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The ‘Smokehowze’ Sausage Making & Charcuterie Guide On Information, Equipment, Materials & Supplies Attached below is a PDF Document that encompasses the following: This guide on information, equipment, materials, and other items useful for the home production of sausages and cured meats is divided into the following sections: I. Some Useful Books on Sausage & Charcuterie II. Some Sausage Making Websites III. Some Typical Sausage Supplies & Sources IV. Some Typical Sausage Equipment & Sources V. Some Typical Sources for Sausage & Meat Curing Environmental Control & Measuring VI. Some Smoke Generation Approaches VII. Personal & Food Safety/Handling & Sanitizing VIII. Storage Ideas IX. Some Sausage Related Ideas from ‘Smokehowze’ X. Some Useful References The material compiled here represents a selection of items that I use and/or have purchased from the various suppliers as indicated, during the course of pursuing and expanded my participation in the artisan world of sausage making and charcuterie. As I cast about the web and various forums learning and seeking supplies and materials I realized that I was making notes for myself on where I got various items especially those that are recurring purchases. It is not necessarily a definitive guide but may be of use to those entering this exciting and tasteful hobby. I originally started this guide for my own reference but recently expanded it to assist a number of relatives and friends who have decided to embark on this journey after enjoying the results of my sausage and meat curing forays. I apologize if the organization of this material might be better within some sections but given the topic/areas to cover it seems that there is not a single best way to present the information other than just put it out there. In some cases, I have added my observations and ideas based on my experiences where it makes sense. Where prices are indicated in this guide they should be considered as representative only and are only provided to give an appreciation to the reader on the approximate cost of an item. You can certainly get started with a subset of what is presented here (I sure did) but over time may find much of this useful to make the hobby more enjoyable and efficient as well as to widen your horizons in the hobby. I consider this guide a ‘work-in progress’. I hope you find this useful in your endeavors. Do not be afraid to jump into this area of cooking. You can make really good sausage in simple ways. ~~ Smokehowze ~~ PS. If this post and the attachment is judged to be useful and informative, John may wish to make it a PINNED post in this section of the Forum. The ‘Smokehowze’ Sausage Making & Charcuterie Guide On Information, Equipment, Materials & Supplies (V1 1-2-16).pdf
Hot Italian Sausage, Mushroom, and Cheese Turnovers The main ingredient in this treat (which was actually used for breakfast) was my own recipe for a homemade well-seasoned hot Italian sausage. This is the sausage recipe: http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/16409-smokehowze’s-homemade-hot-italian-turkey-sausage-recipe/ The turnover shell is a 10 pack of canned biscuits. The filling starts with about 12 oz of the bulk homemade hot Italian sausage browned in the pan (break into medium size pieces) with a touch of olive oil to which chopped mushroom stems and pieces were added. This was cooled and mixed with a finely grated Italian mixed cheese blend and some mozzarella cheese and a small addition of dried oregano, basil, and thyme. Roll the individual biscuits into thin rounds and add the stuffing mixture. Fold dough over and use an egg wash to seal and crimp with a fork. Brush the turnovers with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and if desired a very light dusting of kosher salt. Bake on greased sheet pan at 350 to 375 for 10-15 minutes or until they begin to brown and filling is well heated so that the cheese has melted. I cooked these for the majority of the time at in 350 regular oven mode and the last few minutes at 375 convection mode. Baking in a Kamado would also work and be great with a hint of smoke. The highly seasoned homemade hot Italian turkey sausage was excellent in this recipe and the flavors really came together in combination. It was pleasure to have my visiting daughter assist in making and sharing in these tasty family treats. We really should have made a double batch! They would make an excellent holiday snack and could be made ahead, refrigerated and then baked. The Baked Turnovers Browning the Sausage Ready to Enjoy
Smokehowze’s Homemade Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Recipe This is a recipe I have developed to make a well-seasoned hot Italian sausage using turkey to be on par to the extent possible ( at least to our family palates) with that made with pork and at the same time to reduce the sodium. In this recipe I used commercial ground turkey for convenience. I was going to make links but Mrs. Smokehowze asked me to leave it as a bulk sausage for her cooking. I vacuum sealed what we did not eat, after it had a chance to marry the flavors together in the fridge for a day and a half, in 1 lb chubs and froze it. This was a very good hot Italian sausage with a significant depth of overall flavor particularly being made with turkey (and store bought ground turkey at that). It would be even better (not so dense a texture and not as finely ground) if it was home ground turkey (or chicken) using a coarse to medium plate. The great thing about this sausage is you can make it without having a grinder or even stuffing casings if you chose to utilize store bought ground turkey. We did appreciate and enjoy the resulting sausage in a number of dishes and even for breakfast and more will be made. I thank my son for his assistance and excellent suggestions on seasoning elements as we were making this and developing the variations. Here are some pictures of the bulk sausage and some that was cooked as breakfast patties. Reduced Sodium Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (using MSG) (About 80% of the typical sodium amount) 5-lb ground turkey (93% lean) 6-tsp whole fennel seed 2-tsp crushed fennel seed 2 to 2 ½ -tsp anise seed (some crushed) 1-tsp ground coriander 5-tsp crushed red pepper 4-tsp dried oregano 4-tsp dried parsley 6-tsp ground black pepper 4-tsp garlic powder 3-tsp Hungarian paprika 1-tsp ground cayenne pepper 2-tsp kosher salt 2-tsp MSG (like Accent) 1/2 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon) ~1/3 cup Chia gel (1 Tbs chia seeds ground & 6 Tbs water – let soak for 10 -15 minutes) Mix all the ingredients except the turkey together and incorporate well into the ground turkey. Let the flavor mature covered in the fridge for 24-36 hours. Mix again gently before portioning out for storage. Note on the sodium: To reduce sodium further to about half of the usual sodium level – use just 1 tsp of salt and the MSG. It is not at all bad at that level (I have tested that) but in this batch I did 2 tsp to kick it back up for the rest of family. If you prefer not to use the MSG to reduce the sodium compared to all salt, use 3 tsp of kosher salt. MSG has only 30% of the sodium in an equivalent amount of salt. I know some have sensitivities or do not prefer MSG but our family has no difficulties with it so I tried it out in this sausage. Note on the seasoning amounts: The ground turkey absorbs seasoning and effectively reduces the seasoning “hit” on the palate especially after the sausage matures in the fridge, so the seasoning going into the mix in this recipe is much heavier than what might be used for pork. Note on the chia gel: The “chia gel” was an addition I wanted to try out to improve on the “fattiness” element in the sausage. Chia can be used as a fat substitute in many dishes. I did comparison batches of the sausage with the same seasoning with and without the chia gel addition and it definitely improved the sausage texture and taste. Next time I may even double the chia gel just to see the effect. You cannot tell it is in the sausage by texture or taste. If you do not wish to add the chia gel just omit it and probably increase the moisture with water or more wine by another 1/8 to 1/4 cup. I hope this gives you some ideas for your own versions.
Smokehowze’s Homemade Louisiana Smoked Andouille Sausage I have desired to enter the world of serious sausage making for some time. I had dabbled at it with my Kitchen Aid mixer’s grinder attachment in the past but never really did anything beyond an occasional basic breakfast sausage in small amounts. Sausage making is also part of just learning the wider world of charcuterie in general. Eventually, I will do fermented and dried sausage and meats after I gain more experience and build my humidity and temperature conditioned curing/drying chamber out of a refrigerator and some controllers. Note: This cook took place outdoors in my electric kitchen oven smoker conversion but was not done on a Kamado so I have posted it in this Forum as the closest sub-Forum for the type of cook. Homemade Smoked Andouille The Details So… the other day I bought a serious meat grinder as an early Christmas present .. an LEM Products #12 Big Bite ¾ hp beast. (http://www.lemproducts.com/product/lem-12-electric-grinder/butcher-meat-grinders). It will also probably get used by my brother in doing his own deer processing. The casings, cure, soy protein (in lieu of powdered milk) and such came from The Sausage Maker (http://www.sausagemaker.com) Being originally from south Louisiana it was a natural to do an Andouille as my first major sausage – one that requires filling casings and smoking – and all the associated process aspects. In other words, a complete sausage making experience. So, with the able and energetic assistance of my son, we made this 7+ lb batch of wonderful Andouille. Well seasoned, great pepper component and overall flavor, excellent texture and meat/fat balance and a great smoke element. Total success. I do not think I have had an Andouille as good as this has turned out. The recipe is a composite of a lot of reading and research of many recipes and this recipe is one of the more basic approaches and it is excellent. It is really picking and choosing the seasoning elements that we felt we would like in a good Andouille. Good Andouille recipes are really generational “family recipes” for the best sausage - this may be the start of a Smokehowze family recipe. I also have bought many books, done a lot of reading, study, and research in this whole field as part of my educational journey into charcuterie. My son is also enjoying the hands-on experience and learning along with me in this culinary journey – he is already planning the next sausages we will make. In my view he has already “earned the keys” to the grinder! The Meat 8.5 lb bone in pork butt. Trimmed out to 7.25 lbs after bone, connective tissue, and the grisly tough fat areas were removed. The Seasonings (for 7 lbs meat) for a Louisiana Andouille · 1 Tbs cayenne · 2 Tbs paprika · ¾ cup chopped fresh garlic · ¼ cup coarse black pepper · 5 Tbs kosher salt · 1 ½ Tbs dried thyme · 1 ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes · 1 ¼ cup concentrated soy protein – (as binder during smoking process to hold moisture and fat – in lieu of powdered milk) · 1 – 1 ½ cup of ice water · 1 ¼ tsp cure (pink salt) – for color and food safety reasons Note 1: I chose not to add any additional fat beyond that in/on the pork butt itself. Note 2: If doing this strictly as a fresh sausage (either bulk or cased) that will not be low temperature smoked, the pink cure salt could be eliminated and the soy protein binder could be cut back to 1/4 to 1/2 cup or even eliminated. The Grind ½ of meat ground with 3/8 hole plate – to give larger pieces in the final product ½ of meat ground with a ¼ hole plate (and a lot of the trimmed fat) I chose the two different grinds approach to promote the texture I was looking for in the final sausage. Ground meat was then placed in tub and all other ingredients added and well mixed with your hands except for pink salt cure. The pink salt gets added after the test patties are tried and the seasoning is at the final ratios. Mix the cure with say a ¼ cup of ice water and then add to the meat mixture and mix in well. Then proceed to the stuffing. Other approaches season the cubed up meat first and let it fridge rest/mature before grinding. Still others grind and season and then let it fridge rest and mature before stuffing. We chose to grind (using a mix of very coarse and medium grinding) then season and stuff and allow the maturation to take place in the cased sausage during the drying and resting phase. This approach, based on the result, certainly worked well. The Seasoned Meat Mixture Make sure to cook some test patties to check the seasoning and flavor – amend as needed. Everybody had to have one test patty to try as the meat mixture smelled really good. We did not amend the seasonings as the recipe amounts seemed to be “right” in the test patties. Test Patty in the Pan A Test Patty for Everyone to Try Stuffing the Casings Stuffed the meat mixture into 32 mm diameter fresh collagen casing. Stuffed to the full diameter because I choose not to twist links. I choose fresh collagen for this batch just to try it. I did not use the thicker “smoked” collagen product as I would be smoking the sausage lying flat on racks and not hanging. The thicker smoked casing is need if one hangs the sausage to smoke as it will not break under the weight of the sausage like the fresh thinner collagen. Smoked casing is just a terminology for the thick casing as it is the same as the fresh – just thicker. It has no smoke to it. Made eight 16 inch lengths in casing (approx. ½ of a casing tube length) and a bowl of uncased which will not be smoked (probably 2 more 16 inch lengths in the bowl) and will be used as a fresh Andouille. Set the cased sausage in fridge on mesh rack in sheet pan uncovered to air dry and let the cure and seasonings migrate and develop throughout the meat for 36 hours. 24 might have been sufficient for drying but the timing worked out for 36. Left in fridge covered for roughly and additional 24 hours to further mature the flavor - this is where reserving some uncased to fry up each day is very useful to monitor the flavor development. Was great with breakfast! The extra day of maturation really made a significant difference in the flavor. The total time of drying and resting also allows the curing salt to fully penetrate all the meat - which is a food safety aspect due to the smoking taking place over an extended period of time right in the food danger zone. Meat on the Grinder Tray Ready to Stuff Casing on the Stuffing Tube – Ready to Fill The Stuffed Casings The Smoking Step I utilized my homemade electric kitchen oven that has been converted to a smoker and equipped with a PID style temperature controller replacing the normal oven controls. (http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/5071-greetings-from-georgia/?p=46749) The controller is required in order to be able to control the oven heat to low temperatures as the normal oven thermostat will usually not go below 170 degrees. Used my A-Maze-N smoker matrix with pecan sawdust for the smoke generation. Smoked at 130 degrees with the sawdust maze burning from both ends for 3.5 hours to generate a “heavy” but not overwhelming or bitter smoke. Then increased temperature to 165 degrees in oven with no smoke for about 3.5 more hours until sausage was at 148-150 internal. Raised oven temperature again to 175 degrees for about 20 minutes until internal temp of sausage was 155 degrees. At this point the sausage is fully cooked and ready to eat. The smoker temperature needs to be at 165 or below for any extended period of time to avoid causing the fat in the sausage to melt. One does the initial smoke flavoring step at 130 degrees to avoid the sausage reaching the final temperature too soon before the smoke has reached the desired level in the sausage. During this phase the internal of the meat was about 115 degrees. You also want to smoke this in a humid smoker environment. So I added a water pan in the smoking oven with a shallow amount of water. The Andouille Right Out of the Smoker The Cooling and Drying Step After removal from the smoker the sausage needs to be immediately cooled to below 100-120 degrees internal in a cold water shower or bath. This prevents the casing from shriving up and getting excess wrinkles. This is more a visual appearance of the final product than a safety step. I used an ice water bath for a short while. The Ice Water Cooling Bath After the cooling, it is necessary to air dry the sausage for an hour or so at room temperature so the casing will set. There is a fan blowing over the sausage in the photo below. Air Drying the Product The Smoke Maturation Step After drying, the sausage is placed in the fridge covered for the smoke flavor to mature into the meat. UPDATE: After a day+ in the fridge wrapped up, the initial smoke flavor on first bite is somewhat less pronounced compared to shortly off the smoker but the overall flavor of the sausage and smoke is now more uniform and consistent. By no means has the smoke in this smoked sausage "gone away". Since the family enjoys a heavy but not bitter smoke profile, and given the fact that I used pecan smoke, next time I might extend the smoke for another hour on the pecan to see the difference. Had the smoke been hickory, I would recommend the current time for application of the smoke due to hickory being stronger than pecan. The Result and Verdict We ate some of the sausage, which is fully cooked following this type of smoking process, after a bit of the air drying – how could we not try it? It was excellent. In our view --- a perfect smoked Andouille. The aroma is so enticing. Three of us probably ate a pound just sampling it. We also tried some sliced and browned off in a skillet and it met every expectation and rendered very little fat. My Smokehowze Andouille What I liked was that fact that there was not an excess of fat nor any excess of salt. The texture was quite good. Firm and uniform and not excessively dense - what a good sausage should be. The smoke was on-target and fully complemented the flavor of the sausage itself. It was nice to be able to compare the smoked to the non-smoked Andouille. While both are good, the smoking takes it over the top. I like the pecan wood as it never really gets too harsh like hickory can if you get too much smoke in the meat. So… if you have been thinking about making sausage - just do it. The result is way superior to any of the store bought – even from some of the so called specialty shops. You do not need a fancy grinder to have good results.