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  1. Mikala

    Sausage Making 101

    My sausage making weekend went well. I made over 30 meters of sausages in 4 different types and 2 different sizes. Please keep in mind that I’m not an expert. I’ve only been making sausages for 2 years and continue to make mistakes. Kielbasa (Polish) 3 pounds lean pork butt 1 pound lean beef chuck 0.5 pounds veal 0.5 pounds pork fat Grind and mix all the meat together. Don’t overgrind though as the consistency will not be correct. Grind once only. In lieu of grinding, just buy ground pork and beef. If cannot find veal, just use beef. 2.5 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons finely ground black pepper 2 teaspoons ground marjoram 2 teaspoons ground summer savory 0.5 teaspoons ground allspice 3 cloves of garlic (finely minced) 2 tablespoons sweet paprika Ghost Pepper (with or without duck) 3 pounds lean pork butt ½ pound pork fat 1 pound duck 2 tablespoons dried minced onions 1 tablespoon Ghost pepper (finely ground) AKA Bhut Jolokia 1 tablespoons garlic (finely minced) 1/3 teaspoon Thyme (or marjoram or savory) 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 1 bay leaf (crushed fine) ½ teaspoon paprika (hot) 1 teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons red pepper (hot) 2 cups of various mushrooms (diced) Northern Italian 5 pounds ground pork (75% meat / 25% pork fat) 1 cup cold red wine 1 cup chopped fresh parsley 5 tsp salt 1 tablespoon garlic powder or 4-5 garlic cloves finely minced 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper 1 tablespoon red pepper (hot) 5 tablespoons ground fennel 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper 5 tablespoons paprika (hot) 2 cups of various mushrooms (diced) Note: I’ve tried using olive oil in lieu of pork fat for a healthier recipe, but it came out too dry I start off with a large rounded bottom mixing bowl and dump all ingredients inside. The meat is cold and the mix is irritating to the skin. I find that latex or plastic gloves work best to insulate me from the cold and prevent the skin of my hands from being irritated later. Plus it’s easier to clean up. Mix everything together until you’re satisfied you have a homogenous blend. I then put the mixture into a gallon plastic bag to ‘relax’ overnight. This isn’t a requirement as you can also stuff the sausages and then let them ‘relax’ overnight in the refrigerator for the spices and flavors to meld. I purchased my sausage stuffing machine in America for about $100. Shipping was going to be $350, so I waited until I made my annual trip home and brought it back with me. It’s stainless steel and very well made. After 2 years, I see no degradation of the materials. I setup the sausage stuffing machine onto a sturdy table with 3 heavy duty clamps. I tried using the clamps that came with the sausage stuffer, but they were inadequate and resulted in needing at least 2 people to stuff the sausages. With the heavy duty clamps, I was able to stuff sausages by myself quite easily (and did). There are different sized stuffing tubes available. Choose the tube that most closely matches the casings (sleeves) that you want to use. To lessen my workload, I tend to use 32mm sausage casings (sleeves). I’ve also used 16mm sausage casings as an experiment and they work quite well, but require a lot of tying off. I use collagen casings since I get them shipped in from the USA. If I could get cleaned pig intestines locally, I’d like to try them out. My main reasons for using collagen casings is that they’re edible and they travel well. The ones I use are 25 feet in length each, so 3 tubes would provide about 25 meters worth of sausages. Fit the stuffing tube into the bottom of the stuffing machine. Fit the piston into the top of the stuffing machine. Note: I bought a stuffing machine that has a “relief valve” in the piston to let excessive air escape. This is an important feature and really helps make the sausages come out without the typical air voids. Fill the cylinder until about 1 inch from the top with the meat mixture. Since the kielbasa is milder than the others, I start with stuffing kielbasa, then Italian, then the Ghost. Note: I use a large plastic spoon to fill the cylinder. I find it to be much better than trying to do it with my hands. It allows me to keep my hands clean, plus lets me use the semi-flexible spoon to push the meat mixture into the bottom of the cylinder to reduce air voids and get more meat into the cylinder. Fit the casings over the stuffing tube, but do not tie off the end as the air needs to escape before tie-off happens. Usually the whole ‘tube’ of sleeves will not fit over the stuffing machine’s tube, so I cut it in half and start with a reduced quantity. Slowly rotate the handle and the piston will move down to compress the meat mixture until it starts coming out of the tube. Leave about 1 inch of casing (sleeve) for the first tie-off. When the meat reaches the first portion of the casing, tie-off the casing with a square knot using food grade string or twine. Note: I find it easier to use a spool of twine that fits onto a wooden peg so that I can just pull off lengths with 1 hand and cut the twine with scissors held in the other hand. I cut the strings to about 4 inches. Continue pushing meat mixture into the tubes by rotating the handle and making the length of sausages that you want. Note: in the beginning, I wanted the longest sausages possible to reduce the work of tying them off. Now I make sausages from 6 to 8 inches in length for a few reasons. Fits onto bread or a bun easier Easier size to eat with a fork and no plate Easier to fit into aluminum foil Easier to fit into gallon size ziplock bags If you notice any air voids, you can try to massage them out thru the other end of the casing (nearest the stuffing machine) or use a needle to poke a hole in the cashing and let the air escape. The hole in the cashing will plug when the meat mixture fills it. Don’t stuff the skin / casing too tight or it will burst when you cook it. When I began, I even had some sausages burst while I was stuffing them. Keep it loose and it will expand when cooked, then collapse when cooled. While stuffing, I use a cookie sheet to catch the sausages, once they’re made. I do this for 2 reasons: I can move the cookie sheet around the table easily to help collect the sausages. More hygienic than the table surface (although it’s been washed, I don’t trust it). I typically will make ½ a sleeve worth of sausages, tied off every 6-8 inches and then put them into aluminum foil for baking. For the sake of food safety, I like to bake my sausages right after stuffing to ensure later on, they’re ready for a quick few turns on the grill to heat them up and then they’re ready for someone to eat. I bake at a low heat to prevent ruptures (explosions). Usually 210-250 deg. F for an hour. After baking, I let them cool off and package into gallon ziplock bags for refrigeration or freezing. I buy most of my sausage supplies at www.sausagemaker.com, but try to buy locally as much as possible. The spices available at that website come in quantities that are too huge for a normal person to use. Now that many of the Koreans are asking for my recipes and finding out that they can’t get the spices here (such as fennel), I’ve got some folks that will split the spices I get from America. Note: spices deteriorate over time, so having fresh spices is essential to obtain the correct flavoring. After thoroughly cleaning the sausage stuffing machine with hot water and plenty of soap, I use a food grade lubricant to ensure moving parts are well lubed. Photos are numbered in the order taken. I hope this helps someone else.
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