Potsticker Sausage

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Agoracritus
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Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Thu Jun 20, 2019 07:26

If you like potstickers, and you like sausages, you might just love this recipe!

(If you want, you can skip this intro and go right to the recipe in the next post/reply)

Making filling for potstickers was actually the first reason I got into grinding my own meat, many years ago (because I couldn’t find lean ground pork in any local grocery stores). So, I guess I should thank this humble Asian dish for starting me down the road to becoming passionate about all kinds of charcuterie (particularly sausage making)!

The only thing I’ve never really liked about potstickers (and similar Asian dumplings), is that they’re fairly tedious to assemble (especially with big ol’ fumbly fingers).

I don’t know why it took so many years for me to consider making sausages with potsticker filling. I guess I just never put it together, or assumed they weren’t compatible for some reason.

Recently, I decided to give it a shot, and as it turns out, they’re a perfect marriage!

There were definitely some “that didn’t turn out right?” moments as I experimented with different formulas and cooking methods, so I held off on posting the recipe/method until I got it down to a science that should be fairly easily duplicable/repeatable.

It’s actually my new favorite (specialty, fresh) sausage.

I’m pretty confident that anyone that tries/tests this recipe (without too much deviation) will really like too.

I’ll post the recipe/instructions in the next post/reply:
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Thu Jun 20, 2019 07:41

Here’s the recipe (“Wedliny Domowe” format):

1 kg Pork (sirloin with added back fat, or shoulder/butt partially trimmed)
(Basically, 10-20% total fat. More is okay, but typically, Asian dumpling
filling is relatively lean)

Ingredients per 1000 g (1 kg) of meat:

- Cabbage. 500 g (- about 200 g of moisture extracted later)
- Green onions. 80 g (1/3 to 1/2 cup finely chopped)
- Finely grated ginger. 2 Tbs
- Salt. 18 g (1 Tbs)
- Sugar. 18 g (1 Tbs)
- Toasted sesame oil. 2 tsp

Instructions:

1. Quarter cabbage and remove/discard core. Discard any wilted leaves. Break up, and roughly separate and weigh out remaining leaves to desired weight.
2. Boil cabbage at a simmer until slightly tender (al dente) then cool under running water and drain. Use a colander or press between towels.
3. Chill cooked cabbage in the fridge.
4. Finely chop/mince the green onions and put them in the fridge.
5. Finely grate the ginger and put (add it to the onions) in the fridge.
6. Measure and set aside the salt and sugar.
7. Grind pork (and fat) through med (1/4”, 5-6mm) plate
8. Grind chilled cabbage through large/coarse plate (this will partially “juice” the cabbage). Strain and press the excess juice out of the cabbage mash, and discard it). Note: This should leave you with only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the original weight/volume, which is desirable since excess liquid could make the sausages crumbly.
9. Thoroughly mix and stir all the prepared ingredients together (prior to adding them to the meat). This will help to assure a good, visible distribution of the wet and dry ingredients.
10. Add the mix to the ground meat and mix very thoroughly. (I use food handling nitrile gloves over cotton gardening gloves, to insulate my hands, because I’m not a macho man.)
11. Stuff into 32-36 mm hog casings. I like to pinch a two-finger width gap between each link while stuffing and twisting. (This extra casing gap will help in the next step)
12. Use scissors to cut the center of the pinched/twisted casing between links. (I prefer to do one link at a time, as apposed to making a coil first. That way I get plenty of casing “tags/tails” on both ends of each sausage. (If you do it this way, just be sure to pinch/secure the twisted outer tail while you’re stuffing, at least for the first few inches as you draw it out. It’s okay if the ends aren’t perfectly “sealed”, or if they recede a bit during cooking)...But feel free to form and link them however you are used to/comfortable doing it (this is not a critical step).
13. Put the links in the fridge for at least a few hours to “set” them before cooking.
14. To cook (before serving), I’d recommend fairly low and slow, just a light “sizzle” (to avoid over browning, which can cause the outermost bits of cabbage to impart a somewhat bitter flavor).

(Note: Do NOT steam cook them. This will sweat the fat out and make them dry and crumbly. Also, you CAN poach them, but not in water over 170 degrees F, or they will possibly rupture the casing to shreds)

The sausages can be refrigerated for a few days, or frozen for several months.

I like to just eat them with some Asian dipping sauce and a side of rice, but you can get as fancy as you’d like.

HOPE YOU TRY AND ENJOY THIS RECIPE!!
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Thu Jun 20, 2019 08:17

Here’s a picture of a batch of “potsticker sausages” I made today. I followed (exactly) the rough draft of the recipe that I just posted (to make sure I wasn’t missing something in the ingredients or instructions). I cooked one up for dinner, and it was everything that I think the taste and texture could/should be. I hope some other adventurous sausage makers give it a try, and like it. It would be quite a thrill for me to contribute a “new” idea to this well established and popular forum!
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Bob K » Thu Jun 20, 2019 16:25

Looks good , sounds good! Real nice job linking!
My 2 cents.
Switch to Chinese cabbage (Napa) A lot more tender
Add dehydrated chopped mushrooms to absorb some moisture. Shiitake are traditional. You can find all the dehydrated fungus (mushrooms) you want at a local Asian market. Then you could add some Chinese wine or dry sherry.
Asian stuff usually uses fatty pork (20-30%) A lot of times pork belly
Wheres the garlic and pepper? :(
And He He, No wrapper no potsticker :wink:
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by redzed » Thu Jun 20, 2019 17:09

Thanks for that recipe! Great idea! I love potstickers but we don't eat them at home because of my wife's gluten free diet. I will be definitely making these.
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Thu Jun 20, 2019 20:21

Bob K wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 16:25
Looks good , sounds good! Real nice job linking!
My 2 cents.
Switch to Chinese cabbage (Napa) A lot more tender
Add dehydrated chopped mushrooms to absorb some moisture. Shiitake are traditional. You can find all the dehydrated fungus (mushrooms) you want at a local Asian market. Then you could add some Chinese wine or dry sherry.
Asian stuff usually uses fatty pork (20-30%) A lot of times pork belly
Wheres the garlic and pepper? :(
And He He, No wrapper no potsticker :wink:
Thanks for the compliments and feedback.

To answer some of your questions:

-I do often use Napa cabbage. I haven’t found a very noticeable difference once they’re broken down. (Not as noticeable as the price difference anyway) :? Good tip though, I use the same method and ratio for either kind of cabbage.

-As far as the pepper and garlic, ironically I use garlic and pepper in almost everything I make (including variations of this recipe). The only reason I didn’t include them in the posted recipe, is that I wanted to make it as basic as it can be, so people can add whatever they want (but not wonder about omitting anything)

Basically, for anyone who tries making these sausages, and they feel like something is missing during the eating step, that’s where the homemade dipping sauce comes in. :wink:
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Thu Jun 20, 2019 21:34

redzed wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 17:09
Thanks for that recipe! Great idea! I love potstickers but we don't eat them at home because of my wife's gluten free diet. I will be definitely making these.
You’re welcome! And Thank You, for your helpful replies to many of my other posts and questions!! (Incidentally, I made a batch of the “Chicken Spinach Feta Sausages” for the first time last week, after coming across some of your posts about them, and they were excellent!)
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Sat Jun 22, 2019 05:40

If I could modify my recently posted recipe; I think that my statement about the filling for Asian dumplings and potstickers being “typically relatively lean” was basically incorrect. (thanks Bob K, for bringing that to my attention). I hadn’t looked into other Asian dumpling recipes in quite some time, having only used my own refined/modified and indexed recipe for years.

However, I still think that about 20% fat (+/-) is optimal for this particular recipe/sausage. I know this kind of flies in the face of most sausage making, and I can’t really explain it, but for some reason I really prefer the taste and texture of a leaner pork (or chicken) potsticker filling/sausage.

Either way, I don’t think that 30% or more fat content would ruin them, by any means, but I’m still confident that it not only CAN be a relatively lean sausage, but is actually be better on the leaner side, to my particular taste anyway.
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by redzed » Sat Jun 22, 2019 16:35

I will be making three different sausages next week for our annual Canada Day Party. In addition, I think I'm going to make a few links of this sausage. Report to follow.
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Sat Jun 29, 2019 04:02

redzed wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 16:35
I will be making three different sausages next week for our annual Canada Day Party. In addition, I think I'm going to make a few links of this sausage. Report to follow.
I’m really looking forward to your report! That being said, making another batch of them today myself, confirmed that they are significantly more time consuming to make than most sausage recipes. Preparing the the cabbage, green onions and ginger takes about as long as all the other steps combined. Kudos to you if you have the ambition and stamina to add that much extra work to your already impressive workload! (But basically, it won’t hurt my feelings at all if you decide to put off making extra work for yourself this round)
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Sat Jun 29, 2019 04:08

Since my last batch of “potsticker sausages” was still a bit of an experimental batch to test the recipe before posting it, I did more of a “final test” today after some of the feedback I’ve gotten since then.

I basically went with what I think is closer to the more optimal (vs basic) recipe.
-25% fat (3 small untrimmed boneless pork shoulder roasts)
-0.2% fresh ground black pepper (not in basic recipe)
-0.1% roasted garlic powder (not in basic recipe)
-High grade casings (I went with some “experimental casings” last time, that I hadn’t tried before, and they were disappointing. Some way too chewy during the taste testing)

I also tried skipping the cabbage blanching/simmering step, and that didn’t work well at all, (for several reasons...), so I went back to the simmering method as described in the original recipe/directions, which I would still always recommend (as well as using a food grinder with the coarse plate, as apposed to a food processor, which could easily “purée” the cabbage and make it very difficult to squeeze the excess juice out).

I still haven’t gotten to the actual final taste test. They’re “setting” in the fridge right now, and I’ll probably “precook” most of them before vacuum sealing and freezing them for the grill later next week...

I’m pretty confident they will be my best batch so far. If nothing else, they LOOK improved over my last sample photo. (although I have to admit, I was actually thinking ahead to the “photo shoot”, as I formed and linked them this round). :wink:

Here’s a pic of 11 lbs. (approximately 30, 8”,1/3 lb fresh links):
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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by redzed » Sat Jun 29, 2019 18:54

Well, I did make a small 2kg test batch of this sausage. However, there were a few adjustments, modifications and an unintended omission. I reduced the amount of salt to 15g/kg since that is what I usually add now to fresh sausage. Instead of sugar, I used 15g/kg corn syrup solids which is a little less sweet and has some binding properties. There were no green onions on hand, so I substituted them with chives from my garden. For the cabbage I used Napa and just chopped it and mixed in. And lastly, I added garlic and matsutake mushrooms. Unfortunately I forgot the sesame oil.

Turned out to be a very interesting sausage. I poached it and tested it without giving it any sizzle because I wanted to take the casing off before consuming. Not having the proper sauce on hand, I doused it in a Thai sweet sauce that we like on spring rolls. The flavour was very good, the meat was soft than moist and a nice crunch of the cabbage. The matsutake and garlic came to the front and I'm sure that the sesame oil would have improved it as well. Will be making this again, and will also try it using turkey meat.

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Re: Potsticker Sausage

Post by Agoracritus » Mon Jul 01, 2019 00:21

redzed wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 18:54
Will be making this again, and will also try it using turkey meat.
Image Image
Glad you made and liked them! I think turkey sounds like a very interesting alternative to pork or chicken. I’m probably going to try chicken thighs for my next batch. (I already know they work great for chicken potsticker filling, but I’ve only experimented with various pork cuts and fat %, so far with the sausages).

I’m certain that if you make them again, you’ll not be surprised that the toasted sesame oil has a significant impact/improvement on the overall flavor (since you’re already familiar with it). I actually don’t use toasted sesame oil for anything other than dumpling filling and sometimes refried rice. For the most part, I don’t really like it. Even in very small quantities it can easily take over/overpower a dish. I do consider it to be a key ingredient in potstickers and “potsticker sausages” though...(not that I need to “sell” you on this idea, as you well stated that omitting it wasn’t intentional. :wink: I’m just reiterating the importance of this relatively uncommon ingredient for anyone less familiar with its very unique flavor, and significance in this particular recipe)

I’ll probably switch from sugar to dextrose as well. I didn’t even think about it being a better binder, but I was actually considering doing that already because I’m sucrose intolerant (and my usual sugar substitutes, like agave, might taste “off” to other people).

Thanks again redzed, for trying out and experimenting with this recipe! Hope yo have a great Canada Day, and feast!! (Being an Americanadian, I get to enjoy both celebrations this week :D )
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