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Sausages

This is a discussion on Sausages within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi, I've been making sausages for a few weeks now and I've got my method for making pork-based chorizo down ...

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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Sausages

    Hi,

    I've been making sausages for a few weeks now and I've got my method for making pork-based chorizo down pat; it really is much better than store bought stuff (IMHO hehe).

    Today I thought I'd try something different: A combination of pork and beef and will be making Italian-inspired sausages. I've mixed all the herbs and spices and minced pork and minced beef together. It seems as though the beef, for some bizarre reason, is making the mixture less cohesive. The butcher ground the mince with a coarser grind that for the pork mix so maybe this has something to do with it. I'm not 100% this mix is going to bind into a cookable sausage (by "cookable" I mean keep it's shape... the taste will be fine even if it falls apart.) Some websites suggest adding breadcrumbs to the mixture to help it bind better. Does anyone have any personal experience in this?

    Cheers,
    HODOR

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    I hope you plan on sharing this food with the rest of us.

    I have precious little cooking experience. All I can say is that I've used fresh breadcrumbs (with egg) as a binding agent for black bean patties in the past, with good results. However, I don't know how well this would translate to sausages.
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    and the Hat of Guessing tabstop's Avatar
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    So Dad was always in charge of grinding the sausage back on the farm, but what I seem to remember is: beef is (generally) leaner than pork (or at least, the scraps we tended to put in the sausage barrel were, or maybe it's just easier to take off huge globs of fat from beef) so if you weren't careful you'd just end up with ground hamburger in a casing (ie it would instantly fall apart).

    ISTR that we ground the meat together, so for us they would have always been the same "texture", so no idea what impact the coarser grind would have.
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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It should work just fine if you are using gut to stuff with. Just make sure you don't leave any air inside. Mediterranean chorizos are appreciated for their taste. Not their consistency. "Morcela", for instance, one of the Portuguese chorizos, is rather soft and will lose its shape as soon as you cut through the gut. What is important is to make sure there's no air inside before you sew or tie the gut end. I wouldn't use bread. It will make you chorizo look amateurish and is frowned upon by experts.

    And welcome to Mediterranean chorizos, btw. You are just experiencing what every cook goes through when trying to create their own recipes. Taste, texture and consistency are the result of many experiences until the final desired result is reached (often accidentally). Don't be afraid to try different types of herbs, greens and meat parts too. Although mixing different types of animals is usually left only for sausages; which are considered a lower form of chorizos. And one possible strategy to get a feel of what you will get in the end is to fry a part of your mixture and taste it before you commit the whole thing. Just... don't use bread.
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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matticus View Post
    I hope you plan on sharing this food with the rest of us.

    I have precious little cooking experience. All I can say is that I've used fresh breadcrumbs (with egg) as a binding agent for black bean patties in the past, with good results. However, I don't know how well this would translate to sausages.
    I'm a sharing kind of person, so yeah okay, I'll share. I've never had black bean patties... added to the todo list!

    Quote Originally Posted by tabstop View Post
    So Dad was always in charge of grinding the sausage back on the farm, but what I seem to remember is: beef is (generally) leaner than pork (or at least, the scraps we tended to put in the sausage barrel were, or maybe it's just easier to take off huge globs of fat from beef) so if you weren't careful you'd just end up with ground hamburger in a casing (ie it would instantly fall apart).

    ISTR that we ground the meat together, so for us they would have always been the same "texture", so no idea what impact the coarser grind would have.
    I think you're right and possibly the beef being leaner has influenced the mix more than the courser grind. I made the mix yesterday and after being in the fridge overnight it looks like is has a much better consistency. I tried to keep the minces very cool while I was working with them (which wasn't very long) but maybe the fat "melted" from the heat of my hands and now it's solidified again after resting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It should work just fine if you are using gut to stuff with. Just make sure you don't leave any air inside. Mediterranean chorizos are appreciated for their taste. Not their consistency. "Morcela", for instance, one of the Portuguese chorizos, is rather soft and will lose its shape as soon as you cut through the gut. What is important is to make sure there's no air inside before you sew or tie the gut end. I wouldn't use bread. It will make you chorizo look amateurish and is frowned upon by experts.

    And welcome to Mediterranean chorizos, btw. You are just experiencing what every cook goes through when trying to create their own recipes. Taste, texture and consistency are the result of many experiences until the final desired result is reached (often accidentally). Don't be afraid to try different types of herbs, greens and meat parts too. Although mixing different types of animals is usually left only for sausages; which are considered a lower form of chorizos. And one possible strategy to get a feel of what you will get in the end is to fry a part of your mixture and taste it before you commit the whole thing. Just... don't use bread.
    Great advice! I have to admit I learned the air gap lesson with my first batch of chorizos and it was such a disaster I ended up taking the meat back out of the casings and just frying it (still tasted ok though). Subsequent batches were fine

    For these "italian" sausages I cased and cooked up a small experimental one this morning. Worked fine (don't need breadcrumbs!) The only thing I noticed was that it was a bit "drier" (wow, I'm really glad I didn't add bread) than the chorizos I've been making and perhaps this is because the beef content of the mix is lower in fat. I used 50:50 pork:beef. Maybe I could add olives to the italian mix to moisten it up a bit and add some flavour (I've added nowhere near as many spices as I've been using for chorizo)? I've never had a sausage with olives in it but I'm going to give it a go

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    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    You are just experiencing [...] commit the whole thing.
    O_o

    I'm not a fan of any sort of sausage as rule, but I love the approach suggested.

    Maybe I could add olives to the italian mix to moisten it up a bit and add some flavour?
    You might instead try an emulsion of olive oil and an appropriate vinegar with a thickening agent as a pork fat replacement. (I've done this with a few soups calling for more pork fat than I really wanted.) I can't think though of a reason olives wouldn't work.

    Soma
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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    O_o

    I'm not a fan of any sort of sausage as rule, but I love the approach suggested.

    You might instead try an emulsion of olive oil and an appropriate vinegar with a thickening agent as a pork fat replacement. (I've done this with a few soups calling for more pork fat than I really wanted.) I can't think though of a reason olives wouldn't work.
    I'm wasn't really a sausage fan either (apart from chorizo and smoked/cured sausages), but I am now! The emulsion is a great idea I think... at least worth trying.

    For family bbq tonight I have ready chorizo, and the "italian" sausages. I ended up making half the italian sausages with olives in them and half without. I think that I prefer the mix with the olives in it, but the final verdict will come tonight! After tasting (I fried up small portions before casing as Mario suggested) I'm still not 100% positive about the italian sausages, but still tastes great imo, and might have to tweak the ingredients next time -- the fun bit!

    Quote Originally Posted by tabstop View Post
    ISTR that we ground the meat together, so for us they would have always been the same "texture", so no idea what impact the coarser grind would have.
    For some reason I didn't even think of asking the butcher if they could grind the meats together, in the same mix. I'll ask next time.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    How did the family bbq go? You were able to impress them?
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    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    How did the family bbq go? You were able to impress them?
    I can say that although I wasn't 100% happy (only 90%) with the "Italian" sausages everyone else was. A hit all around =) Thank goodness I didn't add breadcrumbs! My sister said "Thanks. Now I can never eat shop bought sausages again." The chorizo was everyone's favourite.

    The only "bad" comment I got was that the kalamata olives in half of the Italian style sausages was "off putting at first" (I guess people aren't used to seeing big black bits in their sausages) but that they tasted great and better than the ones without.

    I was also hesitant on the salt and put less in than my previous batches... I shouldn't have (but it was easily fixable of course).

    I'm actually doing another batch right now for tomorrow. Also getting a batch of dough ready for Turkish Pide that I'll make garlic & herb bread from, so another test tomorrow (wow, life is hard)

    Edit: I'd planned to eat left over sausages the next day and made extra to accommodate this. None were left
    Last edited by Hodor; 02-28-2014 at 01:04 AM.

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    Epy
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    What's your recipe for the chorizo?

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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    What's your recipe for the chorizo?
    I think it's more "mexican style" than "spanish style". Any suggestions are welcome!

    1kg pork mince
    4 tsp Ancho chilli powder
    2 tsp smoked paprika
    1 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
    1/2 tsp dried chilli powder (I make my own, but bought stuff would be fine)
    2 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    2 tblsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp salt (I'm going to increase this next time)

    I mix all the spices together and give them a quick grind in the mortar and pestle just to make sure there are no lumps. I also grind the salt so it's very fine.

    Then I mix the spices through the mince and then finally mix through the vinegar. I mix with my hands (wearing kitchen gloves because it's quite messy). To make sure the mix doesn't get warm while I'm mixing I put the mince into the freezer for about 10 minutes before I start so it's very cold.

    Leave overnight.

    Put mixture into casings.

    I've also done the recipe without casings by forming the sausage shape by wrapping portions very tightly in cling wrap and putting the wrapped sausages back into the fridge. Once the sausages are nice and cold again I BBQd them as normal. By being very careful after first starting to cook them they didn't fall apart at all. In some ways I prefer the ones without casings.

  12. #12
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    I think it's more "mexican style" than "spanish style".
    O_o

    I question that lack of real garlic clove, dried apple, cayenne, oregano, and black pepper.

    Nope. I am not joking about the apple, but then I don't really know where you are shooting.

    In some ways I prefer the ones without casings.
    I'd probably only consider them without the casings.

    By the by, I've heard sausages without any casing as "fausage".

    Soma
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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    O_o

    I question that lack of real garlic clove, dried apple, cayenne, oregano, and black pepper.

    Nope. I am not joking about the apple, but then I don't really know where you are shooting.
    Thanks

    Real Garlic clove: The batch I did last night has real garlic gloves
    Cayenne: Very much like my homemade chilli powder... I'll add some though, in the next batch to try. I also (still) have hundreds of fresh chillies so I'll probably add a few fresh ones as well.
    Black Pepper: I'm a big fan of black pepper, so I don't see why I can't add some of that for a trial
    Oregano: Hmm... didn't think of that. Worth a shot. I'll try fresh first and then dried (sometimes I find that dried herbs give the desired flavour, other times they don't.

    Apple: Is this to add sweetness or texture or both? Do you crush the dried apple first, or have it chunky? Interesting for sure!

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    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    Is this to add sweetness or texture or both? Do you crush the dried apple first, or have it chunky? Interesting for sure!
    O_o

    Well again, I'm not big on sausage.

    I do occasionally make an "open face" traditional*--served on a heavy, tough rye--replacing chicken--"Apple and 40 Cloves"--with grilled pork that will bring you religion.

    [Edit]
    Regarding the sweetness of dried apple: a lot of commercial products use sugar as a crutch. If you aren't going for the sweetness you need should be wary.
    [/Edit]

    @Apple: You would use a dried apple for texture appropriate to the goal; a dried sweet apple would bring some sweetness, but you don't have to use a dried sweet apple if you only want the texture which I think would work for your sausages.
    @Cayenne: You shouldn't knock consistency; real peppers are great, but you only find a little variance in top brands which is great for delving out a new recipe. In other words, I'm not suggesting you avoid your own chillies but "normalize" the result.
    @Oregano: I'd go dried first. I'm completely aware that it is "just me"/placebo yet still can't abide fresh oregano.

    [Edit]
    Do you crush the dried apple first, or have it chunky?
    I was imaging "chunky".
    [/Edit]

    Soma

    * Here "traditional" is a word for the "picnic ready" style of sandwich where the bread is tough enough to be its own plate. Actually, you could probably park your car on my bread. I also have a fetish for equally powerful cheese.
    Last edited by phantomotap; 02-28-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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    Registered User Hodor's Avatar
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    Do you think apple would go in chorizo though?

    I might try it in my "italian blend" sausage

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