missing something

Beginners FAQ on sausage making, meat curing etc may often be found at the head of each relevant section, but here is the place to ask experienced users for advice if you are still stuck or need more information...we're here to help!

missing something

Postby eeejay4 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:25 pm

hi

im pretty inexperieneced at this and im doing something really wrong. I have to make full meat sausages, so after a recommendation for a guys recipies on full meat sausages ive tried them out, the sausages taste lovely, but i am losing all the fat that i am adding and they are bone dry. am i supposed to 'tie up' the ends of the sausage to stop the fat from running out? if so, how? or is the fat being lost through the casing? i really dont know what to do, and i really want to go cook sausages for my kids as they cant eat any commercial types.

thanks

emma
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Postby Spuddy » Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:17 pm

There are two possible reasons for a dry "full meat" sausage.
    1. The mixture hasn't been mixed until sticky (to emulsify some of the fat with certain proteins in the meat).
    2. The sausages are overcooked; pork sausages need only to be cooked to an internal temperature of 70C to be safe.
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Postby vinner » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:24 pm

Emma, are your links closed at the end? They need to be. Reading your post, it seems like they may not be properly tied/closed.
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Postby Hepsibah » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:26 pm

Are you using pork fat? I made lamb sausage with lamb fat and they ended up like lumpy hard sticks and all the fat had escaped.
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Postby vinner » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:28 pm

I use prok fat (back fat or flare fat) and try to keep it at 30% of the entire content by weight.
" To be the stewards of what we have been given, to reap what we sow, to enjoy the harmony of it all.

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Re: missing something

Postby dougal » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:39 pm

eeejay4 wrote:... I have to make full meat sausages, so ... the sausages taste lovely, but i am losing all the fat that i am adding and they are bone dry. am i supposed to 'tie up' the ends of the sausage to stop the fat from running out? if so, how? or is the fat being lost through the casing? i really dont know what to do, and i really want to go cook sausages for my kids as they cant eat any commercial types.


Hi Emma - its not about sealing the fat in by closing the casing. Its more about making the mix hold onto its fat.
Try this:
- cut up the meat ready for mincing, season it (under rather than over!), mix that in as well as possible, then
- get the meat really cold (almost frozen) before you mince it, and then
- chill it again after mincing. (Mincing heats it up. So chill it.)
- Next you need to mix it thoroughly. (Like a Kenwood Chef with a K beater for a couple of minutes on medium speed). While you mix, slowly add a little seriously cold (flavoured) liquid - wine, stock, beer, fruit juice, jam... but just a little, maybe 75ml per kg of meat. This should produce a slightly sticky sausagemeat with a good "bind" - without adding any chemical binders.
- Then chill it again after mixing, while you fry off some tiny samples to taste-test for seasoning. (If you need to adjust, mix the extra seasoning in well, without allowing the meat to get warm.
- And when you stuff the sausages, don't simultaneously re-mince the meat as you stuff, you'd be heating it!
Rest the sausages for a few hours at least, uncovered in the fridge, to allow the flavours to meld and the skins to dry a little. (Linking and hanging the sausages would be ideal.)
Cook the sausages fairly gently, and of course - don't prick the skins!

Preventing the meat getting warm is good food hygene practice, and firm meat minces more cleanly - but more than that, keeping it cold is important to achieving a good bind, which is what retains the fat and makes for a suculent sausage.
The early salting also helps promote a good bind. (And putting the herbs and spices in early gives time for their flavours to marinade into the meat.)

I'm a little concerned about your comments about "the fat I'm adding".
You want to make "full meat sausages" - so without adding *any* filler (rusk, breadcrumbs, flour, polenta, oats, crispbread, etc) you should be aiming for about 25% fat content. More than that and, without binders and emulsifiers in the mix, it'll run on cooking. The 25% proportion would commonly be achieved by mixing, half and half, pork shoulder and belly.
For salami, you'd want to keep distinct pieces of fat - so you'd use hard back fat and keep it distinct. BUT for a cooked sausage, you should be trying to get the fat incorporated. Anything left as a distinct lump of fat is very likely to render, and run out of the sausage, when it is cooked.
So its better to use fatty meat, rather than fat.

Try being seriously paranoid about temperature for one batch, use shoulder+belly, mix it well, and I look forward to you reporting back how wonderful they were!
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Postby tristar » Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:39 am

eeej4,

The beating or working of the mixture is the trick, it doesn't matter what fat you use, I have used lamb, beef and chicken and the results have always been good since I started working the mixture. I recently made some Beef Kielbasa, which had 50% fat and they retained all their fat and moisture content when cooked.

I think the thing with pork fat is that it will maintain its texture even after cooking so that a poorly processed sausage can still be moist and tasty, the other meat fats are less forgiving and when cooked, most of the fat will render out, this characteristic enables pork sausages to remain moist and fatty even if they have not been processed to bind the fat into the forcemeat.

Regards,
Richard
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Postby Lance Yeoh » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:34 am

Totally agree with Tristar on the mixing. Remember to keep the meat as cold as possible as well.
For me, I grind my meat frozen and since I don't have a heavy duty mixer, I knead them well with both hands for about 5 minutes. It hurts coz the mixture is really really cold but the end product is worth it. :lol:
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wow

Postby eeejay4 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:23 pm

wow thanks for all your replies - ill give it another go tonight with pork as suggested, i sooo hope it works - i wasnt keeping the meat cold enough, or linking or even mixing for long enough so fingers crossed for tonights effort.

kindest regards

emma
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Postby dougal » Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:27 pm

Well, that's at least three people with the same hymnsheet! :D

Good luck, Emma!
Don't forget to report back!
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