Adventures In Stuffing Sausages

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posted on Mar, 23 2013 @ 11:18 AM
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Many years ago when I was a boy (but not so long ago that dinosaurs roamed the Earth as my youngest child would believe), my mother made some homemade sausage patties. They were delicious and in some ways tasted better to me than store bought ones.

Over the years in as an adult (and being the cook in the family), I've made my own sausage patties off and on, which are very easy to do.

For several years now however, I've always wanted to try making other sausages that are stuffed in casings, ranging from breakfast pork sausages to dried hard salami.

I finally got around to getting a sausage stuffer from Weston. It's a 5 pound stuffer that came with 3 gauges of tubes. I was dithering on what to try and make first, when my youngest son, who's 10 suggested that I make homemade Slim Jims.

I thought the idea capital! I love Slim Jims myself, and a quick search on the internet provided for many different recipes to choose from.

My first problem was curing salt however. There are no stores in about a 50 mile radius here where I live that sells any kind of curing salt. They sell canning and pickling salt, but salt for curing meats needs sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite for what I wanted to make (no curing in the breakfast sausages needed).

So I ordered some Tender Quick from Morton online, a 2 pound bag, and it arrived shortly there after.

We got our meat ground up, all the spices and the curing salt added, then set it in the fridge for about 3 days so the meat could cure.

Finally we could set up the sausage stuffer and make our Slim Jims! I have a dehydrator that I was going to use to dry them out after that.

So I put everything together, and put the 19mm gauge tube on the stuffer. I was using collagen casings that I slipped over the tube. I lubed it up with cooking spray (you can use food grade silicon spray too), and I started to stuff.

Or that is I tried to.

First, I had NO idea how hard it is to stuff ground meat through a 19mm tube!
Second.......I then found out that I need to MOUNT my sausage stuffer! (so that's what those 4 holes in the 4 legs are for!).

So there we were, my wife trying to hold it down while I was pushing on the suffing lever for all I was worth......and the meat was barely coming out.

I got about two 6 inch links made before giving up. Without the stuffer being mounted, it was not going to happen.

So I replaced the 19mm gauge tube with my largest one, and stuffed a mahogany case instead. Went a lot smoother, and it's now in the oven at 200 deg for about the next 6 hours or so, drying out.

I guess for the smaller gauge stuff (pepperoni, Slim Jims, etc), I need to build a heavy duty stand and get it mounted, so I can put my full 250 pounds behind that lever.

Never thought that making something that's rather fattening would require you to have a heavy duty work out!





posted on Mar, 23 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 


It sounds like your whole family was involved. Believe it or not, what you made was a memory that will probably never be forgotten, and that is not a bad thing. If everything had gone smoothly it would've been forgotten.

You gave me an idea for a thread and I hope you repost this story there. It is most welcome!

Wonderfully Unforgettable Failures



posted on Mar, 23 2013 @ 11:17 PM
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Originally posted by jiggerj
reply to post by eriktheawful
 


It sounds like your whole family was involved. Believe it or not, what you made was a memory that will probably never be forgotten, and that is not a bad thing. If everything had gone smoothly it would've been forgotten.

You gave me an idea for a thread and I hope you repost this story there. It is most welcome!

Wonderfully Unforgettable Failures



Sure thing!

BTW for everyone out there:

I found out earlier today that when it comes to the type of manual sausage stuffer I have (a "Horn" type), that you do not cure the meat in the fridge first, because the meat starts to become more like clay as it's curing. You are suppose to go ahead and stuff your sausages right away after mixing all the seasonings and curing salt, THEN put the links in the fridge for a few days to cure. I remember that when I mixed this, the meat was slippery and loose, but this morning it was a lot harder and more compact.

So my next sausage will be a hard salami, and this time I'll stuff it in the cases first, then put them in the fridge! hehe.





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