Weekend sausage

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jjnurk
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Post by jjnurk » Mon Jan 07, 2019 14:29

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So its been over 5 weeks and the weight loss was down to 42%. I must say I thought this would have turned out a little bit better than I expected. It almost seemed as though the inside wasn't cured yet but the outside was rather hard. I don't know if it would be classified as "case hardening" cause I religously kept the chamber at 80% and 12C, except for a few days where I scaped off some of the exterior mould as well as brought the humidty down for to 70% and 8C, just to see if that would help.
The taste was certainly there, if you could get past the ammonia smell/taste :cry: .
Throughout the process, I noticed a really, really strong ammonia smell. I was airing the chamber out a few times a day but I don't think that was enough and so the smell impregnated the meat and I'm certain it's not going to be edible. So, going forward what do I:

1. punch a few more holes into the chamber and have a regulated air intake system
2. it almost seemed as though there might have been an excess of mould on the exterior, so do I limit that, or does that matter
3. Some of the the post of cured salami seem to have a very nice packed and even inside/outside. Even though I packed mine as tight as I could and let the air out, it seems to have withered in certain areas, making it look rather unappealing
4. is the ammonia salami salvageable or coyote bait.

Thx in advance.
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Jan 09, 2019 15:15

IMHO, I think your drying looks fine judging from the edges but looking at the stick itself it looks like you have a cave in - the big dent - and don't think you have excess mold - if that's possible - my suspicion is that you did not get a proper bind when mixing the mince which lead to separation and the caves. Just my thought.

If I'm right about the bind and insufficient mixing a way you might help prevent this from happening again is to cut the meat up into grinder sized pieces and cure them for a couple three days before you grind. This will help extract the myosin and give you a cushion so when you do mix the mince the mixing won't be so critical. Of course I'm speculating and you may have done all that.
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Post by jjnurk » Thu Jan 10, 2019 18:25

Thx for the info BB !!
I've got 2 hygrometers and thermomters in the chamber, which are reading relatively close, so maybe it's taking longer to cure than I thought and the parameters are being met so as not to cause the case hardening.
Thoughts on the ammonia smell? From what I have read, it should discipate once all the meat inside has fully cured. I realize it gives off an odor when the bacteria is converting the oxygen ?? in the raw meat into dry/cured. So in theory, once fully cured, no more smell :lol:
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Post by Butterbean » Fri Jan 11, 2019 17:49

Jnurk, in my view your meat is already cured and you are simply in the drying stage. (splitting hairs) I wouldn't worry about the ammonia smell, this could be from your mold or from the many reactions going on inside the meat. It should dissipate I would think and you are probably picking up the smell due to the confined space of the chamber. I find it interesting to monitor the smells during the drying process. These aromas typically change with time and what's going on inside the meat. Sometimes mine smell like cheese and will fill my kitchen with a lovely cheesy smell but they can smell like fruit, nuts, dirty socks and a host of other things. If you are interested in understanding the mechanics of this the Toldra book, Dry-Cured Meat Products goes into all these reactions but its pretty heavy reading but it will answer a lot of specific questions.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it and just let things take its course but I would worry about any caves in your product as I think this could be sites for bad stuff to grow.
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Re: Weekend sausage

Post by jjnurk » Wed Feb 06, 2019 21:30

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Just came back from a trip to New Orleans. And of course had to try authentic local boudin and gator sausage, not to mention a whole pile of everything else. The boudin was nice and spicy but rather on the soft side, grilled not smoked and served with some creole mustard sauce. The gator sausage was made from 80% gator meat and 20% pork and smoked on hickory. First time to try both but my favorite leaned towards the gator. Not sure if it was the texture of it or the nice smokiness. Either way, both were quite tasty.
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Re: Weekend sausage

Post by Butterbean » Wed Feb 06, 2019 23:22

Looks and sounds good. On the boudin, what would you guess the rice ratio was? Heavy, medium or not much? I eat quite a bit of cajun and creole dishes and there seems to be a lot of argument over how much rice should be in the boudin. Some cajuns I know claim if there is a lot of rice then its subpar while others I know complain if there isn't enough.
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Re: Weekend sausage

Post by jjnurk » Mon Feb 11, 2019 20:12

On the boudin, what would you guess the rice ratio was? Heavy, medium or not much?
I'm going to say that it was a 50/50 mixture. It was rather mushy, not something I care for too much. That's why I prefered the gator, the texture was a lot firmer.
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Re: Weekend sausage

Post by Butterbean » Tue Feb 12, 2019 06:12

I like it firmer too. There used to be a cajun on the net who sent me some spices and he told me to go easy on the rice since adding too much rice was what low quality sausages made by more profit minded people made. This made sense till a friend of mine married a cajun and I made them some boudin following this guy's instructions just knowing it would be what he liked. NOT ENOUGH RICE. :twisted: :D :D
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Re: Weekend sausage

Post by jjnurk » Tue Feb 12, 2019 17:01

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I threw back the soppressats that weren't looking too good back into the curing chamber and to my surprise, 1 out of the 4 salamis turned out! Nice color and flavour. Passed it around at work and not bad review for a first time try. I was expecting a rather off flavour, considering the amount of ammonia smell I was noticing. I swept off the mold and lowered the temp to about 7C for about a week and cranked it back up again to 12C. Still dont understand why only one turned out and the others didn't. Anyhoo..... gonna try again.
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Re: Weekend sausage

Post by jjnurk » Sun May 05, 2019 21:53

After my first dismal attempt at making soppressata, I've decided to go balls out and pull a Red. I made 11 lbs of Spanita Romana into a beef bung, made a press out of 2 cutting boards, with 6 threaded rods for the tension, squished it for 3 days and hung it for 9 weeks. Still needs a little more time but fantastic flavour. Certainly will be doing this again.
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