used both in the past. I now use rusk as it is more consistent than breadcrumb and is more absorbent of water and fat.

*** Add enough water to get the right consistency for stuffing; you may need more or less, so add slowly.

Recipe adapted from The Sausage Book by Paul Peacock.


Pork & Caramelised Red Onion

1kg Pork mince

200g Onion Mixture*

100g breadcrumb or rusk

70g cold water

13g salt

5g dried sage

5g white pepper

5g onion powder

2g ground nutmeg

2g ground coriander

Chopped fresh sage - about 5/6 large leaves or tsp dried


*For the onion mix

220g red onion finely chopped

25g brown sugar

50g red wine

3g black pepper

2g salt


It's best to make the onion mix the night before so that it is cold. Put the onion in a frying pan with a little oil & fry gently for a few minutes. Then sprinkle the brown sugar over the onion along with the salt & pepper fry for another minute or two whilst stirring. Turn up the heat a bit & add the wine, keep stirring until the wine has just about evaporated, cool & chill.

Next day, mix and stuff into hog casings.

Recipe from forum courtesy of corromant.




These are a house favourite for stuffing the Christmas Turkey with. They also make great pigs in blankets with home made Proscuito or thinly sliced bacon.

1Kg pork mince

8.7g Salt

8.7g White pepper

4.3g Sage (dried)

4.3g Mace

174ml Water

150g Breadcrumb or rusk

Mix and stuff into sheep casings and link into short 3" lengths or whatever suits.


Belly pork for streaky or Pork Loin for back.

Per Kg meat:

25g Sea salt (2.5%)

10g sugar (1%)

2.4g Cure #1 (0.24%)

Rub the dry mix over the surface of the meat; with the lions share on the meat rather than the skin. Vacuum pack and leave in the bottom of the fridge for ten days to two weeks; give it a massage daily or thereabouts. Remove from bag, rinse and dry then leave to dry on a plate in the open fridge for as long as it takes (about a week). Slice.


This can also be smoked once it has dried, after curing.


Adapted from a recipe from the forum.


Other people like to add spices to the cure mix. I don't like this as I think it detracts from the flavour of the bacon  and, for me, it can give strange "off" flavours.

Boiled and baked Ham

Based on using a boned and rolled leg of pork.

Per Kg meat:

25g Sea Salt (2.5%)

15g White Sugar (1.5%)

2.4g Cure #1 (0.24%)

Note that this is basically the same as bacon - no surprises there, they are basically the same product.


Undo the rolled joint (cut the string), rub the dry cure over the meat, with the lions share on the meat and the rest on the skin. Re-tie and vac pack. You will need to work quite quickly as the meat will start to ooze liquid straight away and this can make it difficult to vac pack. Put in the bottom of the fridge for 2 weeks. Give the joint a massage daily or thereabouts.

Remove from bag and rinse away the goo. Before cooking, I soak my ham for 24 hours in several changes of water, others don't. Soaking works for me, giving a less salty product.

Simmer the ham with a couple of onions, bay leaves, a few cloves and a few black pepper corns for 20 minutes per 450g. The ham should be poached rather than boiled, so a very gentle simmer is all that is needed.

Remove the ham from the stock and allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before peeling away the skin but leave as much fat as you can. The strings can be removed at this stage as the ham should now have "set". Score the fat into a diamond pattern and smear English mustard over the surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar and a drizzle of honey. Bake in a pre-heated oven (190°C) for about 30 minutes or until the glaze slightly caramelises. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 - 20 minutes before slicing or leave to slice cold.

Ham cooking recipe from New British Classics by Gary Rhodes.

Italian style Salami

Recipe from Charcuterie by Michael Rhulman and Brian Polcyn.

This is a cured and fermented dried sausage. I have found this recipe to be consistently reliable.

1Kg pork mince*

22g Salt

2.4g Cure #2**

0.6g Besastart***

27g Water (for mixing with Besastart)

30g Milk powder

13g Dextrose

5.3g Fennel seeds, toasted and coarsely ground in a pestle and mortar

5g Black pepper

3g Garlic

55g Red Wine****

Mix and stuff into Beef middles (very large and thick sausage skins). Make sure they are well stuffed. Tie off the ends securely with string at a length to suit. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours in a humid environment to kick start the fermentation. I put mine in  a large lidded plastic box in the kitchen. Then hang them in a cool (15°C or less) place with a humidity of around 70 - 75% to dry. I hang mine in the garage where, at the end of November, it is usually about 12°C and 75% RH. Mine usually take about a month to dry, losing about 40% of their weight. Any mould that develops can be wiped off with a little distilled malt vinegar. A growth of powdery white mould is considered a good thing.

If the sausages dry too fast they can get "case hardened" where the outer layers prevent the inner layers from drying properly. If this happens I fix it by vacuum packing them and putting them in the fridge for a couple of weeks; the vacuum redistributes the moisture. Take them out of the vac packs and continue drying if necessary.

* Mixture of shoulder and belly pork with the shoulder minced on a 6mm plate and the belly on an 8mm plate. This gives distinct pieces of fat in the finished product.

** The original recipe has 2.6g / Kg. 2.4g complies with current EU guidelines and it works well.

*** Besastart is a bacterial culture used for fermented meat products. I have heard of yoghurt being used instead but I prefer to not take any chances with this product.

**** I use a relatively cheap, supermarket Chianti, nothing fancy required.

Blue cheese

4 gallons milk*

Mesophilic starter culture

Small pot Fage Greek Yoghurt

Penicilium Roquefortii mould


* Whole, pasteurised, non-homogenised.

Heat the milk to 32°C and add the culture and mould according to your particular brand instructions. Add the yoghurt and stir well. Leave to stand maintaining 32°C for 1 hour.

Add  the rennet according to the instructions for your brand. Leave to stand for 30 minutes until a "clean break" is achieved; i.e. when the curds break away when pressed with the back of a finger leaving straw coloured whey to fill the gap. It may take longer than 30 minutes.

Gently cut the curds into 1" cubes and then stir gently for 5 minutes before letting them rest for 15 minutes. During the rest give a brief gentle stir every 3-5 minutes to prevent the curds from matting together.

At the end of the rest remove about 3-4 pints of whey with a jug gently pressed into the surface of the curds and whey. Repeat the 15 minute resting and stirring. The curds will shrink during this time releasing more whey.

Maintain the temperature at 32°C.

Transfer the curds to a large mould lined with cheese cloth and allow them to drain for several minutes. Pulling up the cloth will aid the drainage.

Now pack the curds gently into the final mould without any cheese cloth. I only have one large mould and so transfer the curds to a small bucket between draining and packing. The curds around the bottom and sides of the mould can be pressed into place but those in the centre should be left loose as they fall; this ensures that there are air pockets in the centre of the cheese to allow the blue mould to grow.

Once packed into the mould maintain the temperature at 32°C in the mould for another 4 hours. I do this by placing the mould back inside the double boiler but standing on small bucket lifting the mould out of the water. Place a board on the mould and turn it 5 minutes after filling and then frequently during the 4 hour period.

Leave overnight at room temperature in the mould. The next morning the cheese should be consolidated enough to remove it from the mould and salt it. This cheese is dry salted on the outside. This means adding the salt at about 2-2.5% of the cheese's weight to the outside surfaces over a period of 4 days. For my 4 gallon cheese, the finished cheese weighed 2.4Kg and I added 50g (2.1%) of salt divided into 4 doses.

Mature the cheese at 11 - 12°C and 93-95% RH for about 90 days. After a couple of weeks poke holes in the cheese with a skewer about a couple of inches apart.

I like to wipe the surface occasionally to keep the mould under control. I do this with a piece of cheese cloth moistened in salty water. Be careful not to close up the holes.


Recipe from where you will find more detail than I have given here.


This makes a good cooking / melting cheese. This is based on a recipe from Home Cheese Making by Rikki Carroll who is the founder / author of


4 gallons whole, pasteurised, non-homogenised milk

Mesophillic starter culture


1Kg Salt to make 5l of brine


Heat the milk to 32°C, add the starter culture and stir well. Allow to ripen for 10 minutes before adding the rennet. Stir for one minute and let set at 32°C for 1 hour or until a clean break is achieved - see above.

Cut the curd into ½ inch cubes and let set for 10 minutes. With a jug, remove about ⅓ of the whey and replace it with enough water at 80°C to raise the temperature of the curds to 33°C whilst stirring.

Let the curds settle for 10 minutes and then remove whey down to the level of the curds. Again, stirring continuously, slowly add water at 80°C to raise the temperature of the curds to 38°C. Maintain the curds at this temperature for 15 minutes, stirring often to stop them from matting.

Allow the curds to set for 30 minutes then remove the curds to a cheese cloth lined mould and press at 9Kg for 20 minutes.

remove the cheese from the mould turn it and replace the cloth then re-press at 18Kg for another 20 minutes.

Repeat the above but press at 22Kg overnight.

Remove the cheese from the press and float it in a saturated brine solution in a small bucket for 12 hours. The cheese will float above the surface, so also sprinkle some salt to cover the top surface.

Remove from the brine and pat dry and allow to dry for a day or so. I then vacuum pack the cheese whilst it matures, occasionally removing from the pack and drying any liquid that it produces. The recipe says to mature for 3-4 months or longer.

A home made cheese press consisting of wooden boards between which the cheese is pressed with a barrel of water providing the weight.
A home made cheese press consisting of wooden boards between which the cheese is pressed with a barrel of water providing the weight.