emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

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emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby adrianm » Wed May 20, 2015 2:51 pm

I've been trying to make sausage for a few years and so far I have succeeded fantastically with a Weisswurst recipe, an emulsified sausage recipe I got from Ruhlmann's book but every other attempt has been a failure: the fat does not stay integrated in the sausage. It doesn't matter if it's an emulsified sausage or not. I end up with kind of dry meat in a pool of rendered fat.

Recently I made the Weisswurst, which calls for

1 lb beef
12 oz pork fat
8 oz water
spices
1 oz powdered milk

and as usual, it succeeded.

Then using the rest of the piece of beef (same meat) I made a different sausage with different spices using

1 lb beef
8 oz pork fat
3.75 oz liquid (of which 1.5 T was red wine vinegar and the rest water)
spices

I mixed the second recipe using exactly the same procedure. I ground it once at 1/4". Froze the result for a while, ground it again at 1/8" and mixed in in the mixer until I got a smooth paste. I've made the Weisswurst several times and this process has always worked for me. But with this other sausage, as usual, the fat did not stay integrated. I added powdered milk and that made no difference.

So I'm wondering: Is there something magical about the ratio of the ingredients in the first recipe? Is it really possible that I can only make a successful emulsified sausage if I have more water and/or more fat?

The only other explanation I have left is that the spices are effecting emulsification.
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby DanMcG » Wed May 20, 2015 5:40 pm

the vinegar in the second one will effect the bind, ya might want to leave it out
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby BriCan » Thu May 21, 2015 6:42 am

Its the Weisswurst thing all over again :)

As for the vinegar thing Dan, remember that I use lemons to achieve the white of this sausage and lemons as far as I know are a acid base as I believe is vinegar

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7641&hilit=Weisswurst&start=15
But what do I know
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby adrianm » Thu May 21, 2015 11:51 am

DanMcG, are you saying that because the vinegar is acidic it will affect the bind? I see lots of recipes out there calling for vinegar or wine---are these "broken" recipes?

BriCan, I'm not sure what you mean about it being the "Weisswurst thing all over again". I don't have any particular care about Weisswurst. And I certainly don't care about making my grayish Weisswurst come out whiter, nor do I care if my Weisswurst is "traditional". It just so happens that the one and only sausage recipe that works for me is Ruhlmann's Weisswurst. It contains no acidic ingredients, unless you count the 2g of lemon zest.

I want to know what the magic is. Why does this one recipe work and nothing else? Or do I just have to make all my sausages with the exact formulation I described?
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby wheels » Thu May 21, 2015 12:52 pm

Sorry, can you clarify please:

Are you saying that only Ruhlman's recipe works if you use Ruhlman's emulsificaton method (presumably the one that uses a mixer rather than a food processor/chopper to make 'emulsified' sausage)?

Or are you saying that only Ruhlman's recipe/method works for you, point blank. No other sausage recipe works for you, whatever the recipe or method?

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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby adrianm » Thu May 21, 2015 1:06 pm

I am saying that only Ruhlman's recipe/method works for me, period. (And only that one specific recipe from Ruhlmann.) I have never made any other sausage that was successful. With every other recipe or procedure---whether emulsified or not emulsified---I always get a dry meat product sitting in a pool of fat. I only tried the food processor once, following a different Ruhlmann recipe, and it failed.
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby NCPaul » Thu May 21, 2015 2:17 pm

This may be a problem of mixing to get a good bind; the Ruhlman recipe may be the only time you mixed enough to achieve one. Could you describe how and how long you mix the sausage meat?
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby adrianm » Thu May 21, 2015 2:49 pm

In the most recent effort I followed the same mixing procedure. After passing the meat twice through the grinder I mixed it in the mixer on high speed for about 7 minutes. I've made the Weisswurst several times and have never had it fail, so that recipe doesn't seem to be sensitive to whatever variations in my procedure I might be introducing. The milk powder is added towards the end of the mixing. Is it possible to overmix (assuming temperature is kept low enough)?

I normally freeze strips of meat for 30-60 minutes before grinding them and then when making the Weisswurst I freeze the ground meat for another 30 minutes before doing the 2nd grind, adding the 8 oz water in the form of crushed ice. I grind the pork fat directly from the freezer. I did the same thing with the second (failed) sausage. And actually the Weisswurst was really warm this last time because I didn't freeze the meat in advance. I think the mixture reached 40 deg. But it still worked. The second sausage had more time to chill and was colder. (I didn't take its temp so I don't know how much colder.) But it failed.

I've also tried to make non-emulsified sausages by mixing for shorter times on lower speeds. I've followed the advice to mix until the mixture is sticky. I think it was the book by Farr that shows a blob of sausage sticking to the palm of someone's hand held facing down and not falling. I've tried mixing until I pass that test. But then when I cook it (as bulk sausage) I get lots of fat coming out and the cooked sausage is not juicy, but kind of dry.
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby NCPaul » Thu May 21, 2015 8:14 pm

Seven minutes on high would be over mixed for me. I mix on low (Kitchen-Aid mixer) and only for about three minutes, stopping once to push the meat out of the paddle blade. I would recommend mixing a batch by hand to see how little it takes to get a good bind. If the recipe calls for any wine or vinegar, I would add it ice cold and after I had a good bind with minimum mixing (try a recipe without it first though). I think the bind and the water capacity are better if the meat is salted and left in the fridge overnight before grinding. My sausages also seem to benefit from a overnight rest in the fridge after they're made as well.
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby wheels » Thu May 21, 2015 10:24 pm

Maybe practice with a couple of tried and tested recipes from the forum:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=9131

Using those, at least it rules out the recipe as being the problem. We can then concentrate on getting the technique correct so that you can enjoy a variety of great sausage.

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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby adrianm » Fri May 22, 2015 12:06 pm

NCPaul, you make an emulsified sausage mixing on low for just 3 minutes? I'm pretty sure that after 3 minutes on low my mix is far from smooth. At one point I tried making a batch of something other than the Weisswurst where I followed my Weisswurst procedure but then shortened the mixing time, and had a mixture that still had visible texture instead of being completely smooth. I got the usual pool of fat.

I'm happy to focus on recipes without added vinegar or wine (or to omit it) if it will help me succeed. When I tried the recipe with the 1.5 T of vinegar I used frozen vinegar, but I added it with crushed ice to the grinder at the second grind, since that's how the Weisswurst recipe uses the water. I have tried salting the meat over night with no apparent effect on my results.

You say I should try "mixing by hand to see how little it takes to get a good bind" but you neglect to tell me how to identify that I've gotten a good bind. As far as I can tell this is happening only with the Weisswurst and the only way to tell this is to cook the sausage and see if all the fat comes out. When making non-emulsified sausages I've tried mixing shorter or longer and it doesn't seem to make a difference. What is the consequence of over-mixing? (How would I recognize it?)

wheels, are you sure that the recipes people have posted here are known good---like they're going to be more reliable than recipes I found in Ruhlman, Farr, or Marianski? When I took a look at a few recipes I noticed that they don't indicate how much fat to use, vaguely suggesting simply "pork" as the only bulk ingredient in many cases. Most of the recipes I saw called for no added liquid. None of the recipes said anything about the recommended grinding or mixing method. I got the impression the main intent of people posting these recipes is to communicate their spice blends. I can tell you right now that I have made recipes from "pork" without added liquid and they have produced the results I described above. So assuming the spices don't affect the sausage bind and texture, what I've done already is consistent with these recipes.

Actually I just remembered that when I attempted liverwurst I think I got an acceptable texture:

2 pounds lean pork
1 pound pork fat
1 1/4 pounds pork liver
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons cloves [I cut this in 1/4 and it was still far too much]
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby wheels » Fri May 22, 2015 1:30 pm

adrianm wrote:wheels, are you sure that the recipes people have posted here are known good---like they're going to be more reliable than recipes I found in Ruhlman, Farr, or Marianski?


I wasn't suggesting for a minute that recipe's from those authors don't work. I have no problem with them. It's you that said you can't get any recipe, other than one Ruhlman recipe, to work. not me.

I suggested one from here for our members benefit, not yours. If you use a recipe that a member uses regularly it is obviously easier for him to identify any mistake that you make.

I think that NCPaul was referring to fresh rather than emulsified when he talked of 3 minutes mixing.

The use of a mixer for emulsification, as per Ruhlman, is an unusual non-typical method - it cannot be assumed that it will work across the board. Other recipes for emulsified sausage may require a food processor/bowl chopper. Recipes for fresh sausage also use a different method.

Maybe you could try using this tutorial which follows the standard method of making fresh sausage and which others have used successfully:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11029

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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby adrianm » Fri May 22, 2015 7:02 pm

I took a quick look and that tutorial looks interesting and I'll have to look at it more carefully. I notice that he says the use of water is important to dissolve the myosin, so more water is helpful (up to a point). I was imaginging rather the reverse, that the protein network had to "work" to hold the water. I think my successful sausage has more water in it than any other recipe I've tried. He also talks about the use of "rusk" as a very important ingredient. Almost no recipes that I encounter call for this (or bread crumbs or starches). Is milk powder a substitute? I don't want to use any starches. (I don't want carbohydrates in the sausage.)

My food processor is very small (3 cups), which makes that method awkward, and it did fail the one time I tried it, but I can try it again.
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Re: emulsified sausage: magic ratio?

Postby wheels » Sun May 24, 2015 11:42 am

The rusk is a 'UK thing'. Just follow the recipe you fancy but use the method described if it's a fresh (not emulsified) sausage.

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