Summer Sausage–Part II

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The sausage is done!

This was a long smoke, but it seems well worth the effort.  First, a couple of comments about things to do differently next time. 

As mentioned in Summer Sausage – Part I, the sausage was too long.  This caused the sausage to be positioned hanging by the sides of the smoker, which may be cooler than the center.  So, shorter sausages in the future.  I also need to pack the sausage a bit tighter and pay more attention to air pockets.  There were a few fat pockets that formed due to light packing and air pockets.  Have more cold beer ready on smoking days – had to put some in the freezer to get it ready to drink.  And finally, take more pictures of the final product.

Now, for the good.

The sausage is great.  Perfectly formed, perfectly spiced, consistent color, texture, and taste throughout all of the sausages.  I tasted a sample from each sausage as I packaged them, and all were the same.  While I am not sure if this is the absolute best Summer Sausage I have ever had, it is certainly one of the top two, and I know every ingredient that went in these sausages, so I feel good eating them.

When I make this sausage again, I may change the spices a bit for half of the batch.  I would like to add more red pepper flakes, more garlic, and more whole and cracked pepper.  I may also add some buttermilk, which I forgot to do this time, to give the sausage a bit of a tang.

Also, the A-Maze-N Smoker worked great and produced about 5 – 6 hours of light smoke that flavored the sausage quite well.  If I use it to make something that requires heavier smoke, I will simply light it from both ends. 

ETA:  The yield was:  10.65 pounds

The below of a picture of the final product as I was getting ready to vacuum pack and freeze:

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Chicken Eggs–Hatching in 22 Days!

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Just received a batch of 25 hatching eggs including the below chicken types:

Easter Egger
French BBS Copper Marans
Swedish Flower Hen
Speckled Sussex
Blue, Black, Splash Laced Red Wyandotte
Lemon Cuckoo Orpington

Summer Sausage–Part I

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One of the reasons we purchased a side of beef and a whole pig was to make various types of sausage, especially Summer and Polish Sausage. One of the things that has delayed the process was the lack of some of the ingredients and a way to smoke in my new smoker.

The problem with the new smoker is that it is not possible to cold smoke, or smoke at low temperatures. However, I found a product that will allow me to cold smoke so I purchased it.  The new smoker item is the A-Maze-N smoker, pictured05Feb14_Sausage_DSCF2282 below right, which is simply a 6 X 6 inch metal maze that you fill with the sawdust of your choice, light, and place in your smoker.  At this time, it is burning away and seems to be working, but we will see how good it smokes when we taste the sausage.    I also purchased all of the ingredients I was missing, so at this time we are now in the process of making Summer Sausage.

The recipe for this sausage is a combination of recipes on the Internet in order to get the salt and nitrates correct, and added ingredients that I thought would be good in Summer Sausage. 

Recipe Summer Sausage:01Feb14_Sausage_DSCF2263

Total Weight: 10 pounds

Ingredients:

6.5 pounds lean beef
3.5 pounds  pork butt

2 teaspoons Prague Powder #1
2 cups Soy Protein Isolate
6 Tablespoons Corn Syrup Solids 
1 Tablespoon Whole Peppercorns 
1 Tablespoon Cracked Peppercorns 
1 Tablespoon Cracked Mustard Seeds 
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander Seed 
4 teaspoons Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Onion Powder

Smoke:

3 rows Hickory
1 row Apple

Casings:

2.5 X 24 inch fibrous

The process was pretty simple since the meat was already ground for me.  I mixed the spices, mixed the spices into the meat, let cure for 24 hours, soaked the casings in 90 degree water for 30 minutes, stuffed the casings, let those sit overnight, and place in the smoker.

05Feb14_Sausage_DSCF2269However, one of the things I needed to find out is if my recipe tasted good, and if I needed to add anything else.  To determine this, Misty fried a sample and we sampled it.  Basically, it was great.  This recipe would be wonderful as a breakfast sausage, and I am very hopeful that the smoking process will add a high level of complexity to this recipe. 

At 0615 I started preheating the smoker to 130 degrees.  At 0815 I placed05Feb14_Sausage_DSCF2285 the sausage in the smoker for one hour, then slowly raised the pit temperature to 150 degrees.  At 3:15 I raised the pit to 160 degrees, and at 4:15 to 170 degrees.  At this time, 5:33, the internal sausage temperature is 139 degrees.  So far, all is on track for a good smoke.

I did manage to make a couple of mistakes in this process.  As you can see from the image on the right, the sausage is a bit too long.  It seems my measuring foo is very weak these days.  I thought that a 16 inch sausage would fit perfectly in the smoker, taking into consideration the ends and the hanging string (I am sure there is a real name for that).  However, in the future I will do 12 inch sausage because these are simply long.  One of the issues is that they will not be colored evenly, which should not affect anything but the appearance of the sausage. 

Also, I really need a sausage stuffer.  While my Kitchen Aid worked well, it blocked some of the peppercorns and changed the consistency of the meat, especially the fat.  But overall, I am pleased so far. 

I will post Part II of this tomorrow, after we remove from the smoker, cool, and taste.  But, in the mean time, here are a few more pictures from the process:

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Sunset–01 February 2014

A view from the back deck on the 1st of February.

 

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