Beef Sticks

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Butterbean
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Beef Sticks

Post by Butterbean » Sun Oct 04, 2015 23:59

I wanted to make some shelf stable beef sticks to ship overseas. My aim was to make a mild stick which had a beefy flavor and not one overpowered by spices. This hit close to the mark and thought it worth sharing. God knows I've had enough train wrecks, thankfully this is not one of them.

I used 25 lbs of select chuckeye with no added fat. (I wanted to err on the side of lean)

Salt 2.3%
Cure 1 0.2%
Mustard Powder 0.05%
Nutmeg 0.047%
Fresh ground celery seed 0.06%
Ground coriander 0.04%
Onion powder 0.13%
Garlic Powder 0.22%
Fresh ground black pepper - medium/fine grind 0.54%
Corn Syrup Solids 1.3% (Note, at this rate there is only a gentle tang if more tang is desired cut this back by 0.2% or so)
Soy Protein concentrate 1%
6 cups of ice water
Bactoferm LHP prepared as directed.

Procedure - What I did anyway

chunk the meat up into a suitable size for the grinder. Add all the spices to the meat cubes and mix well and let sit in cooler for a few hours then place in freezer till its nearly frozen.

Grind using the 3/8's plate. Add the ice water and mix then and put back in freezer to get it really cold.

Mix the meat up a little and add the LHP per directions and mix some more. I used 1.5 cups of solution doctored with a pinch of dextrose.

Grind again using the 3/16's plate. Mince should come out looking like spaghetti. If it doesn't put it back in the freezer and save yourself some future trouble stuffing.

Stuff in 15 mm collagen casings and hang in smokehouse for a day. My ambient temp was in the 60's so my fermentation was slow. Next morning my pH was at 5.7 so I began a cold smoke and let the fermentation continue till noon when it hit 5.33. At this time I began adding some heat to the smoke. I kept the heat at 100F for a couple hours then gradually increased it to 150 F for two more hours then I bumped it to 155F and smoked till the internal temp reached 152F then I shut the heat off and let them rest for about 30 minutes while I checked a sample stick.

Sample had a pH of 4.95 and the available water was 0.89 thus meeting the final safety hurdles for vacuum packaging.

In packaging, I used a medium vacuum to seal the bags. Enough to give them a snug airless fit but not too much because I found too much vacuum seems to mess with the integrity of the bond between the casing and the mince.

Cooled and ready for portioning.

Image

Close up shows the dried withered look of the sticks.

Image

Vac packed and ready.

Image

In all, I think this is a pretty good beef stick. It hits the mark on accenting the beef flavor but with the luxury of hindsight I think I might add a touch more black pepper. The tang actually seems to have increased a hair from when I pulled them out of the smokehouse. I don't know if this is from the LHP still doing some work or not. Don't know if that's even possible but it does seem to have a bit more tang after resting at room temp in the bags a day.

Another thing worth noting is the soy protein concentrate makes a world of difference in the ability to stuff these small casings and the end texture and mouth feel of the stick. I've made the same without the SPC and they seemed drier and more crumbly. This one is dead on as far as mouth feel.
Last edited by Butterbean on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by redzed » Mon Oct 05, 2015 06:44

Looks like a home run here! Beautiful looking sticks! ImageAnd the collagen casings worked very well you. The last batch of sticks I made was half with sheep casings and half with collagen. Well the collagen did not adhere to the meat as nicely as they did to yours. And I suspect that the light tang was due to the fact that you fermented at a low temp for LHP because there was enough sugar in there. 10g/kg corn syrup solids is equal to 4 - 6 g of dextrose.

So who are the lucky recipients?
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Post by Butterbean » Mon Oct 05, 2015 21:08

Thanks Redzed. I'm hoping to get some of these to some people I know in the service who are overseas.


And thanks for the conversions for the CSS versus dextrose. I was having trouble finding that information.

One thing though, and I can't edit it now, but I made a typo. Instead of 1% CSS I used 1.3% so what I was thinking is the mild tang might be from sugar not fermented. That was my thoughts about backing it off some for a tangier taste but your point about the temp may be dead on. The ambient temp was in the 60's and 80's for most of the fermentation so the temp may have played more of a role than I was thinking. I'm still learning and can use all the help I can get.
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Post by Bob K » Tue Oct 06, 2015 16:53

Wow BB-
Those look fantastic! Like Redzed I always seem to have to have a problem with collagen casings not sticking to the sausage. I am thinking the the soy protein in the recipe or possibly the source of the casings.
Also where are you getting those bags from. I think you also used retort bags to ship BBQ overseas last year. I bet those folks really appreciate the "real" food and your generosity :mrgreen:
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Post by IdaKraut » Tue Oct 06, 2015 17:32

BB,
First of all, your sticks are beautiful as always. Your professionalism truly shows.

Have you tried the "Smooth Acid Blend"? I got some direct from the manufacturer a couple of years ago and while not the same flavor profile of T-SPX, it does acidify the sausage nicely without that harsh citric acid taste. You may want to give it a test.

Also, I've pretty much quit using collagen snack stick casings since I don't care for how tough they usually are and wind up peeling it off anyway. I've been using cellulose casings similar to the ones they use for skinless hot dogs with good results. I scored a bunch a while ago from an eBay vendor that had 20mm size casings. They stuff very easily and are permeable to smoke. You can also finish these in hot water if you prefer and not have to worry about the casings swelling up like the collagen ones like to do. And, once finished in the smoker or water bath, they peel off fairly easily, even if you have let them dry out and shrivel in the smoker.

Again, thanks for posting. I always love seeing your recipes which are always spot on.
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Oct 07, 2015 02:48

Bob K wrote:Wow BB-
Those look fantastic! Like Redzed I always seem to have to have a problem with collagen casings not sticking to the sausage. I am thinking the the soy protein in the recipe or possibly the source of the casings.
Also where are you getting those bags from. I think you also used retort bags to ship BBQ overseas last year. I bet those folks really appreciate the "real" food and your generosity :mrgreen:
Bob, I don't know this but I suspect you are dead on when you say it has something to do with the soy protein. I don't think its the casing though they are Devro and its a good collagen casing but I made some other batches and in one I didn't use the soy and these same casings slipped on them. So its either the soy protein or the amount of vacuum I used. I'm not sure but on this batch the collagen has adhered to the meat like skin and the bite is a unified bite and there is a nice snap as well. I wish I knew exactly but I hope to eventually work it out through elimination but I think its either the soy or the vacuum at the moment.


I did do some retort bags a while back when I hosted the 2010 Ramadan Ribfest. That was fun.

Oh, I got these foil bags from Koch. I wish they offered a narrower bag but to get those you have to make a special order and purchase a bunch of them and I didn't want to do that.
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Oct 07, 2015 02:55

IdaKraut wrote:BB,
First of all, your sticks are beautiful as always. Your professionalism truly shows.

Have you tried the "Smooth Acid Blend"? I got some direct from the manufacturer a couple of years ago and while not the same flavor profile of T-SPX, it does acidify the sausage nicely without that harsh citric acid taste. You may want to give it a test.

Also, I've pretty much quit using collagen snack stick casings since I don't care for how tough they usually are and wind up peeling it off anyway. I've been using cellulose casings similar to the ones they use for skinless hot dogs with good results. I scored a bunch a while ago from an eBay vendor that had 20mm size casings. They stuff very easily and are permeable to smoke. You can also finish these in hot water if you prefer and not have to worry about the casings swelling up like the collagen ones like to do. And, once finished in the smoker or water bath, they peel off fairly easily, even if you have let them dry out and shrivel in the smoker.

Again, thanks for posting. I always love seeing your recipes which are always spot on.
Ida, I haven't tried the acid blend. I read something in Marianski's book about GDL but haven't seen this anywhere. Do you think this is possibly the same thing? I'd like to try it either way.

I had quite using the collagen too but these last batches have changed my opinion somewhat.

Good thinking on the cellulose, I hadn't thought about that. I think I have some 20's and may give them a try. Usually just use them for hotdogs. Thanks, its good to look outside the box sometimes.
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Post by Bob K » Wed Oct 07, 2015 13:40

Butterbean wrote:Oh, I got these foil bags from Koch. I wish they offered a narrower bag but to get those you have to make a special order and purchase a bunch of them and I didn't want to do that.
Thanks BB I had never heard of Koch, they do have some different type bags.
https://www.bunzlpd.com/home.php

I have made smaller bags by cutting them in half and sealing the edge with my old foodsaver, but I don't do the volume you do.
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Post by IdaKraut » Wed Oct 07, 2015 14:15

Butterbean wrote:I read something in Marianski's book about GDL but haven't seen this anywhere. Do you think this is possibly the same thing? I'd like to try it either way.
GDL is a totally different product and I tried it once when making Landjaegers and didn't like how sour they turned out. Smooth acid blend (google it, there are several sources, like Allied Kenco) is ECA along with lactic acid and trehalose to reduce the sourness. Nothing tastes as good as using a starter culture but in a rush I find Smooth Acid Blend to be fairly close and definitely better than straight ECA.
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Oct 07, 2015 18:02

Thanks for the explanation Ida. I may give that a try. The weather here is pretty favorable for the LHP most times except during the winter so the culture is pretty easy to use without much pampering but like you say you can get in a bind and alternatives can be handy. Thanks.
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Post by Cabonaia » Sun Oct 18, 2015 16:06

I'm late to this thread but it's interesting to me for a couple of reasons.

First, I make kabanosy pretty frequently, using collagen casings, and I've never had a problem with adherence. I use just meat, salt, a little table sugar, #1 cure and spices (essentially the Marianski formula). So maybe the soy protein concentrate could be the difference?

Second, my last batch turned out with a bit of tang, which I'd never gotten before, and I am curious about this. My guess was that this happened because I let the meat rest in the fridge for several days after salting and curing it, and then added the spices, ground it up, stuffed, hung at room temperature for a day, then cold smoked overnight. The long cure in the fridge wasn't what I usually do, nor was the 24 hour hang at room temp before smoking (I usually hang them for just a couple hours till the surface dries, then smoke them). Having made Lebanon Bologna (with cure #1), which is cold smoked for several days and turns out quite tangy, I was thinking that the long cure is what gave my kabanosy the tang. BTW, it seemed the tang actually settled down a bit after baking the sticks and letting them rest on the counter a couple of days, but I am not sure. I was wondering if anybody on the forum thinks the longer cure time before cooking them is why I got that tang.
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Post by redzed » Mon Oct 19, 2015 17:53

Cabonaia wrote: So maybe the soy protein concentrate could be the difference?
So you are saying that you use soy protein in your kabanosy? If so, then it probably does help with adherence. I know that milk powder certainly does. My father always warned me about using too much of it or else you could never peel the casing off the sausage. He usually used the 42 hog casings which tend to be tougher so he likes to peel the skin off before eating the sausage. The only issue I would have with using a binder/extender in kabanosy is that they might not have that crumbly texture and snap of traditional kabanosy. But that is a minor issue, and I just might add some to my next batch which will in collagen.
Cabonaia wrote: I was wondering if anybody on the forum thinks the longer cure time before cooking them is why I got that tang.

Without testing the pH of the meat at the initial stage and then after the ferment, we really don't know, but it is more than likely the reason. Marianski writes in his Art of Making Fermented Sausages (pp.39-41) that in the traditional slow fermenting process (no added cultures) bacteria naturally residing in the meat were used. Salt, nitrates and sometimes a bit of sugar were added to the ground meat or hand cut meat and then kept for 72-96 hours, or as long as ten days, at fridge temperatures. This resulted in an increase in the number of lactic bacteria and therefore higher acid in the meat. In the recipe for Halusia's Kabanosy that I posted, the addition of sugar, and keeping the ground meat in the fridge for a couple of days is exactly for that reason. And since you kept the cured meat in the fridge for several days, bacterial activity took place.
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Post by Cabonaia » Wed Oct 21, 2015 05:35

No, I don't use soy protein or milk powder, and I've never had an adhesion problem. Maybe that's the ticket after all?

Thanks for your answer about the tang. I think you are right!
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Nov 08, 2015 02:14

Don't mean to kick a dead horse but I noticed something that might explain the adherence problem with the collagen casing and I just wanted to throw it out there to see if this sounds reasonable. First, I'd like to clarify that the adherence problem didn't cover 100% but it is noticeable especially compared to the others where I used a binding agent.

After looking at the sticks I noticed the sticks without a binder were smaller ... not a lot .... but I'm pretty sure they were smaller from the drying. My thought is that the collagen casings have a limit to which they can shrink and it required the removal of more water in the sticks without a binder than with and this exceeded the ability of the casing to shrink so it pulled off in spots.

If you recall, I thought it might have to do with the sealing of the bags but I think now the sealing just highlighted the problem because other sticks with binders were done at the same vacuum.

I had hoped to put my calipers on one the sticks only someone came along and liked them so much they took every one and wanted more. I guess the adhesion problem isn't a problem to some.

Does this sound reasonable?
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Post by Cabonaia » Sun Nov 08, 2015 04:11

Hi Butterbean - what you say makes sense. When I make kabanosy I use little water in the mix, and stuff as tight as possible - to the extent that I usually get a blowout or two. Both of these bad habits might explain why I haven't had an adhesion problem. Also, I've never tried vacuum packing them. They run out too fast for that!

One day when I am rich I will buy those pre-threaded or whatever you call 'em sheep casings, and do it right. The two times I have tried running sheep casings onto my stuffer tube, I have just about gone crazy. Used a stainless steel tube and all that. Never worked out. So until my ship comes in, it's collagen for me.
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