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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