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Aidells' Romanian Jewish Beef Sausage

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:18 am
by NCPaul
I made this Bruce Aidells' recipe from his book "Complete Sausage Book" ISBN-13: 978-1-58008-159-7. It appealed to me because it seems to have many seasonings in common with pastrami. His ingredients were:

3 pounds (1362 g ) lean beef chuck
1 1/4 pounds (568 g) fatty beef, such as short ribs or plate
1/4 pound (114 g) beef suet or other firm beef fat
1/2 cup (112 g) water
2 tablespoons (20 g) whole yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons (20 g) minced garlic
1 tablespoon (6.5 g) coarsely ground black pepper
5 teaspoons (30 g) kosher salt
2 teaspoons (10 g) sugar
2 teaspoons (3.5 g) ground coriander
1 teaspoon (2 g) dry mustard
Pinch of ground allspice (0.1 g)
Pinch of ground bay leaves (0.1 g)
Pinch of ground cloves (0.1 g)
1 teaspoon (6 g) curing salt (#1)

I have added the metric measures in parenthesis. For me the meat looked like this:


I had saved the trimmings from some beef tenderloins and added the fresh chuck when I had enough of the fatty bits. I passed it once through the 3/8" plate and noted that it took slightly longer to get a good bind with beef than it does for pork. The test patty from the stuffer tasted very strongly of garlic. I cold smoked them for 8 hours with hickory sawdust and let bloom overnight. They looked like this:


I then poached them for 30 minutes at 170 F. There was a small amount of fat melted after this step. When fried the next day, they looked like this:


They were excellent (unlike my photography). Though only ground once through a coarse plate, they had a fine texture. The smoking added just the right amount of flavor. The garlic was slightly too strong for my tastes (half as much next time) and the black pepper could be bumped up a bit (by half as much next time).

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:36 am
by DiggingDogFarm
Looks real good!!!

I'm going to give that recipe a try and possibly adapt it to some "smokies" I've been wanting to make for a long time.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:29 am
by solaryellow
Looks great Paul! The beef and mustard seed caught my attention. Is suet the same as brisket fat?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:21 am
by NCPaul
Brisket fat should work fine in this sausage; true suet is not often seen in our grocery stores. :D

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:20 am
by Dogfish
I just might try this...looks great. Do you think caul fat would work? I stashed a cow's worth and am not sure what to do with it.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:20 pm
by NCPaul
I would worry that the membrane in caul fat would be hard to mince but I've never worked with it.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:14 pm
by Dogfish
Going to try it today on a double batch. Looks and sounds really good. Did it come out with a smokie-ish texture?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:00 pm
by Dogfish
Did up a double batch; here's what I found:

-- Could do with more pepper just like NCPaul said; I added more like he suggested (maybe another tbsp) and could have added more.

-- Used less garlic -- 3 tbsp -- as opposed to the doubled 4. Still very nice and garlicky.

-- Could use less salt than the doubled 10 tbsp, maybe by a couple tbsp. However, poaching pulls a lot out of the sausages so maybe not.

-- I can't help but wonder what the addition of some low-acid red wine would do to the mix and would ponder adding a bit more coriander.

I left them for a couple days as-is, without smoke, and they tasted like a meh summer sausage. Poached a bunch of them before smoking, and they all sat in the fridge for a couple days. Gave them smoke today at 140 for about three hours and this is definitely the deal-maker -- the smoke turns these sausages into rock stars. Very good. Thanks NCPaul.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:18 pm
by NCPaul
I'm glad you had success Dogfish! Thanks for trying them with the small changes I suggested as well. :D

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:29 pm
by Dogfish
Just did up 18 lbs of this recipe, with the following changes:

14.5 lbs lean beef (6.5 kg)
3.5 lbs fat (1.5 kg)

3 cups water
8 tbsp whole yellow mustard (6 yellow, 2 black)
6 tbsp minced garlic
5 tbsp ground black pepper (at this amount it adds a slight bite to it)
20 tsp 3/4 cup salt (I swear this could be cut down maybe 1/4)
8 tsp sugar
8 tsp ground coriander (plus a bit more)
4.5 tsp dry mustard (up .5 tsp)
.25 tsp allspice (instead of 4 pinches)
.25 tsp sage (instead of 4 pinches and instead of bay)
.25 tsp cloves (instead of 4 pinches)
4 tsp Cure #1

Adding measured amounts of the minor spices really ups the complexity of the sausage and balances it.