Chorizo Experiment (Type 3.) Time to order a culture.
Semi-Dry Cured Sausage - These are tangy, fermented, cured, and usually prep-cooked 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 (Cure #1), cooked during preparation, dried (yielding about 75%), but not usually further cooked before serving them. (An exception is pepperoni on pizza). Favorites include varieties of summer sausage, landjaeger, kabanosy, "slim jims", and yup... chorizo.
We can take cured-cooked-smoked sausage a step further and make a chorizo (or any other sausage) that we can slice cold and enjoy with a cold brew. This is ideal "trail food" and as a youngster I packed it in saddlebags for a quick snack with a ten o`clock morning coffee break sitting in the sage on the high mountain south slope of our ranch. I also packed it along to school and put a "chaw" inside my cheek while I studied. It was more moist than jerky and just right for convenience. During WWII, the German infantryman often carried along "Landjaeger" - a "semi-dry cured sausage pressed flat during the fermentation step.
The most well-known "semi-dry-cured" sausage is probably good ol` Italian pepperoni. Almost everyone has had it on a pizza to be cooked with the olives and green peppers atop the cheese? This third type of sausage is kicked up a notch by a process called "fermentation" - with which many of you are familiar. It will involve the use of a very fast Bactoferm™ culture called LHP and you will see what flavor "controlled spoilage" of meat will produce. More importantly, you`ll understand "WHY" you are doing "WHAT" you are doing. Later in this project, we`ll even make an encased "spreadable" German sausage with a medium-fast culture producing the "tangy" fermentation we`re looking for.
Okay, for those of you who would like to try SEMI-dry cured types of sausage, you`ll need to order a packet of Bactoferm™ LHP culture. This particular culture is so fast that is will drop the pH to 5.0 in merely 48 hours. Rather than build a special fermentation chamber, we`ll use a baking sheet with salt inside your kitchen oven with the pilot light or a 100 watt bulb providing the only heat. LHP is well suited for all fermented sausages where a relatively pronounced acidification is desired. The culture is recommended for the production of traditionally fermented, dry sausages with a sourly flavor note. Each 42-gram packet of LHP will treat 500 pounds (225 kilo) of meat. Freeze the remaining culture. Don`t think for a minute that the remainder will go to waste. It is ideal for the quick fermentation of Kabanosy and other meat "sticks" also. You may prefer to use any number of recipes with this quick-acting fermentation culture. Cultures may be stored in your freezer 6 months. Un-refrigerated it has a shelf life of only 14 days.
So, if you`re interested in making a "third type" of the same chorizo recipe (or any other recipe you prefer), order a small packet (42 grams) of Bactoferm LHP now. We`ll be starting on it about the time you`ll be receiving your order. I think you`ll be very surprised at the speedy and uniform fermentation this culture provides. With a little "hands on" experience with the culture, you may prefer it in many of your sausages. There are limitless possibilities of sausage sticks that can be made with LHP.
Fully dry-cured or "air dried" sausages are yet another type of sausage; one in which a special "fermentation chamber" will be required. In "Project B", this "fully dry-cured" sausage is NOT covered. We will be starting another Project A for dry-cured sausage after Christmas.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill!