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Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:19
by Mainely Smoka
Thankis Guys I called the vendor and of course they wanted to sell me 25lbs of it. I didnt think it was anything too special. I will go with some canning salt.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 14:36
by redzed
Yesterday we did our annual batch of kraut and I used Italian sea salt rather than pickling salt. I bought it on sale for less than the brand name pickling/canning salt. Bought extra for sausage as well.

Processing Hints for Chorizo

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 15:15
by el Ducko
Processing hints for sausage recipes containing chiles or other leathery spices:

(1) Grinding chiles: Finely grind the chiles, dry, in a coffee grinder. This disperses them better, allowing for better color and flavor development. I tear pieces off and grind `em in my spice (formerly coffee) grinder.

I tried CW`s technique of running `em in a blender with some water, but it didn`t grind the leathery li`l things very well. The blender technique works great for things like fresh garlic and small amounts of fresh onion, so by all means use it, but don't rely on it for tougher materials.

Suggestion: If blending is necessary, you can always add the finely-divided spices to the blender solution. Just don`t depend on the blender to do the grinding work on the chiles.

(2) Using Vinegar: For the chorizo recipe, you will be adding vinegar instead of water. Dissolve the salt and cure in the vinegar (which is 94% water). Then, first, work the spices (excluding the vinegar) in by hand until the actin and myosin develop ("stiff peaks"). Then, second, add the vinegar/salt/cure mixture and mix just well enough to disperse the liquid. Some tackiness will remain, but the acid environment reduces it. This is normal. Diffusion over the next hours/days will disperse the salt and cure nicely.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 15:25
by ssorllih
On grinding spices in the coffee mill. For clean up after grinding spice, grind a tablespoonful of rice, two cycles and then a tablespoonful of coffee bean discarding each batch and dust the interior with a small soft brush after each batch.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 15:27
by Jarhead
Great tips. Thanks Mr Duck and Ross.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 16:11
by grasshopper
Thank's CW! I pulled them out and are at room temp. I have a golden retriever, watching for the "Rocky Mountain Ratchetjaw Horsefly". His eyes look a little funny, maybe I will watch him to.Image

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 18:30
by Cabonaia
Grasshopper, that dog has guilt-in-advance written all over him. "My friend," he is saying, "this is gonna hurt me as much as it hurts you!"

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 20:27
by jbk101
Hello all,
Fried up the Breakfast Sausage I made the other day and have good reviews from the one that counts, the Boss :smile: Her first comments was "That's a Keeper" and followed up with "Don't change a thing to that recipe" :mrgreen: I have to agree that they were very flavorful, the texture was nice , they fried up and browned up without a problem. So I give it two Thumbs up what a great recipe! We need a sausage rating meter added to the forum! (a Rating of 9 sausages on a sausage scale of 1 to 10)
Here are some Pics.
Image Image

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 20:35
by jbk101
He's doing a great job of watching over them but I would not turn my back on him or you'll be missing at least a dozen if not more by the time you realize it. :twisted: :wink: And I'm sure he's thinking that you are being mean for sitting something that smells that good so close to him and expecting him to behave :grin:

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 21:47
by grasshopper
Hey JBK did you move to Heaven, as I seen your pictures in photo bucket. Sitting outside and enjoying your labor. Can't beat that.

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 01:28
by Chuckwagon
Hi Guys,
I would like to caution everyone about getting ahead of yourselves. Project B was made to help people understand the process and the techniques of making the basic sausages. If you hurry through it just to get the sausages made, you`re not fully understanding the project. I would like to see more discussion about your results and of course, the great photos. Frankly, what I`ve seen is people jumping ahead to just "get it done". I can`t help but believe that by doing this, you are denying yourselves of an opportunity to learn much more than you are doing. In other words, you must learn to walk before you can run.

Right now, we should just be finishing our experiences with fresh sausage. If you`ve had problems with grinding, mixing, stuffing, or any other technique, you should have had time to try again even using a different "fresh" recipe if you desire. You need experience right now. Why not make a few smaller batches of sausage just to learn. Practice manipulating casing onto the horn using a water bubble. Practice mixing to get "just the right" sticky mass. Practice linking sausages so you don`t have ten different odd-looking creations staring back at you. Work on your skills. Then... discuss your skills with the others in the group. Ask questions. Then ask some more questions. You should have plenty... unless you know something we don`t.

At this point, we should be just beginning the kabanosy. Some of you have jumped ahead and made it without even reading the material I just posted or even waiting for the material I am about to post. When things have not gone as expected, you then raised questions regarding material not even posted yet. Many of the answers you are seeking are in material that has not even been presented yet.

So, slow down you yahoos! Don`t be in such a hurry. Enjoy the project and stay within the bounds. I have been answering questions that should be two weeks down the road. We`re not even talking about chorizo yet. First, we`ve got nitrates and nitrites to fully understand, plus other finer points of the craft. I admire your support and tenacity. I admire the way you have really put forth your effort in the project. However, the way we will learn is by adhering to an orderly and organized plan and schedule. A bunch of independents won`t learn a danged thing. A handful of drovers with a plan... can push a herd of hundreds, mile after mile. Alone, they will go nowhere, and the herd will scatter.

Please read and study. Then take the quizzes and check up on yourselves. Ask questions about the answers you missed. Slow down and learn and... practice!

One more thing. In the interest of space (chars), I`m going to chop out some of the unrelated dialogue. So if you wonder where some of your remarks have gone, check Hyde Park "Chat". :roll:

Okay gang, let`s "back up and hit it again"! :mrgreen:

Best Wishes,

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 01:50
by ssorllih
I am in the midst of painting my house, provisioning our boat for some fall excursions and working for money. At some point I shall play catch up with the crew and try not to stampede the herd. Did I mention that it still rains here and the lawn needs mowing?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 03:13
by jbk101
Hello all,
In regards to the Kabanosy made with Collagen Casing - Do you wait to cut them to length prior to smoking or do you wait until after you smoke them?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 03:39
by grasshopper
JBK I Think I see you have a Bradley smoker. I have a Masterbuilt MES 40 and I cut mine in 12" lengths. (collagen casing) They fit on the rack horizontal real well in my opinion. I had a stall out at 125 deg with sweating as the moisture came out. There was very little wind that day. It took over three hours to get 145-150. The electric smokers are sealed very tight. I helps me because of the cold in MN. Really just a beginner with a opinion.

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 03:40
by tooth
Ross, in the midst of picking 25 or 30 lbs of tomatoes and making tomato juice and sauce and making 10 lbs of various fresh sausage, I too have neglected my mowing duties. But I did manage to find time to watch football on Sunday in between all my other fun activities. Needless to say, I keep getting a stern eye from the wife every time she looks out the back door!

So I was able to get to the fresh sausages on Sunday. I did the specified recipes for the Italian and Kielbasa, and modified the breakfast sausage recipe. Where I deviated from the given recipes, and what I learned:

Italian: This is probably the 4th or 5th batch of Italian I've made. There is an Italian deli where I grew up about a 1/2 hour away that I would love to duplicate their recipe. So far what I've made has not been better so I think I've decided to going back to purchasing the Italian from them and now on focusing on other fresh sausages since I can produce them of better quality than store bought (except the Italian from Rubino's!). Don't get me wrong though, mine were great. I followed the recipe but left out the caraway partly because I don't have any yet, and partly because I think it's sort of strange for an Italian recipe. But hey what the hell do I know! I did add some paprika and red pepper flakes for a little heat but I forgot to pick some fresh oregano and basil like I normally due. Oops!

Kielbasa- This was my first time making a Polish sausage, and also poaching a sausage when it was finished. A followed this recipe exactly, except I subbed the small amount of beef for venison. A few things learned: I should slowly add the water as I mix. I put all the specified water in this recipe and the Italian, and after mixing I felt like it was a little bit too wet. Is this accurate, I should do this by feel, or should I add the specified amount? I feel like the amount of water will actually vary with each batch. The second thing I learned was to use a larger pot when poaching the sausages. I used a deep straight sided sauce pan, when I should've used a pot I normally boil pasta in. The pan I used was fine, but the sausage was not fully submerged and on low they stalled out around 135 degrees. I turned them once or twice and put a lid on when they stalled. This resulted in 1 side being "white" the other side was still light in color, but was slightly brown compared to the side that spent most of its time submerged. Not a big deal, it didn't really affect the taste, it was still juicy and flavorful. Just a note to self for next time.

Breakfast- So by the time I got to this, I knew I wanted to use less water, which I did. As I stated in an earlier post, I doubled the recipe, added 75% more venison and 25% pork fatback. I did not case it as I didn't have the sheep casings, and I actually prefer patties rather than links for breakfast sausage. This was a very good recipe that I will certainly be making again, with the extra venison included.

All in all the day went just fine. I've already had a bunch of batches under my belt anyways, but I still need to work on more consistent linking. My Italian was very inconsistent in size. The Polish was a non-issue as I kind of followed the instructions to leave as a long rope. Instead I linked it in 1/2 and made 2 large sausages since I knew that'd be easier for turning while poaching.

While I didn't have any blowouts this time, I previously had the most issues with blowouts after stuffing when tying both ends off, then when twisting the links blowouts happen.
A few questions: What's the preferred method when you are stuffing? Do you let the meat start coming out, pinch it off after the air gets worked out of the end and then tie the first end, or do you guys leave it untied? Then at the end of the coil, do you tie it and then start linking, do you link then tie the 2nd end, or do you link individually as they come out? Also, how do you ensure consistent size? Do you use a marked board, a knife handle, or something else? I think if I used something to tell me what size to make them, that's eliminate the problem right away.

whew, what a long post! Pictures coming next.