[USA] NorCal's Spicy Hot Links

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NorCal Kid
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[USA] NorCal's Spicy Hot Links

Post by NorCal Kid » Tue Feb 28, 2012 23:52

This weekend I thought I'd make small batch of sausages for my 19-year old son & me. We're the only ones in our household of five who like spicy hot foods. Both of us have some dietary restrictions (we're both Type 1 diabetics, plus he has celiac) so finding 'store-bought hot links' that aren't overly loaded with salt, sugar, fat or even gluten is a real challenge.
So per his request & with his assistance, we made a five-pound batch of spicy hot links.

Here's the recipe. It's a modification off a variety of Poli's recipes, suited to fit our personal tastes and preferences.
Metric listed below first as I prefer weight versus volume for accuracy.

Hot Links
Pork Butt 1590g (3.0 lbs)
Beef Chuck 908g (2.0 lbs)

Kosher salt 44g
Non-Fat dry milk 40g (1/2 cup)
*I pulverized the NFDM in my spice grinder. makes it a very fine powder.
Sweet Paprika 15g (2.5 TBL)
Smoked Paprika 15g (2.5 TBL)
(if you REALLY want to make these burn, use 30g of Hot Paprika in place of the sweet & smoked)
Cayenne pepper 30g (4 TBL)
Onion powder 16g (2 TBL)
Mustard powder 14g (2 TBL)
Garlic powder 9.0g (1 TBL)
Brown sugar 20g (2 TBL)
Black pepper 6.0g (1 TBL)
Anise* 6.0g (1 TBL)
(very prominent flavor, use less if desired)
Coriander, ground 4.0g (2 tsp)
Allspice 3.0g (1.5 tsp)
Cure#1 6g (one level tsp)
Red Tabasco Sauce 60 ml (4.0 TBL)
Ice water 8 fl oz (1/2 cup)

Pork & beef partially frozen. Cut into pieces that fit your grinder's feed chute.
First grind: Both meats through a medium plate (4.5mm). Dissolve cure in the ice water, along with the anise, coriander, allspice & black pepper.
Pour mixture into meat. Add the remainder of ingredients and mix well until a sticky meat paste results (about 10 minutes of hand-mixing). Regrind again through a FINE plate (3.0).
Stuff into 32-34mm casings. Twist off 4-6 inch lengths. Hang to dry while the smoker is being prepared. Pre-heat smoker to 130-140° and hang sausages in smoker. No smoke for the first hour. Add heavy smoke for the next 2-2.5 hours, increasing temps gradually over the same time up to 160°. Quit smoke. Raise temp in smoker up to 170° & continue to cook links until an IT of 160° OR pul the links after the smoke and put them in a hot water bath (165°) until the IT of 160° is reached (less than 30 minutes). Cool off in ice bath (the hot links, NOT you!). Pull links & hang to bloom. Refrigerate.

All the ingredients lined up...
Image

I used 3 pounds of pork butt and two pounds of beef chuck roast. Two grinds.
The first-a medium grind (4.5mm):
Image

After mixing in all the ingredients, I put the batch through a fine grind (3.0mm). Then I used 34mm natural pork casings.
Made 14 good size (6-7") links...
Image

Got 'em hung in a pre-heated smoker (140°) with no smoke for the first hour:
Image

After two & a half hours of heavy smoke. Combo of hickory & cherry sawdust:
Image

Plunge the batch into a hot bath (165°) to bring them up to an IT of 160° Took only about 20 minutes:
Image

Quick-cooling in an ice bath afterwards:
Image

Bloom time: No wrinkling nor 'shrinkage' due to the poach. sometimes on long smokes in the smoker, some wrinkling of the links occurs. These guys remained juicy & plump!
Image

Taste time: Whoa! HOT!!...which is what we were going for! Slight anise-taste goes well with the vinegary 'pepperiness' of the tabasco. BIG afterburn....
My son gave them a big thumbs up! Definitely need a cool beverage alongside these bad boys!
Image

For my tastes, I found these to be plenty hot, but some folks REALLY take it to the next level. The hot paprika would certainly do that and/or using ghost pepper or habenero hot sauce in place of tabasco would accomplish this as well.

Thanks for looking!

-Kevin
Last edited by NorCal Kid on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Spicy HOT Links!

Post by Oxide » Wed Feb 29, 2012 00:03

NorCal Kid wrote:
For my tastes, I found these to be plenty hot, but some folks REALLY take it to the next level. The hot paprika would certainly do that and/or using ghost pepper or habenero hot sauce in place of tabasco would accomplish this as well.

Thanks for looking!

-Kevin

I want you to know I experienced acid reflex ... heartburn, just from looking at your pictures. :mrgreen:

Actually, I was kinds of salivating, they look great, as usual. Thanks for sharing, I may give that recipe a try.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Feb 29, 2012 04:52

Beautiful sausage Kevin. Nicely done!
It certainly qualifies as your own. Keep it up pard! Thanks for sharing.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by el Ducko » Wed Feb 29, 2012 20:28

Sounds explosive! Very attractive layout of pictures, too.

Now that I know that NFDM has nothing to do with fulminate of mercury, it looks like a great recipe, definitely worth trying. Thanks, NorCal.
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Post by NorCal Kid » Wed Feb 29, 2012 21:48

el Ducko wrote:Now that I know that NFDM has nothing to do with fulminate of mercury, it looks like a great recipe, definitely worth trying.
..although you'd have to admit: a dose of mercury fulminate in the links would make for a fairly explosive dining experience... :mrgreen:

-Kevin
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Post by Keymaster » Sat Mar 03, 2012 03:17

Very Nice job Kevin!!! Always top notch!
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Post by two_MN_kids » Sat Mar 03, 2012 03:59

Hey Kevin,

These could work in 19mm casings as snack sticks too, couldn't they?

Jim
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Post by NorCal Kid » Sun Mar 04, 2012 16:33

two_MN_kids wrote:Hey Kevin,

These could work in 19mm casings as snack sticks too, couldn't they?

Jim
I don't see why not, Jim. They'd make some tasty HOT stix, that's for sure!

-Kevin
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Post by IdaKraut » Sun Mar 25, 2012 21:22

Kevin,

Excellent pictures and write-up. I really like how the texture of the finished product looks which I believe you achieved with a final grind using a 3mm plate? I agree, finishing sausage links in a hot water bath keeps the shrinkage down a lot, unless of course you are blessed with having a steam cabinet which a lot of commercial sausage shops use.

Rudy
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Post by JerBear » Mon Nov 12, 2012 17:56

Hey Kevin,

These looks great and I've been eyeing hot links as my next project. Have you tried making these with fennel instead of anise?
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Post by sawhorseray » Mon Nov 12, 2012 22:48

What a great piece of work Kevin! How do you regulate the water temperature, maybe by adding a bit from a kettle as the bath-water cools? It seems the bathing method gives the sausage a softer appearance and texture as opposed to spending the entire time in the smoker? I know when I recently smoked some Kolbasz on the smoker for the entire process time they came out much darker and firmer than I imagined they would. Am I correct in thinking that the bath method would end up with the sausage having more of a "hotdog" texture, and therefore be more suited to going on a French roll if desired? RAY
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Post by sawhorseray » Tue Nov 13, 2012 00:13

I found the thread on Kevin's turkey roaster and that explained quite a bit to me. Of the turkey roasters I could find specs on the thermostats all began at 200°, too hot for what's intended here. I really think the texture Kevin gains from the bath after smoking is something special, and the sausage still looks to be moist and juicy. There are a number of sausage recipes I'd like to try this method on, everything just appears perfect. Now to find the proper poaching appliance! RAY
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Post by orf » Tue Nov 13, 2012 23:04

hey ray.why not just a big pot of simmering water,thats what I use. orf...
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Post by Gulyás » Tue Nov 13, 2012 23:35

Hi Ray.

I got an Oster roaster oven from Sam's club, it's 20 qrt. for $ 34.95.
Adjustable temperatures between 150° and 450° F.
This one is a little bigger.

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/oster-22-q ... tid=211245
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Post by snagman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 00:46

Kevin,

Beautiful work ! Clearly you are a photographer as well. Not a fan of hot snags, very much a fan of great work and presentation irrespective of the recipe. Order of the Snag Knight for you Mate !
Regards,
Gus
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