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Why did my sausages shrink

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:34 am
by soo's snorkers
I'm new to this and made my first batch of sausages at the weekend - they were lovely - plain simple pork sausages (to start with). I used 70% meat (half pork shoulder and half pork belly) 15% rusk and seasoning and 15% water.

Can anyone tell me why they seemed to shrink so much? Or is this normal and should a good sausage shrink? I've looked at the forum but can't seem to find anything on this

Many thanks

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:53 am
by Lance Yeoh
Soo's Snorkers,
I'm no expert, but looking at your recipe, I think you have too much water and rusk.
For pork sausages, I usually use about 7-8% of rusk and a maximum of 10% water but usually less depending on the 'feel' of the mixture when I mix it by hand.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:21 am
by Wohoki
I generally add 5-10% rusk (5 in coarse grinds, 10 in fine) and just enough water to make a nice pliable mix.
Did you knead the mix well before stuffing, as this is essential to help the water and fat bind? And did you rest the stuffed sausage overnight before you cooked them, as this also helps the water absorb back into the meat and rusk?

(Don't like to ask, but you didn't prick them at all did you?)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:12 pm
by sausagemaker
Hi Soo's Snorkers

There is nothing wrong with your recipe although it appears not to have sufficient water to soak up the rusk.
I would reduce the rusk by 3% & increase the water by the same.
As for the shrinkage I think this could be caused by insufficient mixing, you need to mix the meat until it becomes slightly tacky (it is at this stage when the meat proteins are extracted and in turn help hold the sausage in good shape & bind the fat & lean meats together).
With regard to the use of rusk everyone has there own opinion on the amount to put in but as a rule if you mix water at 1.5 - 2 times the weight of rusk & do not use more than 15% rusk you should be OK.
I am guessing that the mix you used would have been 12.5% rusk / wheat flour & 2.5% seasoning (Industry standard mix)
One thing worth remembering if you are to increase the rusk as high as 15% then the meats you use must be good quality to overcome the bread flavour.

Hope this helps

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:46 pm
by soo's snorkers
Many thanks for all your help

I've just made some more with less rusk and more water AND a lot of kneading so will see wot happens - still trying to get the basic recipe right before i launch onto bigger and better things!

And no i didn't prick them!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:08 pm
by gaviscon
Yeah, well, we only have your word for that!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:12 pm
by saucisson


PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:23 pm
by Oddley
gaviscon wrote:Yeah, well, we only have your word for that!

Wow! what an odd first post. No introduction or how do you do, but straight in with a caustic remark. With a handle like gaviscon, I would have thought the reply would not be so acidic... :P

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:27 pm
by saucisson
Just what I thought Oddley. Apart from anything else, if it's a first post then it should be "I" only have your word for it :)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:31 pm
by gaviscon
Perhaps I should explain.
Sue and I just happen to be adversaries living under the same roof and sharing the joy of our first snorkers. :lol:
Batch 2 just completed which includes the advice given, thank you.
Breakfast here I come and hopefully, little or no shrinkage or need for my handle. :wink:


PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:37 pm
by Oddley
Ah, all is crystal clear now. Hope your new batch of sausages turn out OK.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:57 pm
by saucisson
Welcome both :D makes complete sense now :) It did come across as rather odd from where I was reading it.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:29 am
by Wohoki
I wondered if we'd picked up a new Porkerpete (only kidding Pete :wink: )