Getting started

Recipes for all sausages

Getting started

Postby William » Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:31 pm

New boy here from Wales, hello everybody. I want to get started asap but the cost of the mincer is slowing me down. I wonder if it would it be sensible to start with a stuffer only and buy my meat minced by the butcher. Any thoughts anybody?
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Postby aris » Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:58 pm

Yes - that's fine. It is what i have done for many years.
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Postby William » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:41 pm

aris wrote:Yes - that's fine. It is what i have done for many years.


Many thanks, wish me luck!
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Postby Spuddy » Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:17 pm

Good Luck! :)
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Postby aris » Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:39 am

No luck needed - making sausage is easy. Even if you mess things up, you'll still have something that tastes OK.

Just be sure to keep everything clean - like any mixing bowls and your hands. Wash everything in hot soapy water, or put it in the dishwasher, and keep your hands clean.

Keep any meat you are not currently using in the fridge, and don't leave anything out too long - especially in this warmer weather.
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Postby William » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:19 am

aris wrote:No luck needed - making sausage is easy. Even if you mess things up, you'll still have something that tastes OK.

Just be sure to keep everything clean - like any mixing bowls and your hands. Wash everything in hot soapy water, or put it in the dishwasher, and keep your hands clean.

Keep any meat you are not currently using in the fridge, and don't leave anything out too long - especially in this warmer weather.


Many thanks, appreciate it. Do you generally use a preservative powder?
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preservative

Postby Franco » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:56 pm

Generally any sausage that will be dried ie. salami etc. should always have a preservative to be on the safe side, it also gives the meat a red coulor.

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Postby aris » Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:33 pm

I make dried sausage (droewors - dried Boerewors) without any preservatives. The mixture contains vinegar which should kill any evil bacteria.

If you will be making raw sausage, then just mix and stuff, no nasty preservatives are needed. If you make alot of sausage, then besure to either freeze it or eat it quickly or it will spoil like any other meat.
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vinegar

Postby Franco » Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:07 pm

Vinegar will not kill the botulism bacteria nor will it kill any parasites in the meat. If you are going to give any dried sausages away ie. not eat them all yourself you MUST add preservatives.

If you don't use a nitrite/nitrate cure there is a small chance that you may get botulism or worms, it is not worth risking without it!!!

Aris, just because you don't use a preservative it doesn't mean it is correct practice, you refer to nasty preservatives, nitrates have been usd for hundreds of years to cure meat and if used safely their benefits are more than outweighed by their dangers.

Can someone back me up on this???

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Postby Spuddy » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:41 pm

I agree totally with you Franco. Being half Italian myself I remember as a child vividly watching Salami and other dry cured meats being prepared with carefully measured quantities of white powder (what I now realise was saltpeter) mixed with salt and other flavourings etc and I would not dream of not using a nitrate cure on air dried products like these.
HOWEVER (and it is a big however), Aris IS right in that Droewors (and I suppose biltong too) is one of the few exceptions in that it is SO dry that nothing could live in it. ALL bacteria and other organisms must have moisture to survive. Even botulism (which unlike others doesn't need air to live and multiply) cannot endure an environment without moisture. This is a rare exception but one that should be accepted. After all it is something that South Africans have been making for just as long (probably) as Italians have been making salami. In Thailand they dry prawns (shrimp) to the same point i.e. zero moisture without anything other than salt to preserve them.
I only tried Droewors for the first time last week (I bought them, not made them) after reading Aris' posts on the subject and was quite amazed how palatable they were, considering how dry they are.
But they were NOT in any way the sort of colour you expect from an air dried meat, not pink but sort of grey/brown so definitely no nitrite/nitrate.
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Postby aris » Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:21 pm

If you do a bit of research on the botulism bacteria, it requires a low-acid oxygen depleted environment. Vinegar is acetic acid - thus an acid. Ok, there is a theoretical risk here - but in my opinion fairly low.

As for biltong - most people prefer their biltong wet rather than totally dry. So the outside is dry, while the inside is usually a nice mature crimson colour. Again, biltong is either dipped or brushed with vinegar. Some people use saltpetre, but many don't.

There is also evidence of nitrates being a cancer risk. There is alot of debate on that issue though.
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Postby aris » Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:31 pm

Here is some more info on nitrates:

http://www.dubreton.com/facts/nitrates.html
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Postby William » Sat Aug 28, 2004 9:32 pm

aris wrote:Here is some more info on nitrates:

http://www.dubreton.com/facts/nitrates.html


Well that was a spirited little debate. To summarise, I think I probably don't need preservatives for small batches for family consimption. But probably do need them for dried stuff that may have to last longer. Right?[/i]
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Postby Spuddy » Sat Aug 28, 2004 10:38 pm

Despite all the arguments, there is still a place for nitrates/nitrites.
Show me a salame, bacon or ham without them and I'll show you a piece of salty pork.
In all of these cases nitrates alter the flavour and texture too. It's NOT just a case of it being a preservative.
There are heath risks associated with almost everything these days and it is important to follow recipes ACCURATELY to avoid over use of such ingredients. (I'm sure many of us enjoy a glass of wine or beer with our food but IN MODERATION).
Even acetic acid (vinegar) has health risks if used excessively, I'll post an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on it if anyone has any doubts.
As Franco said, nitrates have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years in the art of charcuterie and if used in the correct quantities there should be no problem.
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Postby aris » Sun Aug 29, 2004 6:26 am

Indeed - nitrates alter the flavour (particularly saltpetre) and colour of the food it is used on. I'm sure this is one of many reaons they are used.
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