Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

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Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:32 am

Over the years, I have tried many different recipes for hot Italian sausages. To be honest, most are very acceptable. But, not what I was looking for. It wasn't until I went back to western Pennsylvania for my grandmother's funeral that I realized why. The best hot Italian sausages, in my opinion, come from a small Italian grocer that has been family run since 1916 in Ellwood City, PA. My grandmother used them cut up in her lasagna, fried with peppers and onions, braised in her sunday sauce, and mixed with ground beef to make polpette. I haven't had their sausages prepared in any manner for more than a decade, having spent most of that time overseas. This past weekend I had them again, fried with pepper and onions and when my uncle made his sunday sauce. The taste was exactly what I had been looking for in a hot Italian sausage, probably because it is what I grew up with. I tried to figure out what was different about their sausages and the formulas that I have tried, but only found one obvious difference. Listed in the ingredients for the hot Italian sausage, but not the mild, there is tomato paste.

I was wondering if anyone would happen to have a hot Italian sausage formula that incorporates tomato paste. I'm sure that with this addition, other parts of a normal formula would need to be adjusted and I wouldn't know where to start. If anyone would have any ideas or a tried and true recipe, I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby wheels » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:40 pm

Welcome. I can't help with a US 'Italian sausage'. I'm not in the US being UK based, but welcome anyway.

There's many recipes on the forum - just use the search box on the top RH side.

However, I feel that your quest may be better served by talking to the guys whose sausage you want to copy.

Phil
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:18 am

Thank you Phil.

I have tried using the search box and was able to find some information that might be helpful. Unfortunately, the question about how to handle the enzymes in tomatoes to get a nice texture was never answered in an earlier discussion about it.

A decade ago, before I left the USA, I tried talking with the family that makes the sausages. However, they were unwilling to share any information about their formula.

I have contacted Len Poli and the people at Wedliny Domowe to see if they had any suggestions or ideas as well. If I hear back from either of them, I'll supply that information to this thread.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby DanMcG » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:51 am

Interesting, I've never heard of tomato paste in an Italian sausage. I'm guessing it's added to give it an identifying red color to indicate it's hot, but very well could be your missing link.
Welcome to the forums, Dude
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:51 pm

I think that you are right about them using the tomato paste mostly for coloring. I think most places and formulas use paprika for the same effect. However, for my palate, these really are the best tasting hot Italian sausages. I'm just trying to figure out how I can also use it to get a similar result. It also made me wonder if I could use pilacca instead of tomato paste and some ground cayenne. Thanks for your ideas about this question.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby wheels » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:16 pm

sorrydude wrote:
I have tried using the search box and was able to find some information that might be helpful. Unfortunately, the question about how to handle the enzymes in tomatoes to get a nice texture was never answered in an earlier discussion about it.



That's normally sorted by using bicarb of soda:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5318&p=44699&hilit=soda#p44699

HTH
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:19 am

wheels wrote:
That's normally sorted by using bicarb of soda:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5318&p=44699&hilit=soda#p44699

HTH


Thanks, I somehow missed that discussion. I had come across a couple others, including one that went into some scientific details about the effects of different enzymes in tomatoes on meat. The thread that you pointed me to will be much more helpful. The question that I must now answer through trial and error, how much tomato paste to use.

If I get an end product that is similar to what I buy or just that I like, I'll post the formula.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby wheels » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:29 pm

sorrydude wrote:If I get an end product that is similar to what I buy or just that I like, I'll post the formula.


Please do, we love recipes.

Phil
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby Snags » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:27 am

I bet its a red pepper sauce
http://melbournesalamifesta.com/attilios-sauce

heres how to make your own
you can always add a few hot chillies
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcjh9TCoVEg
yet to take the plunge still researching
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:33 pm

Thanks for the response. On the label they list tomato paste, but that doesn't mean they don't use a red pepper paste as well. The pepper paste could just be labelled as pepper. I'll be trying a few different formulas after Easter. I was going to do one with pilacca, I can do one with this kind of red pepper paste as well.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby wheels » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:36 pm

Tomato paste on the label will mean tomato - not pepper.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:48 am

wheels wrote:Tomato paste on the label will mean tomato - not pepper.


Yes, I agree. I'm sure that they use tomato paste. But don't remember exactly how any peppers were listed. Maybe it could have just said red pepper and I assumed it was red pepper flake, while it was actually a red pepper paste or sauce. I'll have to go back when I can and take a picture of the ingredients label to have for attempting to replicate their flavor.

I did test a few different combinations this weekend, and wasn't very satisfied with the results. However, I also tried a Fresh Calabrian Sausage recipe, that I adapted while following links from Snags. The result was a sausage that is different from what I was looking for, but nice. I didn't use any baking soda, but it might provide a better mouth feel if used.

Here is the recipe for my Fresh Calabrian Sausage:

1 KG Pork Shoulder
27 G Salt
3.5 G Red Pepper Flake
31.5 G Red Pepper Sauce (Made my own using the link shared by Snags.)

After grinding the meat, I mixed it with only the salt and red pepper flake. This was only because I wasn't sure how the red pepper sauce might change things if it was added immediately. I allowed the mixture to cool in the refrigerator for 6 hours before adding the sauce. I then let it sit over night and cooked it up as patties. Overall, I liked the result.

If I were to change anything, I would probably add 1 G Bicarb of Soda and see if it were noticeably different.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby Snags » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:26 am

Red peppers are naturally high in Vit C and would act as a bit of a preservative too probably why they were used or a good fluke in salami making
yet to take the plunge still researching
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby gsevelle » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:42 am

If you don't have this book I'd highly recommend it.

GREAT SAUSAGE RECIPES AND MEAT CURING BOOK BY RYTEK KUTAS

I've used his recipe for Hot Italian Sausage for several years with exceptional results. You can play with it but everyone i've ever given the sausage to, including an elderly Italian restaurant owner has always given me the thumbs up.
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Re: Looking for Hot Italian Sausage Formula

Postby sorrydude » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:33 am

gsevelle wrote:If you don't have this book I'd highly recommend it.

GREAT SAUSAGE RECIPES AND MEAT CURING BOOK BY RYTEK KUTAS


I have a number charcuterie books, but not that one. Could you share Kutas's formulation for Hot Italian Sausage. I would love to see what it is and try it. It might be a better option than trying to copy the one that I grew up eating.

Earlier this summer, I was able to get some of the sausage and find out the complete ingredient list. It is as follows: Pork, Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper, Paprika, Fennel Seed, and Tomato Paste.

I was thinking of trying:

1 KG Pork Shoulder
27 G Salt
20 G Black Pepper
20 G Red Pepper Sauce
15 G Paprika
15 G Fennel Seed
10 G Tomato Paste
10 G Bicarbonate of Soda

I think this should at least get me in the ballpark of what I get near my hometown. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions about this, let me know. I'll be trying it soon.
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