[USA] Lockhart TX Style Beef Sausage

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[USA] Lockhart TX Style Beef Sausage

Post by tdimler » Tue Jan 07, 2014 01:37

I set out to re-create the beef sausages made in the famous Lockhart, TX BBQ establishments like Blacks, Smitty's, and Kreuz. They all make a beef sausage, simply seasoned, with a unique soft texture. There isn't a modern recipe shared for these sausages but some old information basically stating that they are 85% Beef and 15% Pork and the beef mostly comes from the brisket points. They are simply seasoned with only salt, black pepper, and cayenne. I can attest that they way them make them ends in an excellent, but VERY fatty sausage. I couldn't in good conscience make a sausage that fatty, so I used both the flat and point from a whole, somewhat lean brisket. For the pork I used simple shoulder meat. There is also some speculation that they use a cereal binder....this may have a lot to do with the texture.

For a 10lb batch I used:

8.5 lb beef brisket
1.5 lb pork shoulder
2.2 oz coarse Kosher salt
1t. cayenne pepper
About 3.5 T. coarse black pepper
14 grams cure #1
1.5 cups of water mixed with 2 oz dry milk powder

I was conflicted on the pepper...some mixes called for way more...like 2 oz. Some way less. I weighed out 2 oz. and it looked like about 2 pounds so I got scared to add this much! I started with only about 1.5 T. but added about 2 T. more but was afraid to over spice it.



The brisket flat

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The point already cubed up.

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I added and mixed all seasoning minus water and milk powder to the cubed meat and put it back in the fridge to set overnight.

Pulled it out the next day and ground it twice through a medium plate then back in the fridge till later in the day. Then I added the water and milk powder slurry and stuffed into pork casing. I recently asked for suggestions about avoiding air in my sausages and it seemed to help...especially adding a little more liquid. Also, this time I didn't worry about knotting off the casing at the end of each sausage..just tying tightly with string which saved time and worked better anyway.

This is an older picture of stuffing some pork sausage but I thought I'd throw it in for effect!

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I usually like traditional links tied with string but I thought I'd try to do something different...I thought you had to be a real old European sausage maker to link sausages but if I can now do it I am certain anyone can!

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I threw the stuffed sausage back in the fridge overnight and pulled it out early the next morning to let the casings dry off at room temp for a little over an hour.

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Then into my smokehouse for about 4-5 hours of oak smoke running between 120F and 140F. I just let them roll until I liked the color. Almost done here.

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This is what works the magic!

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Just out of the smokehouse.

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I got one of these old roasters to use for poaching and it worked really well...I have the water set around 165F and poached these sausages to 154F internal temperature.

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Then into an ice bath.

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Then let them bloom for a couple hours.

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Finished product after cooling again overnight.

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I grilled some yesterday to test it all out and I'm very happy with the results. The pepper was a bit light and I would put at least 6T. next time. The texture of the Lockhart sausage is what I can't seem to get, but I may try the cereal binder next time and see what that does...but if it takes simply more fat I'm not going that direction! The whole process was much better than any of my previous sausage. It's beginning to get easier and more fun thanks to practice and suggestions from others that have done it a lot more than me!

Travis
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Post by Chuckwagon » Tue Jan 07, 2014 02:01

Hi Travis,
That is simply outstanding! Wow, the sausage looks amazing and the texture looks most professional. I'll bet Kreutz Market would throw fits of jealousy if they sunk a tooth into your sausage!
Hey pal, are you still in Gail, Texas with that gorgeous smokehouse you made from that old adobe building? We very much enjoyed your smokehouse photos from about a year ago. Keep up the good work.
What will you call your Lockhart recipe? Any special title for me to list in the MRI.?

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by tdimler » Tue Jan 07, 2014 04:08

Chuckwagon wrote:Hi Travis,
That is simply outstanding! Wow, the sausage looks amazing and the texture looks most professional. I'll bet Kreutz Market would throw fits of jealousy if they sunk a tooth into your sausage!
Hey pal, are you still in Gail, Texas with that gorgeous smokehouse you made from that old adobe building? We very much enjoyed your smokehouse photos from about a year ago. Keep up the good work.
What will you call your Lockhart recipe? Any special title for me to list in the MRI.?

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
Thanks for the compliments. Still in the same spot here with my old smokehouse....she's all black inside now and smells great anywhere within 30 feet!

Not sure about the Lockhart recipe name...maybe just Lockhart Beef Sausage? Though someome might be disappointed if they made it expecting it to be exactly the same???

Travis
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Post by redzed » Tue Jan 07, 2014 04:56

Nice job on the sausage! You certainly have all your ducks in a row! Perfectly stuffed and smoked and from the picture, the texture looks very good. I also like the simplicity of the recipe, where you get to taste the beef rather than mask it with a dozen or more spice as some do. As for the mouthfeel, you probably will get a more moist sausage off the grill if there was a bit more fat, but from the pic it looks good to me. I suppose you could add some soy protein next time and therefore more water, and that might make it more moist.

There is, however one small, but important error in your recipe in that your nitrite content is high. 14g of Cure#1 in a 10lb batch results in 193ppm. The maximum recommended amount is 156ppm. Most European recipes call for 120ppm or even less. In my opinion 10g. would have sufficed.
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Post by el Ducko » Tue Jan 07, 2014 16:32

Beautifully done. I'm going to do this one next. I'm salivating as I type this.

One of the local guys at Granzin's Meat Market (just down the road, in New Braunfels) told me that in Lockhart and in Luling they use mostly the trimmings from sliced brisket sales to make their sausages. That runs the fat content so high that his market can't/won't make them that way. That would explain the amazing taste, though!

This will be a classic recipe. Good work! Thanks for sharing.

Wanna try tackling the Elgin style next? (This will require extensive tasting, of course! Yum.) No hurry- - this recipe will keep me happy for some time to come.
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Post by tdimler » Wed Jan 08, 2014 01:00

redzed wrote:Nice job on the sausage! You certainly have all your ducks in a row! Perfectly stuffed and smoked and from the picture, the texture looks very good. I also like the simplicity of the recipe, where you get to taste the beef rather than mask it with a dozen or more spice as some do. As for the mouthfeel, you probably will get a more moist sausage off the grill if there was a bit more fat, but from the pic it looks good to me. I suppose you could add some soy protein next time and therefore more water, and that might make it more moist.

There is, however one small, but important error in your recipe in that your nitrite content is high. 14g of Cure#1 in a 10lb batch results in 193ppm. The maximum recommended amount is 156ppm. Most European recipes call for 120ppm or even less. In my opinion 10g. would have sufficed.
I really didn't have any issue with this sausage being too dry...it was just right for me, it's just that I was trying to re-create the mouthfeel of the Lockhart products.

Thanks for pointing out the nitrite level being high....I'll dial it down next time. At least I won't kill my friends with botulism!

TD
Beautifully done. I'm going to do this one next. I'm salivating as I type this.

One of the local guys at Granzin's Meat Market (just down the road, in New Braunfels) told me that in Lockhart and in Luling they use mostly the trimmings from sliced brisket sales to make their sausages. That runs the fat content so high that his market can't/won't make them that way. That would explain the amazing taste, though!

This will be a classic recipe. Good work! Thanks for sharing.

Wanna try tackling the Elgin style next? (This will require extensive tasting, of course! Yum.) No hurry- - this recipe will keep me happy for some time to come.
You have struck two chords with this info. First...regarding the brisket trimmings....you think they are using the trimmings from brisket they have already cooked and are just grinding it with the rest? This might be the key to the texture! Although it makes for an over-indulgent sausage that might give you hardening of the arteries by just looking at it.

Second, I love Granzins! They make a semi-dry garlic beef sausage that I am wild about and really want to try and make. You likely know the stuff I'm talking about...it's just deadly good. It has a good amount of fat in it and a little tang. Not sure if it has any lactic acid or fermentation action going on, but I seem to recall them telling me one time it wasn't just simply smoked sausage that was dried. You have any ideas? I wanted to stop by there over Christmas and do a little research but Christmas day was the only time I was by so they were obviously closed.

Best,

TD
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Post by Chuckwagon » Wed Jan 08, 2014 13:29

Redzed ol` pard,
You wrote to tdimler:
There is, however one small, but important error in your recipe in that your nitrite content is high. 14g of Cure#1 in a 10lb batch results in 193ppm. The maximum recommended amount is 156ppm. Most European recipes call for 120ppm or even less. In my opinion 10g. would have sufficed.
When Travis posted this recipe, I checked his calculations for nitrite. What he`s done, I`m sure, is use 2 slightly "rounded" teaspoons in his ten-pound (1,000 g) recipe. We`re getting into "splitting hairs" here. Even if the teaspoons were "heaping" they would only add up to 16 grams. I didn`t wish to appear too critical so I let it go with regard to the information Stan has written at the bottom of page 236 in his book "The Art Of Making Fermented Sausages". Stan has recommended 11.33 grams per 1000 grams (10 lbs.) of meat. (See his calculations on page 241). So, technically you are right about exceeding the 156 ppm cap in comminuted meat. But shucks pard, Travis has just done what many of us have done many times by using slightly "rounded" (not even "heaping") teaspoons when we should be using level teaspoons.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by redzed » Wed Jan 08, 2014 23:31

Well, I know I am picky, but Travis exceeded the "recommended" amount which also happens to be the maximum standard amount in North America, by 19%. To me that is significant. If he had added 16g, he would have 220.5ppm. The FDA limit is 156. My calculations are from Stan's cure calculator, a great and easy tool to use.

And, while we are on the subject of nitrites, why is substantially less cure used in European recipes? For example if I was using Polish or German curing salt, I woud add 18g to 1kg. (1.8%) That would give me only 108ppm. Even if I would add 20g, or 2%, which is my limit for fresh or smoked sausage, the ppm would be 120. If I wanted to reach the European maximum of 150ppm, then I would need to add 25g of curing salt, and that would make the sausage too salty for most people and throw my blood pressure to meteoric heights.

CW, my question is why do we need to apply nitrite at the higher levels of the spectrum, rather than somewhere in the middle? I will now be aiming at 120ppm in my products, which is 1.92g per kg. To a 10lb batch (4536g.) I would add only 8.71g of Cure #1.
Last edited by redzed on Sun Jan 13, 2019 19:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Jan 09, 2014 06:26

Hey Chris,
Yes, you are picky. :lol: But you are also CORRECT. And ya` just can`t argue with someone who`s right. It is responsible people like you who keep us all in line, measuring LEVEL teaspoons rather than "rounded" teaspoons. Keep new batteries in your scale and thanks for your wisdom in this matter.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by el Ducko » Sun Jan 19, 2014 02:39

Well, I was making some andouille and some loukanikos, but Beloved Spouse is out of town for the weekend and dang it, I'm dying to try the Lockhart recipe.

I was in a hurry, so I took a few short cuts, but I just GOTTA try it, so I ground some chuck instead of brisket, added some pork fat, and used actual milk instead of the powdered milk+ water. I'm sure that, even at 20% beef fat versus what's in a brisket (30% or so), this won't come out nearly fatty enough, even with the added pork fat. (The flavor will be slightly different, too.)With all that milk it didn't bind as well as it should have (maybe when it dries a bit), but at least I'll get a "1st pass" look (and taste) at the recipe.

Smoker tomorrow, weather permitting.
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Post by redzed » Sun Jan 19, 2014 05:02

el Ducko wrote:With all that milk it didn't bind as well as it should have[/quote

Hmm, fresh milk just does not act as a binder in sausage :shock: Used in bratwurst and boudin blanc, it's for flavour only. But I think you may have a new creation here! And if you really mixed it well, it should be ok. Curious to see how it turns out. :grin:
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sun Jan 19, 2014 22:57

El Duk, You wrote:
I was in a hurry, so I took a few short cuts, but I just GOTTA try it, so I ground some chuck instead of brisket, added some pork fat, and used actual milk instead of the powdered milk+ water. I'm sure that, even at 20% beef fat versus what's in a brisket (30% or so), this won't come out nearly fatty enough, even with the added pork fat. (The flavor will be slightly different, too.)With all that milk it didn't bind as well as it should have (maybe when it dries a bit), but at least I'll get a "1st pass" look (and taste) at the recipe.
You culinary quack-up... your "new" sausage reminds me of this old poem:

I didn`t have potatoes; So I substituted rice.
I didn`t have paprika; So I used another spice.
I didn`t have tomato sauce; So I used tomato paste.
A whole can - not a half can; I don`t believe in waste.
A friend gave me the recipe; He said you couldn`t beat it.
There must be something wrong with him; I couldn`t even eat it!

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by el Ducko » Mon Jan 20, 2014 03:05

Well ... turned out to be pretty tasty, not at all bad for a trial run. It definitely needs the extra beef fat in the brisket, though.

After a bit of drying and 4 hours of smoke, it bound okay. ...just didn't have the bind that I'm used to when I mix.

The real reason for the run was a batch of Andouille. The Lockhart sausage was a small batch, done as an experiment, to fill out the smoker. Thus, I used hickory for the smoke. In Lockhart, they would have used live oak or mesquite. This tasted good enough, though, to make me decide to dedicate a full batch to it, next time. We'll go for authenticity- - first, I'll smoke a brisket. Then, I'll use the trimmings...
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Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Jan 20, 2014 21:27

Nice goin', pato :wink:
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Cabonaia » Wed Jan 22, 2014 04:12

I tried the Lockhart sausage - good stuff! I used beef trim that was more lean than brisket, so I added back fat. And I left out the powdered milk. You can see in the picture that it came out pretty juicy, but next time I will add more fat because I do like my sausages juicy. And there will be a next time. We all agreed that this tastes great and is definitely a keeper - thanks Travis!

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