Online Workshop: Project B (August 2012)

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Cabonaia
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Aug 24, 2012 14:48

Hi CW - I've read the material and my supplies came yesterday. Ready to go!
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Post by el Ducko » Fri Aug 24, 2012 16:57

LEM sez they've shipped my casing order. Some time next week, I guess, I'll be ready to go.

I, too, am waiting a bit on ordering T-SPX because of its limited shelf life. Wow! At last, I'll be considered cultured. :mrgreen: Ya gotta love this hobby!
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Post by two_MN_kids » Fri Aug 24, 2012 17:27

Good Day to all,

My reading is completed, necessary supplies have been ordered, and there are a few items still needed which I can pick up locally. Looks like Gunny found a few items to add to the shopping list!

We haven`t talked about when the actual grinding and mixing will begin, but to that end, I removed a four pound package of pork and a one pound package of pork back fat to begin its slow thaw.

Ready to go! :lol:
Jim
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Post by Jarhead » Fri Aug 24, 2012 19:57

Casing size and type for Hungarian Csabai and Chorizo?
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Post by two_MN_kids » Fri Aug 24, 2012 20:07

Jarhead wrote:Casing size and type for Hungarian Csabai and Chorizo?
From the shopping list: - 32-36 mm hog casings for Italian Sausage and Csabaii Sausage.

Perhaps the Chorizo can use these as well? :?:

Jim
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Post by Jarhead » Fri Aug 24, 2012 20:34

Thanks Jim. I was looking through the recipes and didn't pay attention to the top of the list.
I've made chorizo links once before and I think I put them in 32-35mm hog casings.
I usually bulk pack into 1# plastic bags.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Fri Aug 24, 2012 21:41

Jarhead wrote:
Hey CW. I'm onboard.
Got the reading done, twice.
Geeeeze Gunny, I can see I`ve got to get up a half-hour earlier to get the jump on you! Good goin` big guy! I`ve just got to know something... it`s killin` me. None of my business really, but were you a drill sergeant in the Marines? I`ve got nothing but respect for those fellars!
You asked about the casing size on the Csabai. I noticed in Snagman`s recipe, he specifies 35 mm hog casings. I listed it in the "supplies to order" list. Sounds like you`re ready to start grindin` sausage pretty soon. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

Tooth, you wrote:
CW- I have a question about the grinder plates and the sizes of the holes. My LEM grinder came with a 10mm and a 4.5 mm grinder plate. I haven't been 100% happy with the texture when making sausage and grinding once when using either one. The 10mm leaves the fat larger than I'd like, the 4.5 seems a tad too small and leaves the texture closer to emulsified than I'd like for a fresh sausage. So my question is, should I pick up a plate that is somewhere in between, like a 6 or 7 mm, or should I just be using the 10mm and double grind everything?
Tooth my friend, now you understand how a merchandiser works. You`ve been supplied with plates having both small and large holes. If you want "medium", you`ve got to shell out more hard earned greenbacks. Shucks, I just started printin` my own, late at night in the basement! :roll:

Okay everyone... keep reading. We're almost ready to fire up the grinder. I converted mine with a few tools and now it's powered by a Chev 327 V-8 with three deuces. :shock:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Jarhead » Fri Aug 24, 2012 22:11

CW wrote:
None of my business really, but were you a drill sergeant in the Marines?
Worse. I was a Recruiter, for one tour. :mrgreen: I hated it.
My primary job (MOS) was in Aviation Supply and Computers. (3073 & 4044 MOS)
Thanks for the info. I've got the stuff for the 1st two recipes.
My Sausage Maker shopping list is over $200 now and I ain't bought the meat. I gotta get to Cali before spending too much.
I may have to sub collagen for sheep. I've got 19, 22 and 26 mm smoked on-hand. I can't bring myself to pay almost $50 for 1 hank. :shock:

It will be interesting to see what everybody is gonna do with all of this sausage we make. Maybe a sister thread to this one with recipes and ideas?
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Post by el Ducko » Fri Aug 24, 2012 22:24

two_MN_kids wrote:
Jarhead wrote:Casing size and type for Hungarian Csabai and Chorizo?
From the shopping list: - 32-36 mm hog casings for Italian Sausage and Csabaii Sausage.
Perhaps the Chorizo can use these as well? :?:
Jim
That should work fine for the chorizo too, since we'll be smoking it. If not, I pack chorizo in plastic sandwich or snack bags, 1/2# to 1# per bag, for easy usage. I usually fry up 1/4 pound (or a bit more :mrgreen:) per two eggs, "al gusto" (to taste).
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Post by el Ducko » Fri Aug 24, 2012 22:32

Jarhead wrote:It will be interesting to see what everybody is gonna do with all of this sausage we make. Maybe a sister thread to this one with recipes and ideas?
I suggest we all converge on Chuckwagon's house with our sausages, bring beer, build a fire, and cook/eat the fresh sausage until the fermented sausage is ready. :mrgreen: Home brew guys: let's all bring a keg or two of our finest. CW: porta-potties for five hundred? (Wife wants to bring "a few" friends.) :???:
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Post by HamnCheese » Fri Aug 24, 2012 23:18

Hey CW,

Leaving in the morning for a grandkids visit and a tour of the Potomac River via sailboat. Will be outta here for ten days or so....and promise to catch up when I return!

Lynn
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Post by Gulyás » Fri Aug 24, 2012 23:43

Well, I don't know what you guys are going to do with "all-that-sauseges", but I hope I'll have enough for appetizer. :grin: ...well maybe I'll just have to make it twice..... :grin: :grin: Just what do you think I bout a new size 22 for ? :lol:

Come to think of it, I'm on diet. I'm on seafood diet, I eat everything I see.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Aug 25, 2012 05:09

______________________

NEXT UP: "Types Of Sausages"
1. Okay gang, let's move on to "Types Of Sausages ". Please click on this link and read what Stan Marianski has to say: http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-types

Then, please read the following:

2. Meanwhile... Back At The Ranch... (Points To Ponder) :wink:
"The Types Of Sausages" by Chuckwagon
_______________________

The Types Of Sausages
by RockChuck WheelRut WagonSmoke

Basically, there are only four types of sausages:

Fresh Sausage -"Fresh" sausage (meaning not cured), must be refrigerated and eaten within three days, or frozen for use later. Ol` timers know there is no such thing as a "secret recipe". There is however, "simply great sausage" - made using only salt, pepper, and only one or two other "signature ingredients". Add all the seasonings you wish; stuff it inside casings or mold it into patties; but use it within three days or freeze it, as it is not cured and not smoked. Refrigerate it at 38°F (3°C). This is the famous "breakfast" type sausage containing pork and sage. Other favorites include fresh Italian and fresh kielbasa, the well-known Polish sausage. Fresh sausage is never smoked as the process cuts off oxygen, raising the risk of obligate anaerobic and microaerophile bacterial development, including clostridium botulinum!

Cured, Cooked, And Smoked Sausage - This sausage is cured using sodium nitrite to destroy the toxin secretions produced by obligate anaerobic clostridium botulinum bacteria, as the oxygen is cut off when the meat is placed inside casings, and again as smoke replaces oxygen inside the smokehouse. Botulism, a potentially fatal illness causing flaccid paralysis, is the effect of food poisoning caused by clostridium botulinum. In 1925, the American Meat Institute introduced the use of sodium nitrite to America`s meat products. Since that time, there has not been a single case of food poisoning in this country due to botulism in commercially prepared cured meats. Sodium nitrite has also been found to prevent the growth of Listeria monocytogenes - the bacteria responsible for Listeriosis, a very virulent disease that can potentially result in the development of meningitis in newborns.

Following drying, cured-cooked-smoked sausages are prep-cooked (and smoked if desired) to destroy any possible trichinella spiralis and retain moisture. Finish cooking them on the grill or in a pan. These are the famous Bratwurst, Bockwurst, Knockwurst, and emulsified sausages known as hot dogs or "wieners". Also included in the emulsified category are bierwurst, Vienna sausage, and bologna. Cooked Italian mortadella, salami, Chinese "lop chong", Cajun boudin (blood) sausage, smoked Polish kielbasa, and German Berliner, are other popular favorites.

Semi-Dry Cured Sausage - These are tangy, fermented, cured, sausages served on a fancy plate at a party or simply sliced with a pocketknife while you`re in the saddle. They are cured with nitrite, usually cooked during preparation, dried (yielding about 75%), but not further cooked before serving them. (An exception is pepperoni atop pizza). Favorites include varieties of summer sausage, landjaeger, kabanosy, and "slim jims".

Dry Cured Sausage - This is the only sausage that is not cooked during its preparation, and not usually cooked before serving or eating. Special precautions are taken with pork sausage in this category, as the destruction of possible trichinella spiralis becomes necessary. This is the only type sausage safe to eat without having been refrigerated and it is made with Cure #2 containing nitrate. Favorites include salamis from virtually every country, dry-cured Mexican chorizo, Italian sopressata, pepperoni, and other fermented sausages. A hygrometer, thermometer, fermentation chamber, and curing chamber, are necessary to produce dry cured sausages as well as a reasonable amount of sausage-making experience and a practical knowledge of the dry-curing procedure and a basic understanding of how bacteria affect the production of this type sausage.

Additives Used In Sausage

Soy Protein Concentrate And Non-Fat Dry Milk

Soy protein concentrate is not a mysterious, risky, chemical additive. It is a natural, tasteless, concentration of the soybean, in white powdered form, containing up to 250% more protein than steak. Soy protein is invaluable in the sausage making process as it causes meat to retain its juices and maintain its volume, while it serves as a binder. Slap a burger on the griddle made only from freshly ground meat and see what happens! It crumbles, shrinks, and the juices run out during cooking - while those served at your favorite local burger joint (containing soy protein concentrate), retain their juices, holding their shape and volume.

Dairy fine, non-fat dry milk accomplishes the very same tasks. Used as a binder for sausage, the granulated type found in a grocery store is not the substance to place into sausage. Powdered dry milk with the consistency of cornstarch is available from sausage making supply stores. There are limits to observe and the amount used in sausages should not exceed 3-1/2%, as higher amounts produce a mushy product with a "beany" flavor. The use of both products has only one drawback. Fresh meat won`t sear and brown nearly as well as an untreated product. As it cooks, it may appear tasteless and bland although it is not. What may we do about it? Use another natural product to hold the color of the meat inside - corn syrup solids. Powdered dextrose may also be used as a browning agent for sausage.


Corn Syrup Solids

Corn syrup, dried into solid flakes, is also used as a binder in sausage, as well as maintaining the fermentation bacteria (lactobacilli) necessary for that great tangy taste in dry-cured products. Perhaps the most important feature of corn syrup solids is the preservation of color in meat, allowing it to be browned although it may contain soy protein.


Powdered Dextrose

Powdered dextrose is only 70% as sweet as sugar and is often used as a browning base for sausage containing either soy protein concentrate or non-fat dry milk. The product is also used to support lactic acid organisms by assisting fermentation, producing the tangy flavor in many dry cured sausages. In the sausage making world, two specific families of lactic acid bacteria have been almost universally chosen to meet the needs of fermented type sausages. These are lactobacillus and pediococcus - both symbiotic. Each includes its own strains and depending upon the qualities desired in a specific product, more than one strain may be combined in one culture. Some do well in higher salt content, others do not. Some do better than others at higher (or lower) temperatures. The strains most beneficial (therefore most commonly used), of lactobacilli include: lactobacillus pentosus, lactobacillus curvatus, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus farciminis, lactobacillus sakei, et.al. Of the pediococci, two widely used strains are pediococcus pentosaceus and pediococcus acidilactici. These are the workhorses of fermentation, thriving on sugar - dextrose ideally - as glucose (dextrose) is the most simple of all forms of sugar, being utilized quickly to produce rapid fermentation. Glucose, produced from cornstarch, is only about 70% as sweet as sucrose refined from sugar beets or sugar cane, then being combined with fructose from fruit. Lactose (called milk sugar) binds water very well but has poor fermenting quality and non-fat dry milk contains about 52% lactose. For this reason, I choose to add dextrose to fermented sausage rather than powdered milk composed of more than half lactose - the worst choice of fermenting sugars. Moreover, there are limits to be considered in using added sugar as the more that is used, the more sour or "tangy" the product will become.

Salt

Whenever making "cured" sausage, never reduce, (or increase) the prescribed amount of salt in a sausage recipe. Specifically measured levels help destroy trichinae, inhibit growth of other bacteria and organisms, and serve as a binder. Salt also fine-tunes certain proteins in meat enabling them to hold water. Since the development of sodium nitrite in Prague Powder, sausages usually contain less than 3% salt. Previously, preserved meat required up to 8% sodium chloride (table salt) and meat had to be soaked in water just to be palatable - enough to permanently raise anybody`s blood pressure!

Fermento

Fermento is a product blend of cultured whey protein and skim milk producing a quick tangy flavor in semi-dry cured sausages such as venison summer sausage, cervelat, goteborg and other summer sausages. Use one ounce per two pounds of meat, but do not exceed six pounds in 100lbs. of meat. (Five pounds of Fermento will process approximately 160 lbs. of meat.) Too much used in a sausage recipe (over 6%), will produce a mushy texture.

Fat Replacer

Fat Replacer is a product made by the Sausagemaker™ in Buffalo, New York. It is made of Konjac flour (from a plant root), xanthan gum (fermented glucose), and microcrystalline cellulose (cellulose from plants). The first two ingredients are water soluble. Microcrystalline cellulose is not. Fat Replacer simulates the "creamy" mouthfeel of fat and can be used in everything from grilled burgers to dry-cured salami. It contains almost no calories and it`s affordable. A proven cholesterol fighter, it is USDA approved. One half pound will treat 60 pounds of meat.


How`s That?

Have you ever wondered why pork shoulder is called "Boston butt"? Meat cutters in the eighteenth century seaport Boston, Massachusetts, packed cuts of pork shoulder into wooden casks called "butts" to be placed aboard ships bound for England. I wonder if the folks in Boston yet know their shoulders from their butts. :roll: Unless you butcher your own livestock, it is probably best to purchase untrimmed Boston butts from a reputable charcuterier, grocery-meat cutter, or specialty meat supplier for making all around well-balanced pork sausage.

And have you ever wondered why cowboys yell "yee-haw!"? Whenever a wagon team or stagecoach driver wants his team of horses to turn to the right, he yells "gee". A command to turn to the left is "haw". I've always wondered what would happen if the driver yelled gee and haw together while crossin' a creek. Would the team split up, one horse steering portside, and the other starboard?

Making Sausage

As you gain a little experience cutting, grinding, curing, mixing, stuffing, and finishing a few batches of sausage, you`ll begin to realize that your success in making quality sausage lies not as much in the ingredients found in a recipe as it is with the process you`ve used to achieve it. Almost every beginner dreams about discovering the "secret" formula for the world`s greatest sausage! Most spend hours closely scrutinizing recipes in books and the internet only to discover in time that the vast majority of sausage contains merely salt and pepper and just one or two more commonly used spices. At first, many believe they can "fudge" just a bit on the precise techniques and processing procedures, especially in dealing with proper temperatures. In due course, the quality of the product suffers and usually the recipe receives the blame. Although many beginners give up at this point, determined folks begin to correctly focus their attention on the details of accurate processing techniques, armed with the savvy of how microorganisms affect their product. Only then, will a novice begin to realize there is no such thing as a secret recipe.

Many people are under the impression that sausage is made from random odds and ends, cut from cheap meats being ground up with all sorts of cereals and fillers added to disguise awful offal. Rytek Kutas, the ol` Sausagemaker™ himself, used to say, "junky meat makes junky sausage". The plain truth is good sausage is made from good meat. Most trained meat cutters and butchers today, do a great job in removing sinew, gristle, clots of blood, excess fat, and glands from meat processed and sold commercially. At home, we must be quite diligent in locating these impurities and removing them.

The freshness of meat is important and storing it more than a couple of days in a refrigerator or more than a few weeks in a freezer, will definitely affect the taste of otherwise great sausage. Beginners often ask if they may use frozen meat in sausage. The answer is yes, although it is certainly better fresh, as ice crystals rupture meat cells during the freezing process. Many people recommend using only a maximum of one quarter frozen meat with three quarters fresh. It is interesting to note that much commercially made sausage is made from "quickly frozen" meat using special equipment. When "flash" frozen, ice crystals do much less damage to meat cells.

Many beginners believe they can just begin tossing large chunks of meat into a grinder and be done with it. That reasoning is like me... just won`t work! First, cold meat just out of the refrigerator is placed onto a clean plastic cutting board. Place the chunks inside a clean container or on a tray inside the deep freezer for a few minutes to firm up the meat, ready for curing or grinding, being careful not to freeze them solid. Old wooden cutting boards are a thing of the past. Use sharpened boning, chef`s, and butcher knives to cut the meat quickly into chunks no larger than 2 inches. Keep a sharpening steel at hand for honing the edges of your knives often. By cutting the meat into chunks, many problems are eliminated before grinding. Any connective tissue or sinew is cut into short lengths rather than long strands invariably wrapping themselves around the center of the rotating cutting blade in the grinder. If you see "smearing" taking place or sausage exiting the plate holes looking bland and ragged, you`ll know you must take the grinder apart and clean the blade.

Use an ultra sharp boning knife and closely carve the flesh from the "Y" shaped bone of a nearly frozen pork butt. Trim the bulk of the fat and place it in a clean plastic freezer bag stored in the freezer. Remove the gristle, glands, blood veins, and any clots, cutting the meat into two-inch chunks ready for the grinder. What do you do with the bones? Don`t boil them. Barely simmer `em of course, with a carrot, stalk of celery, a clove of garlic, and a shake of salt to make great stock for soups and stews. If you are working with more than one butt, place the trimmed cubes back into the refrigerator, while you work on another. Never miss a chance to refrigerate the meat you are working with, even if it will only be left out a few minutes. Keep it cold to minimize bacteria reproduction and to ensure good texture later on. Don`t become obsessed with trimming every little bit of fat from the lean meat; its all going to go through the grinder eventually, and right now, it needs to be put back into the refrigerator to cure.

The two-inch cubes of meat are often "cured" and spiced before being ground. Many recipes have you add sodium nitrite (and any number of additives mixed with a little water), to chunks placed inside a food-grade plastic packing "lug" covered with cloth for curing 72 hours in a refrigerator, being "overhauled" each day. At the end of this "curing" time period, the chunks are then "minced" (ground) and then mixed until the protein myosin develops. Other recipes call for the mincing of the meat right away - as soon as the 2" chunks come out of the refrigerator, being nearly frozen. Weigh spices and additives ahead of time, including the cures (nitrite or nitrate) mixed with water, and process them in a food processor. While you mix the spices and cures, place the grinder plate and knife into the freezer also.

Grinding, Seasoning, And Mixing

Does good sausage have to contain fat? Absolutely! Fat not only adds flavor and creamy, lubricating, moisture to good sausage, in an established, conventional amount, it is entirely necessary for good texture. The USDA limits fat content in fresh pork sausage to 50% and 30% in beef sausage, although we`ve found that about 20-25% fat makes a pretty good product. Of course, specific types of sausages may require more or less fat in their recipes. Still, there`s no such thing as reduced-fat sausage. Without fat, the flavor and texture will disappoint everyone. That being said, I am only able to think of one exception to the rule. Jerky is made using the very least possible fat, as it becomes rancid in the product over time. Jerky is dried - not cooked; the leaner, the better.

Does pork blend well with beef? Completely! Sausage products include ground meat in all sorts of varieties and proportions usually mixed with spices. If you are a beginner, you may wish to prove your recipe by making only a few pounds of sausage before carving up ten pounds of pork butts. Always cook and taste a small patty after the mixing step before adding more spice.

Sausage evolved for one reason only - to preserve meat. Our ancestors must have been terribly disheartened following the major group effort of tracking and slaying an animal, just to lose most of the carcass to food spoilage bacteria. Early man simply knew nothing about preserving meat, but as time passed, he found that by cooking, drying, and adding salt, it took longer to spoil. The greatest discovery came when sodium nitrate and nitrite were found as natural contaminants in salt. Suddenly, preserved meat had even more advantages. For the first time, man was able to travel with a reserve of dried and salted preserved meat at his disposal. Of course, it had to be reconstituted in water and rinsed of its salt, but it was indeed preserved. As intestines were stripped of their contents and cleaned, they were filled with spiced chopped meat and the first true convenient fast food was developed. Sausages of all types became popular everywhere on earth after Roman soldiers put together their mixture of minced pork spiced with crushed pine nuts and salt. As time went by, the process became even more refined as an array of spices was added and smoking often became part of the process, especially in northern Europe. Sausages at first were named for their place of origin (and are even now to some extent); others are named for their ingredients or tagged with a specific handle in its indigenous language. Hundreds of years have passed as enhancements have been made to proven favorites and new varieties have been added. Today, having the benefit of centuries of improvements, and increasing expertise, we enjoy the finest sausages in all history.

Will you be using the "old style" hand-crank grinder (mincer) you found in Grandma`s basement? You might have to replace the plate and blade. Maybe you`ve ordered a new model from any number of sources. They haven`t changed much over many years and old-style, hand cranked machines yet remain the very best for producing a few pounds of products at a time - as long as the blades are sharp. If Granny`s old blades were just worn out and dull, rest assured you may order new ones at modest prices from any sausage supply store. Most older models may even be modernized by replacing the hand-crank with a pulley and an electric motor driving the auger by simply changing the auger bushing. Investing merely a few bucks, you may install a brass bushing, gear down the speed, and save much time and labor. Not interested? If you are like me, occasionally I just have to give up my electric grinder to lay my mitts on my old-time, cast-iron crank machine. Its nostalgic.

Many better electric mixers are sold with meat-grinding (mincing) attachments. Although they are smaller, require a little more time, and are definitely not for commercial use, some home hobbyists use them satisfactorily. Although there is also usually an attachment for stuffing casings with this type grinder, it is not recommended due to its exceedingly slow stuffing speed. It is best to purchase a designated vertical stuffer to save frustration. There are now quite a few companies making rather decent home-grinding units available at a moderate price. Most are of good quality with size 8 or 10 plate, yet are not intended for commercial use. For the hobbyist, it might be just the right machine for occasional use.

If a person is going to grind (mince) hundreds of pounds of sausage, a professional unit becomes vital. A quality heavy-duty grinder is usually an expensive item! If your funds are limited, it may pay to check around with various sources to see if a used grinder in good condition might be obtained. Many are rebuilt and re-sold by suppliers.

Set up your grinder being sure the grinding blade is screwed firmly against the plate, providing some resistance as you crank the handle, or "load" the motor ever so slightly, preventing "smearing" of the meat. Simply turn the outside cast iron securing ring clockwise with your left hand while turning the crank with your right hand until you encounter definite friction resistance. Does friction apply heat as the four-bladed grinder presses against the plate? Absolutely. Do people sometimes place the blade backwards into the grinder? Yes, they do. All motorized and hand-cranked grinders turn clockwise. Partially frozen fresh meat helps to reduce elevated temperatures produced by grinding friction. Yet, for best results, add a little ice water or crushed ice frequently, as you grind. Never add solid ice, as meat-cutting blades are not designed to grind solid ice and will become dull quickly. Old-time grinder blades are hypereutectoid carbon steel, cast and hardened at more than Rockwell C-60. You may not wish to sharpen them yourself, unless you are a machinist with a grinding "platen". Dull blades may be replaced for about ten dollars each. Please note that the parts of your grinder and stuffer should be lubricated with FDA approved "food-grade" white grease rather than any type of cooking oil. When exposed to air, cooking oils become tacky and rancid in time. Generally, for aesthetic purposes, lean meat is ground coarsely while fatter meat is ground finely. If you`d like your sausages to have a more attractive and professionally finished appearance, grind the partially, or nearly frozen meat, using a 3/16" or 1/4" larger plate, and then separately grind the fat through smaller 1/8" holes in another plate.

Spices In Sausage

Beginners, almost without exception, introduce too many varieties and excessive quantities of spices into their sausage. Attempting to improve grandpa`s old time "secret" recipe, most soon discover their own hodgepodge doesn`t taste anything at all as expected. Nor is there a constant flow of neighbors knocking at the door, hoping to get their mitts on the stuff. The sad truth is, most beginners usually toss out ten or more pounds of otherwise great pork, not to mention losing time and labor spent grinding and stuffing the meat. The fact remains, for thousands of years, the best sausage recipes have been the most simple and often contain merely a sprinkling of spices. A vast number of sausage makers use only salt and pepper as seasoning. Others add a "signature spice" as fennel in Italian sausage, or marjoram in Polish kielbasa. Beginners quickly learn that even the slightest departure from an accepted and "tried" recipe may cause immense dissimilarity in a finished product. With experience, most come to realize that the spices and herbs best suited for sausage fit into a pretty tight group:

Allspice
Anise
Bay leaf
Caraway
Cardamom
Celery Seed
Chili Powder
Cloves
Corainder
Cumin
Curry Powder
Fennel
Garlic
Ginger
Juniper
Mace
Marjoram
Mustard
Nutmeg
Onion
Paprika
Pepper (black, cayenne, red, and white)
Peppercorns (black, green, and pink)
Sage
Salt
Tarragon
Thyme


One question here sausage makers. Why spend fifty bucks on good pork butt for sausage only to ruin it with spices that have been in those little red and white squared cans since 1952? :roll: Isn't your sausage (and your reputation) worth some fresh spices? It's hard to believe but most spices lose their "oomph" after six months or so. Goodness, break down and order some new spices.

If you purchase black pepper already ground, you are making an awful mistake. Buy fresh black peppercorns and grind them yourself in an inexpensive coffee grinder (ten bucks at Ducko-Mart). Besides, in many sausages, you'll find that you prefer "cracked" peppercorns. At any rate, do yourself a favor and start grinding your own peppercorns. You simply won't believe the difference! :wink:

Try adding spices with cold water to produce a well-blended and thickened "soup". If you have a blender or food processor, use it to completely intersperse the liquid, spices, and curing agents, before adding the "soup" to ground meat. Next, thoroughly combine the mixed liquid with the ground meat, using sterile plastic gloves covering your hands, or by using a mixing machine, until the curing agent and spices are evenly distributed completely throughout the meat. Most beginners having mixed meat by hand a few times will consider the purchase of a good mixing machine to avoid painfully cold hands. For persons suffering with arthritis, there`s nothing like a good electric or hand-cranked sausage mixer! Will your sterile plastic glove-covered hands become unbearably cold? Probably. Manual mixers of every type may be ordered from any sausage-making supplier. If you are going to mix large amounts of sausage, you may wish to investigate the "geared", hand-cranked, stainless steel model sausage mixer available from most suppliers.

Before cures are added to meat, review the recipe and determine if you are going to use nitrate or nitrite. Please remember, fresh sausage may be smoked ONLY if it has been "cured" with sodium nitrite (Cure #1). Prepare the proper amount of cure (Prague Powder) and stir it into a little cold water for equal distribution throughout the meat. Cure # 2 contains both nitrate and nitrite and is used in "dry-cured" products or whole meats. NEVER use the two cures together or substitute one for the other.

The Primary Bind - Developing Proteins

The next step is probably the most overlooked (by novices) in the entire sausage making process. Ground (comminuted) meat does not naturally bind or hold together. Having comminuted (minced or ground) meat for sausage, we must remember the simple task of developing a "sticky meat paste" that sausage makers refer to as the "primary bind". In technical terms, the cold meat (just above the freezing point) must be agitated (mixed and kneaded) well enough to develop the proteins actin and myosin. Together they are sometimes referred to as actomyosin. As this occurs, the mass will become sticky and develop peaks when pulled apart. The proper development of actomyosin is critical for good texture in the finished product, although the meat shouldn`t be over mixed, as this practice, along with adding too much water, may result in the sausage becoming mushy. Worse, sausages may shrink and appear somewhat flat and wrinkly, as the excess moisture evaporates. Do all you can to develop a thickened, sticky "meat paste".

To illustrate the importance of developing the primary bind, try to recall the last time you made burgers for grilling. Have you ever just haphazardly formed a ball of sausage into a flat patty for frying? Again, ground meat just does not naturally bind or hold together. Your burger probably fell apart as you attempted to turn it on the grill. But as you learned to work with the meat, tossing it from hand to hand, mixing and pressing it in your hands, the meat became sticky and held together before grilling. The proteins, mainly actin and myosin, were developed as you "worked" the meat and indeed, your finished burger was appetizing, juicy, cooked to perfection, and best of all, it held together! The mixture in your sausages needs the same extra bit of care to have great texture. Develop the primary bind!
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Self Checkup :cool:
1. Equally important to the ingredients in a sausage is ___ it is made.
2. Is fresh sausage ever smoked? Why?
3. In what year were nitrites introduced into American sausages?
4. Is clostridium botulinum an aerobic bacteria or anaerobic bacteria?
5. Is listeria monocytogenes a bacteria or a microorganism?
6. Cured-cooked sausages must contain Cure #1 and it is prep cooked to 148°F to prevent what?
7. What is the name of the microorganism that is so risky to pregnant mother eating raw hot dogs and newborns contracting meningitis? How can it be destroyed?
8. What type of tangy-tastin` fermented sausage is usually cooked and only retains about 75% yield.
9. What type of tangy-tastin` fermented sausage is NOT cooked and prepared raw?
10. What can you add to sausage to keep it from shrinking and retain its natural juices.
11. If powdered dextrose in only 70% as sweet as sugar, why do we use it?
12. What is the maximum percentage to be used when adding Fermento?
13. What are actin and myosin? How are they developed?
14. Why is it always best to use fresh meat (not yet frozen) for making sausage? If you must freeze meat, is it best to do so quickly or more slowly?


Answers: (1.) How (2. ) No, because oxygen is cut off, and the temperature is ideal for bacterial growth (3.) 1925 (4.) Obligate anaerobic (5.) Both (6.) Trichinae spiralis (7.) Listeria monocytogenes - proper cooking temperatures (8.) Semi-Dry Cured (9.) Dry-Cured (10.) Soy protein concentrate (11.) It`s the ideal nutrient for lactobacillus and pediococcus. (12.) 6% (13.) Meat proteins - agitation (kneading) (14.) Freezing ruptures meat cells. - freeze it quickly as possible.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Chuckwagon
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Aug 25, 2012 09:34

El Quacko wrote:
I suggest we all converge on Chuckwagon's house with our sausages, bring beer, build a fire, and cook/eat the fresh sausage until the fermented sausage is ready. Home brew guys: let's all bring a keg or two of our finest. CW: porta-potties for five hundred? (Wife wants to bring "a few" friends.)
Shucks Duck, You`re all as welcome as rain. The only problem is... I`d want to adopt ya`all. :mrgreen: Hmmm... friends eh? Have you got any named "Bambi" or "Kandi" or "Cuddles"?

And Hamncheese wrote:
Leaving in the morning for a grandkids visit and a tour of the Potomac River via sailboat. Will be outta here for ten days or so....and promise to catch up when I return!
Lynn, we're holding you to that promise. Maybe post a photo or two when you get back eh? Have fun and remember your ol` pals at WD. :wink:

Jarhead said:
It will be interesting to see what everybody is gonna do with all of this sausage we make. Maybe a sister thread to this one with recipes and ideas?
Gunny, the "fresh" batches are only two pounds each. It shouldn`t last long. The "kabanosy" I doubled to 4.4 lbs., because this is a snack stick and everyone I know just can`t seem to keep it on hand. If you`ve got kids around, you`ll never see it again. If you`re the only one eatin` it, you`ll go through it quicker than you can ditch a subpoena!
The csabai is only two pounds also. That stuff is so danged good, you`ll be making more by the end of the week. The chorizo is a 5 lbs. recipe by El Quackster. Now, I know that salty ol` duck and he makes goooood chorizo. I believe once you taste it, you`ll wish you`d made more. Then there`s my beefstick. I keep a perpetual 12 incher in my fridge at all times. I also make a lot of two foot "presentation" lengths in 2-1/4" and 3-1/2" diameters in brown cellulose casings with dark brown diamond pattern plastic netting for gifts. People go crazy over this stuff because it`s a pretty close clone to Hickory Farms smoky sausage stick that you find in the shopping malls during the holidays. Lots of folks make 3-1/2" diameter sausages in shorter 6" lengths for gifts. The Mettwurst I kept down to only two pounds just in case someone doesn`t really go for the stuff. A lot of folks say it is a "acquired" taste. I think it`s great. You`d be surprised at how many people have never tried it. Shucks ol` pard, after that, you`ll be so experienced and renown that you`ll have people beating down your doors just to put in their orders! :roll:

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Gulyás » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:58

Hello.

I'm just testing if I can link in pictures for the project. My account here is halihali100.

Mr. C.W. just testing, delete it if it doesn't belong here. Thanks.

http://s1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh601/halihali100/

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Ohhhhh........looks like it works, and it's simple.......I mean simple........ :grin:

Hey ladies and gentlemen.........it's easier than instructed on the video. :smile:
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
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