Rookie failure doing Spanish chorizo

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wasuky
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Rookie failure doing Spanish chorizo

Post by wasuky » Mon Oct 12, 2020 15:37

Hi guys... first of all I must apologize since I posted this same text in another post a couple weeks ago. I just did a copy/paste to create this new post.

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I got a hog a few months ago (it went from the farm to my kitchen). I immediately broke it down and froze it. A few days later I started cleaning each piece and cutting to start grinding it (after I finished cleaning the meat was 100% thawed). Right after I cleaned it I started grinding using a 4,5mm disc and then separated in 1kg bags and back to the freezer.

Now I have to say that when I say "I cleaned it" I don't mean that I separated 100% meat from fat like a surgery. I would say that each 1kg bag had 20-30% of fat (I separated the back fat and the other muscles outer fat but I left the fat inside muscles).

Anyway I used 300gr of that ground meat I had in the back of the freezer to try to make a dried chorizo but I got an odd result and I have no idea why (maybe the 2 times frozen/thawed meat, maybe the recipe, maybe my non-tested drying chamber).
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I used:

300gr of ground meat (I would say 70/30)
1/2 fresh garlic clove (I saw this in a Spanish recipe)
2gr of sugar
7gr of salt
0,9gr of curing salt #2
2 teaspoons of smoked sweet Paprika

I mixed everything for 15min but I never felt like it got sticky, in fact it felt kind of loose. I stuffed everything in hog casings, fermented for 2 days in a place of the house that stays at 25-27 °C and 85-95% H and then placed it in the curing chamber at 12-14°C and 70-75%H.

The 2nd and 3rd week I noticed the casing was a bit greasy and sticky. I cleaned it with water and vinegar and put it back in. The other 2 weeks left the casing felt dry.

After 1month it only lost 25% I cut it open the 5th week and that's what I got. One thing I noticed before I cut it was that if I pressed and slided my fingers against the sausage, the casing slided too (it was obviously not attached to the meat).

Now... a few things I think about that make me think "oh.. maybe thats the problem":

1- Maybe the ground meat I used didn't have 30% of fat as I thought. Maybe it had more than 30%... maybe a lot more. Maybe due to my inexperience I just can't estimate the meat/fat ratio.

2- Maybe the fresh garlic spoiled the whole thing as I read it somewhere I could happen (I read it after I stuffed it).

3- My non-tested curing chamber is a broken old fridge I fixed up and set to work as curing chamber. Happens that my regular fridge stopped cooling as it should during the first 3 weeks the sausage was in the curing chamber, so my family started opening the door a lot. As soon as you open the door, the humidity goes up like crazy to infinity and beyond, but once you close the door it takes 2-4min to go down to 70-75. Maybe the opening/closing ended up spoling the sausage.

4- Maybe the fact that the meat was ground with a considerable % of fat in it, caused a seal on the meat preventing it from drying.

5- Maybe the 2 frozen/unfrozen caused it to lose lots of liquids and proteins preventing it to bind and dry.
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Bob K
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Re: Rookie failure doing Spanish chorizo

Post by Bob K » Tue Oct 13, 2020 14:21

Did you use a culture? Were you able to check the PH ? To be honest it looks like a binding issue and the mince should have gotten sticky when mixing. Are you sure the salt was added....that has happened to me :oops:
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wasuky
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Re: Rookie failure doing Spanish chorizo

Post by wasuky » Tue Oct 13, 2020 15:54

No ph-meter and no culture in this ones but I did use some L. Rhamnosus probiotic product I have in the next test I did (with ground meat from the same bag) and the texture was the same. Actually I paid more attention when I was hand mixing the second time and it was then when I noticed the grainy texture. I thought if I mixed longer I could get the right texture but didn't happen. I mixed for 15-20min and the texture didn't change. I tried to make some balls with the meat by putting a lot of pressure on them but the balls fell apart just by looking at them. I cased the meat, left the to ferment and then put them in the chamber, but I took it out after a week to cut it open (I was curious)... but it was the same. After I mixed the 2nd test I took out the red sausages (the spanish chorizo) just to see that I had miserably failed.

On the weekend I made 1kg of spanish chorizo in 50mm casing (today is the 3rd day fermenting). In this one used some pork ham I had in the freezer and back fat. I cleaned the meat as much as I could, ground it in the same 4,5mm disc and only used the back fat cut in small cubes. As soon as I started mixing the meat felt totally different than the one I have already ground in the freezer. I used what was left in the grinder and that I could not push out to make 2 balls and I made something like the italian Pitina Friulana (the meat covered in polenta... if it goes well it will be a non-smoked spanish pitina). Anyway, I took the 2 balls out of the fermenter after the 2nd day and they were already hard and compact as expected.

Now... I know I write a lot. All I say is, what could cause this grainy texture in the ground meat that makes it impossible to bind? Could it be caused by being defrosted twice (once while it was a whole muscle and again when it was already ground and ready to be used)? Are binding-responsable proteins lost when the meat is defrost?

I am just trying to understand so I don't mess it again.
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Re: Rookie failure doing Spanish chorizo

Post by cajuneric » Sat Oct 17, 2020 13:28

Could be a fermentation issue or even a grinding issue. Was the sausage "greasy" in any way? Just a few weeks ago we made a fresh batch of chorizo using this recipe: http://twoguysandacooler.com/spanish-chorizo/ It's very detailed in the process.
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