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Hog casing, Collagen casing and ethics

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 15:11
by markjass
I continue on with my quest for producing a cured, smoked lamb sausage (I could write an essay on my frustrations about this. I tell you what, on my next day off I will write on my saga). Back to this post. I make a lovely lamb, garlic and rosemary fresh sausage. I like it, and other people tell me that they like it. Sounds good so far, but I use a hog casing. That is fine for my own consumption, but if I take along a load of lamb snaggers to a bbq and people who do not eat pork consume one or more; erm that sounds not so good. It would sound a bit pompus me anouncing that my lamb sausages should not be eaten by people who do not eat pork.

I know what you are thinking, why not use lamb casing, well lamb casing is 4* more expensive than hog casing (I do not understand why, but that is the nature of things in NZ, we produce many more sheep than pigs!!!). Ok well then why not use Collagen casings. I bought a box and gave it a go. They were a nightmare to stuff (I like coarse grain mince). I have two stuffing horns. One which is about the size for pork casings and another which may be suitable for lamb casings. Well the collagen casings would not fit on the standard stuffing horn. I then had to add so much water to the mince mixture to be able to stuff the sausages. I then fried the sausages. This worked well, but they shrank and the casing did not. The other half, I had added cure to, I hot smoked (they tasted, well not good, will tell you about that in my lamb saga). The sausages shrank a great deal and the casing did not. so I ended up with a filling that slides inside a baggy casing. I had stuffed the sausages so much that they burst at times.

what did I do wrong?

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 16:41
by ssorllih
I would continue with the hog casings and maintain my silence. I had freinds who were Jewish and avoided pork but not seafood. Edna once asked Sol if he had ever eaten pork. His answer was classic, " Edna, I was in the army"!

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 16:58
by sawhorseray
" The sausages shrank a great deal and the casing did not. so I ended up with a filling that slides inside a baggy casing. I had stuffed the sausages so much that they burst at times."

I agree with Ross, stick with the hog casings and maitain silence. Baggy casings would seem to really detract from presentation, I've never tried using collegen. Popped casings are just part of the frustration that crops up from time to time, happens to me whan I try to go too fast. What I really hate is when the pop during linking, so close to beng done, then back in the hopper like it never happened. RAY

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 17:06
by ssorllih
Most people with ethnic aversions to certain foods prefer to not know. That way they can plead ignorance and avoid sin.

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 18:21
by Baconologist
Collagen casings are garbage, IMHO.

Honesty is the best policy.
Surreptitiously feeding pork to those who avoid pork, for whatever reason, is wrong.
Respect your friends, be completely honest and let them make their own decisions regarding the hog casings.
Offer an alternative to those who avoid pork.
Maybe explore making some lamb ćevapčići (no casings) or even something entirely different.

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 19:03
by Butterbean
Why then would it be alright to use collagen casings and not pig casings?

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 04:26
by redzed
Collagen casings are just that. It is a natural product extracted from the collagen of animals: beef, pork, even sheep. So unless you source a supplier who will sell you kosher collagen casings, you don't know what the heck they are made of.

And I am in full agreement here with Bob.(for a change :grin:) I would never serve something to someone who has any dietary restrictions, whether religious or health oriented, and I was aware of the fact. We always ask whenever we have new guests for dinner, whether they have any dietary issues. Not respecting other people's restrictions is just wrong.

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 06:38
by markjass
I agree that it is dishinest to not tell people about what the casing is made of and would not do that. I had not thought about what the collagen casings are made off. I gave rhe supplier a quick call he said they are made off beef.

The other thing I want advice on it how to stuff collagen casings. Do people add more fluid to the mix before stuffing.

Another question: is clolagen is not soaked before stuffing. Can you poach the stuffed collagen casings.

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 15:32
by ssorllih
I know quite a few people that have dietary preferrences and the degree to which they adhere to them varies. Providing a variety of foods in an ethnically mixed group is the usual approach in this area. Then people who care ask and get honest answers. I know many who eat no meat others that won't eat meat and dairy during the same meal and a few that won't even put meat and dairy on the same table. Meat and dairy can get complicated when you want a rueben sandwich. Mayonaise is made with eggs the closer you try to adhere to some of the restrictions the more complex it becomes. The thankgiving turkey would be fine but the pumpkin pie can't be served.

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 19:27
by Big Guy
Make sausage links with hog cases and make some sausage patties for those who can't/won't eat pork. problem solved