Okay wranglers! Let`s move on just a bit in our reading and discussion. Let`s choose one more "fresh-type" sausage to grind, while we concentrate on a few important techniques and finer points to remember.
Be sure to consider these words near the end of the page.
The fat is usually ground through a plate with very small holes and if it is not partially frozen a smeared paste will be produced. The locking ring on a grinder head should be tight and the knife must be sharp, otherwise the meat will smear. Otherwise we would have meat smearing and the sausage will look greasy even when lean meat was used. Ideally, meat should always be chilled between 32-35°F (0-2°C) for a clean cut. Since refrigerator temperatures are roughly 38-40°F (3-4° C), we should place the meat in a freezer for about 30 min just before grinding. In domestic conditions, we could choose to cut the meat either during the early hours of the morning, or during late evenings when temperatures are not higher than 70°F (21°C).
After we are done cutting the meat, we should separate it into different groups: lean, semi - fat, and fat. The lean meat should be separated from the fat. As a rule, lean meat is ground coarsely while fatty cuts are ground very finely. This way our sausage is lean-looking and the fat is less visible. It is much easier to grind cold meat taken directly out of the refrigerator. Then they should be placed back into the refrigerator. It is possible to purchase minced meat in a supermarket, just make sure it has been minced the day of the purchase. Such minced meat should be processed not later than the following day.
The question may arise, why do we grind different grades of meat through different plates? It will be much easier to use 3/8" plate for everything.
There are many reasons for it:
You could do just that if you had only high grade meats, let`s say pork class I (ham) and pork class II (butt). With such fine meats you would not get any pieces of bone, gristle or sinews that would stick between your teeth. On the other hand we are left with meat scraps of lower classes that we would not be able to eat if they were not finely ground.
The second reason is that we want to retain meat juices and water inside the meat and those poor meat grades with a lot of gristle and sinews are loaded with collagen that helps to do just that. The better grind we can obtain the stronger binding power meat develops and this is where a bowl cutter starts to shine. A grinder, manual or electrical, cuts meat and pushes meat through plate holes, cutting meat but also mechanically breaking it at the same time.
A bowl cutter cuts cleanly without doing mechanical damage to a piece of meat`s structure. It develops a lot of heat so ice or cold water are added to cool down the meat and rotating knives. That allows the meat to emulsify into a consistency of fine paste that is able to trap all this ice and water and hold it inside. All scraps of meat with fat, gristle and sinews have become a paste now, the product will be juicier and the manufacturer will make more money by charging a customer for this trapped ice and water. This is exactly how we make products such as hot dogs, frankfurters, bologna or liver sausages.
The third reason is that a lot of fat is being used to make sausages today and it will be visible with a naked eye when we slice the sausage. By grinding fat through a fine plate the fat will bind with meat and will not be noticeable. Now you understand that there is not any rigid, fixed rule in regard to grinder plates and that the plate selection depends greatly on the type of sausage that you decide to make.
For hundreds of years we chopped meat with knives and stuffed it with fingers through a horn. And the sausages were great. Queen Victoria of England had her own very strict rules about making her sausages:
The meat had to be chopped, not ground to prevent the natural juices from leaking out.
The casings had to be filled by hand, the mixture pressed down through a funnel with the thumbs.
Some products require meats which are not ground but diced or cut with a knife. The texture displays solid chunks of meat or fat inside, including even nuts or olives. For example Mortadella is often made with pistachio nuts, some sausages contain whole peppers. Sopressata contains large pieces of fat inside. There are liver sausages that contain cubes of fat or ham sausages with solid chunks of meat inside. This is done for a decorative purpose only and such a sausage does not contain more fat than others. Were this fat emulsified with the rest of meat we would not be able to see it, though it would still be inside.
Stan Marianski wrote:
"Manual grinders are wonderfully designed and very efficient machines which are very inexpensive. On the other hand, small home type electrical models cost more and work twice as fast at best. The only difference is that you don`t have to exercise your hand for 5 minutes. To get any significant output (50 - 100 lbs. per minute) you have to buy a big industrial model which is heavy and expensive. It is our personal opinion that it is wiser to invest extra money on a quality piston stuffer and grind meats manually.
The majority of recipes on the Internet ask for between two and five pounds of meat. This means that most people use less than one pork butt (around 6 lbs.) of meat. A #32 manual grinder will perform this task in 11/2 minute. A #10 grinder will do it in 2 minutes. An electrical model will be faster but what`s the hurry? If you plan making 50 pounds of sausage, yes, you hand will get tired and the electrical model is a logical choice."
Now, I`d like to hear some of your opinions, especially from Ross Hill (ssorllih), an experienced and very respected member of this site. His advice always makes sense.
I`d like to see someone open a discussion about using freshly-ground or cracked black peppercorns. How about it Sawhorseray? A few months back, you wrote a few words about using it. How about several different opinions about using FRESH spices, instead of that stuff you`ve had in your pantry in little red and white cans... since 1957!
Part 1. FRESH SAUSAGE - Learning The Basics
Here are the first recipes we'll make. These are simple, "fresh" type sausage without cure being added. They must be refrigerated and consumed within three days, or frozen for use later. We'll pay attention to grinding and stuffing techniques and the basic rules of sausage making during the process of making "fresh" sausage. Important Note: Fresh sausage must NEVER be smoked!
Make some "loose" sausage to practice grinding a little. Get to know your grinder and the pressure you must put of the plate so that the blades "cut" rather than "tear". Here's a great sausage for making biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
Recipe #1 - 2.2 lbs. (1 kg.) Onion Sausage
(loose sausage) by Chuckwagon - http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=6787
Later, we`ll talk about proteins and exudates, phosphates, and the pH and glycolysis of meat.
Substitute Ingredients? Don`t Do It!
I was in Las Vegas, Nevada when Rytek Kutas opened his "Hickory Shoppe". Later, he wrote, "Probably one of the stupidest things we did was opening the shop while making only one kind of sausage."
Folks, the reason I have included a variety of sausages in Project B, with different techniques, grinds, preparations, and casings, is to offer you experience in making several different sausages. True, you won`t be selling it to the public, but how else will you be exposed to some other kinds of great sausages out there in the big world. It is also true that most sausage makers by, far, limit their efforts to making less than half a dozen of their favorite or most convenient sausages the rest of their lives. In many cases, it is limited to two or three.
My advice is not to make sausages by changing their recipes. If you SUBSTITUTE ingredients, then you`ll never know how the original was meant to be. When someone asks you, "Have you tried authentic teewurst?" what will you say? "Well, almost... I sort of substituted black pepper for chopped pimento and sugar for powdered dextrose. I didn`t have cardamom, so I used celery seeds and cinnamon. Gosh, I really hated that teewurst."
When Snagman (Gus K.) and Crusty (Jan) shared "Snags" famous recipe with this forum for Hungarian Csabaii, I wondered how any respectable sausage could claim any real flavor without the addition of black pepper. Nevertheless, I swore to follow Gus` instructions to the letter if I were to experience real Csabaii and enjoy its Hungarian flavor. Wow! I put real Hungarian sweet paprika into the recipe along with simmered garlic. What a flavor! This sausage (without black pepper) just knocked my socks off!
If you never try sheep casings for a slender, favorite, cooked-cured, sausage, then how will you know how tender they are with that special "snap" when you bite into them?
And another biggy is if you substitute bitter Mexican paprika for sweet Hungarian paprika. For shame! For a buck or two, you will have the experience of tasting an entire batch of great sausage with the rich, original, authentic flavor of sweet Hungarian.
My point is, you`ll never know the authentic stuff... the genuine article... if you substitute ingredients
trying to save a few pennies. When I was young, a little old woman placed a piece of paper in my hand. It read:
"The Substitute Recipe"
I didn`t have potatoes; So I substituted rice.
I didn`t have paprika; So I used another spice.
I didn`t have tomato sauce; So I used tomato paste.
A whole can - not a half can; I don`t believe in waste.
A friend gave me the recipe; He said you couldn`t beat it.
There must be something wrong with him; I couldn`t even eat it!