Well, decided to clean out the freezer a little to make room for the upcoming 96 pounds of cured meat – so sausage is in order. Worked off basically a Bratwurst recipe with a goal of encased fresh sausage.
Began with what I had. About 17 pounds of boneless pork shoulder, 4 pounds of dry-cured Bacon ends and pieces and some fatty strips (all Tamworth of course), 4 pounds of venison Roast and 7 pounds of fatty pork trim, which I kept a few months ago after trimming some bone-in pork sirloins.
Cubed it all up and discarded a few pieces of soft-fat and silver skin and ended up with 30 pounds of mix
To which I added.
- 15 TSB of Salt (should have been 18, but decreased some for the salt in the bacon).
- 3 TSB White Pepper
-3 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
-3 TSP of Ground Ginger
-3 TSP of Ground Nutmeg
-1.2 Ounces of Soy Binder (butcherpacker.com)
Everything was refrigerated overnight. The next evening I prepared to Grind. The mix went into the freezer for 90 minutes until it was just frosty, but not completely frozen.
The Grinder parts went into the freezer also. About this time, I put three tubes of pretubed 32MM natural hog casings in a bowl under a trickle of water to rinse for a while before stuffing (they are heavily salted).
I get my casings at Syracuse casing company online. They are high quality casings and there was one long (I mean Long) casing to each tube. Pretubed casings are very convenient. By the way, Syracuse casing company is the only company in the USA to still clean and make their own natural hog casings, all others come from overseas. Ground the entire mix thru a course plate.
And a second time thru a course plate. About this time, the soy protein binder really began to get sticky and it was hard to work with. Learning point #1 – Put the binder in with then water after the final grind and mix it in. Here’s some shots of the first and second grind.
After the 2ND grind, adding 40 ounces or so of water, and mixing well, it was in the stuffer. A true Bratwurst recipe would have called for 48 ounces of heavy cream and a dozen eggs for this liquid, but I did not have it on hand. It took Several loads in my little 5-pound stuffer, but we finally got it all done.
After letting the encased sausage set in the fridge overnight, the Next morning, we linked it up then pricked all the air bubbles. I like to prick air pockets after linking, as there is less of a chance of tearing a casing while linking. Made about 125 links ranging from six to nine inches, as I was not very consistent. Also, they lost a lot of their bright pink meat color overnight in the fridge. I don't know if they would have retained more if I would have gotten them linked/packaged and frozen the same day, but it does not really matter to me.
Next, we Vacuum packaged them, putting 26 packs up to freeze with four or five in a pack. The Vacmaster VP 215 did a great job. Can’t imagine life without it.
And of course, a few made it to the smoker for a short smoke, 240 degrees in the FEC 100 using Pecan pellets. The smoke should have been about an hour for an internal temperature of 153, but instead it was about 90 minutes, as I fell asleep and took too-long of a nap. I overcooked them and IT was about 180 degrees.
Still, Great texture. The binder did a nice work and kept the fat from breaking even after overcooking. They were still plump and juicy, looked nice and disappeared fast!