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Mar 25th, 2012
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The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread #7357577 11/25/18 08:43 PM
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decook Offline OP
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I am making this post as a follow-up to the old 2017 Makin Bacon thread. This time itís small batch sausage makiní for 2018. This is a semi-dried cured sausage; typically like you get at a BBQ joint or buy at the store as a ďsmoked sausageĒ. This is written for those hunters that want to try their own sausage making at home knowing that they are using their own meat. The recipes in this write-up are all pork, but adding venison at half and half ratio, and then adding in another 25% pork fat would be perfect.

My sausage making inspiration came from Payneís Made some sausage today thread nearly 6 years ago. It was something I wanted to do and that thread was the catalyst. Now, my process isnít like his; Iím not doing anywhere near 100 lbs. nor am I using the exact method. Thatís the thing about sausage making, there countless ways you can do it and make it good.

There are some things that cannot be compromised. #1 is food safety. Just in case you missed that, food safety. Everything else is secondary Ė taste, mouth feel, case snap, eye appeal, etc. Plus, process has to be repeatable. For one household, making 100 lbs. of the same recipe might not have the variety you want. This small batch process allows for that, you can make all kinds of variations off the base, or basic, recipe.

Thatís where we start. At the base recipe. I have a smoked sausage base that I use as a starter recipe that stands on its own. I can serve this to anyone and know theyíre getting a quality product. It is simple in spices and the process to make this or other variations are the same. If I want to make something new, like Jalapeno Cheese, then it is just as simple as adding Jalapeno and cheese to the base recipe.

[Linked Image]

This Base Recipe is a basic takeaway from a Polish sausage. I added in mustard seed and ground to give it a ďbiteĒ. The saltís primary job is to emulsify the fats; it is added in at 18.5 grams per kilogram of meat. Just a little sugar is added to offset the kosher salt. Itís not enough to actually taste sweet. Of course, it has garlic powder. I use pepper corns weighed, then grind them fresh with a coffee grinder.

So, something about this spreadsheet. I have been working it for a few years, making it better to suit my needs. All I have to do is change the blue field for how many pounds I want to make and everything else is changed to keep the ratio. I use drop down boxes for the meat and spices, so all I have to do is simply select what I want to use. The spices are roughly 2 grams per kilogram of meat. Iíve changed a few of the spices as some were not enough for my taste.

I always use weight. The teaspoons/tablespoon business is only for estimation when I go to weigh. Some of these weights are so small that I have to use my trusty RCBS 505 scale. Thatís why I have grains in the last column unless the weight is 10 grams or more. Remember, this Is a small batch processing where accurate measures mean a repeatable product.

Todayís process and recipe is my New Mexico Green Chile Links. My recipe sheet looks like this, and yes you guessed it, it is the base recipe plus a couple of things.


[Linked Image]
Todayís recipe, New Mexico Green Chile Links. Hereís the drop-down menu I use to add in a spice.


[Linked Image]
Hereís all the spices weighed and ready to mix. Thatís potato starch in the right tupperware. It is added last just before loading into the stuffer. Cure#1 with water is in the jar.


[Linked Image]
Cubed meat getting the spices. Iíll give this a mix just to get the spices distributed.


[Linked Image]
Meat mixed and covered. This goes back in the fridge while I prep the grinder. Notice the supervisor in the backgroundÖ.


[Linked Image]
Grinding away. At the very end Iíll stuff two pieces of regular bread into the grinder to push out the last of the meat. You can easily tell when the meat ends grinding and the bread starts.


[Linked Image]
Adding in the Green Chile. Just after this I added in the Potato Starch to help in binding.


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Loading the stuffer. Make a big ball and toss it in.


[Linked Image]
Then flatten it out with your fist. Continue until you have all the meat loaded or the hopper is full.


[Linked Image]
Here come the links! Plan on one strip of casing per 5 lbs of meat. I buy the LEM Natural Hog casings package at Academy. Iíll pull out what casings I need the day before stuffing, wash inside and out, then place in water with a squirt or 2 of lemon juice and throw it in the fridge. Remember to keep the tabletop clean and sterilize before linking.


To be continued...


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Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: decook] #7357582 11/25/18 08:55 PM
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decook Offline OP
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[Linked Image]
And here they are, ready to go into the fridge overnight to let the spices meld and the cure to start its magic. Yes, the cure does change the flavor as well as keeping the bad bugs away.


[Linked Image]
Next day. Here is my homemade pellet smoker made out of a steel perforated return air ceiling tile.


[Linked Image]
It works pretty well. Thatís an old Smoke Hollow that I tore the guts out of to make a smoker. I could never get this thing under 300 degrees before.
Note* There are no streaks in the lawn.


[Linked Image]
Here we are about 4 hours later. Pulled from the smoker and about to get cooked/pasteurized in the Souse Vide pot to the right.


[Linked Image]
About 45 minutes later, it is almost done. Thatís right. Not 10 hours later. This is a fast process when done this way. The links are in a ziplock, but they are also filled with water to weigh the bag down. The other bag has the temp probe (not seen). The links go into the cold bath at 155F, just a couple minutes after this picture.
I bought this Souse Vide because of my challenges keeping temps in a smoker. No doubt if I built a bigger one it would be easier, but I tried this first and it worked out so well Iím not looking back.



[Linked Image]
Blooming out for 2 hours. They look pasty and pale, but that will change in a few.


[Linked Image]
And now the finished product. Notice how the color came back. And another benefit, there isnít any shrinkage either. The smell is incredible, I wish I could describe it well enough to give it justice.


[Linked Image]
Wow Ė the taste is outstanding. Slightly smoky, perfectly gelled as a sausage should be, case has the right ďsnapĒ, and well, you decide if it meets the eye appeal.

Hereís some notes kind of condensed if you want to give this a try. First off, this is something you can do and do it safely. You donít have to go buy a LEM #12 grinder either. I would recommend getting a geared stuffer, and a 5 pounder will do fine. These notes also give more of the story that the pictures didnít. I also put the detail of the Souse Vide process that I use too.

Prep Ė
Sterilize everything that touches meat. Fill your sink with a cup or so of bleach and fill with cold water. Everything, including grinder attachments, stuffer, etc goes in here for at least 5 minutes prior to use. Dip your hands in there just before the start of every new step in the process.

The slow methods and cold smoke will always require Sodium Nitrite cure #1 for proper food safety and the hot methods do not. The rule of meat is no more than 4 hours between the temperatures of 40 - 140 F. unless you use a cure to prevent botulism from growing. However, you can use cure #1 for any if desired.



Creating the links.
1. Cut meat into 1Ē cubes. For the pork, go buy a Boston butt (shoulder), they are typically 80/20 meat/fat once ground. Keep that in mind, you might want to add in more fat especially if you are making a venison type sausage.
2. Measure out all the spices and put them into a container. Also add in the other additives except for potato starch if used. This comes later.
3. Measure out the water and pour into a jar. Add in the nitrite and refrigerate.
4. Mix the spices and additives to the meat cubes, then put meat into freezer for about 45 minutes or until the sides start to freeze and the meat cubes start to stick to the container.
5. Grind using the smallest plate (or other plate if desired).
6. Give an initial mix to ensure spices are evenly distributed.
7. Add in the water/nitrite liquid.
8. Mix. Mix again. Mix until the fats emulsify. You will know when it becomes sticky and the fats want to adhere to the sides of the container.
9. If you are using potato starch, add this in now and mix until fully distributed.
10. Prepare stuffer.
11. Grab a heaping handful of product and mold into a big softball size ball and load into the hopper. Keep doing this until all the product is loaded
12. Create the links as desired. Be careful not to overstuff but donít under stuff either. Experience will be the best teacher here.
13. Place product in refrigerator for at least overnight to allow the spices and cure to meld and do their work.

Souse vide poach
Provides cooked and cured product with pasteurization. This is the easiest method to cure and process. Sodium Nitrite cure #1 must be used for proper food safety if you are cold smoking.
1. Prepare as shown in Creating the links, steps 1-13.
2. Remove sausage from refrigerator and allow sausage to come up to room temperature plus two hours by hanging in the kitchen somewhere out of the reach of dogs.
3. Cold smoke the sausage for at least 4 hours.
4. Remove sausage from smoker and allow to bloom for 1 to 2 hours if desired.
5. Preheat water with Souse vide to 157 F
6. Put sausage into ziplock bags and immerse into water after the temperature has stabilized.
7. Remove sausage from heat when internal temp reach 155F.
8. Immediately immerse into ice bath and then remove when temperature lowers to 90F.
9. Allow to bloom again until sausage lowers to room temperature or 2 hours approximately.
10. Vacuum package and freeze.

Tips and tricks I learned the hard way. In random order.
Grind it cold. I mean just near freezing. With the salt already added it should be supercooled (under 32 F). The edges of the meat should just start freezing. Failure here will render the fat at 135 to 140 F and produces a dry hamburger product not fit for dog food. This is also the cause of greasy casings provided you didnít get the cook temperature too hot.

Supercooled product is hard to push through a stuffer. Normal refrigerator temperature (34 to 38 F) is ideal and flows well.

If you cannot accurately control the smokehouse temperature in the cooking/pasteurizing stage, go buy a Souse Vide appliance.

Itís just as hard to do 2 lbs as it is to do 20 lbs

Pork jowls typically have a TON of salt already added

Hang sausages to dry and or bloom out of the reach of dogs.
Give memo to wife that there are sausages overhead and please do not close the pantry doors. In 20 minutes, send the memo again.

Souse Vide notes
Cold smoke first if you want your product smoked. If you donít want to cold smoke, add in paprika in the spice mix
Pre-heat the water to 157F before immersing the product. They will be juicier.
It is easier to fill the zip lock bags with the hot water so they sink. After you bloom, they will turn dark again.

Enjoy!!


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Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: decook] #7357591 11/25/18 09:07 PM
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food


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Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: decook] #7357847 11/26/18 03:13 AM
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great thread, thank you chef


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Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: dogcatcher] #7358458 11/26/18 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dogcatcher
food

Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: decook] #7358511 11/26/18 07:10 PM
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cheers

Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: decook] #7358571 11/26/18 08:08 PM
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Thanks for the write up.

I recently purchased a grinder and sausage stuffer. I made my first batch with a deer I shot mixed 50/50 with pork butt. I think it turned out well, but was wanting to practice with small batches just to experiment with different flavors of sausage.

I was thinking that would just buy pre-ground 80/20 pork from my local butcher, hand mix the seasoning in and run it through my stuffer to form links and refrigerate overnight to let the seasonings meld. I was wanting to make fresh sausage without cure. Do you think I should souse vide the links after setting in the fridge overnight or just freeze and/or throw on the grill to be grilled?

Re: The 2018 Makin (small batch) Sausage Thread [Re: JTS] #7358718 11/26/18 10:02 PM
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You can do it either way. Cure does give it a different taste that I like but from what I read you would be safe either way.
I'm glad you're taking it up. Welcome to the madness. If you want to scale it up or down let me know your spices and meat weight. I can do that quick and easy.


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