Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby wheels » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:29 pm

I've put it on my list - I tend to wait until they become available second-hand, otherwise it get a bit expensive for me.

Phil
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby This Little Piggy » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:48 pm

John, you're quite right to point out that the claim to being "a definitive guide" may well have been the publisher's decision and that we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Concentrating as I do on his flawed understanding of sausagemaking, it's not as balanced a review as it could be – or even should be.

Armed with an understanding of the flaws in his methods, I'll really have to give more of the recipes a go. Do you have any faves from the book?

Call it a tic or a personal flaw, but it just sticks in my craw when things continue to get published that get the basics wrong. Was re-reading Jeffrey Weiss' Charcuteria just the other day (a book I did give 5 stars), where he has a number of sausage recipes in which he claims that the onions act as a "binder." What utter nonsense! I understand that his editor isn't going to have any notion of such things, but surely you share your book manuscript with your peers in order to catch such mistakes before they get into print.
"Nothing exceeds like excess."

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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby quietwatersfarm » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:57 pm

I totally agree with you - I am reminded of this every time (several times a day) when folks talk about the Rhulman/Polcyn books as 'go to' texts.
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby wheels » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:18 pm

I too am baffled by the Rhulman/Polcyn books success - I guess it's 'cos they were one of the first. I feel a little sorry for Brian Polcyn though as he often doesn't even get a mention.

And don't even get me started on stuff by HFW.

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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby BriCan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:43 am

wheels wrote:And don't even get me started on stuff by HFW.



Fair cop; but on the other side of the coin his photographic art work you "must" agree is beyond reproach..... where else would you find salamis hanging in the trees :shock:
But what do I know
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby quietwatersfarm » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:55 am

Couple of points on this.
Phil, Michael Rhulman is an absolutely fantastic writer in my opinion. One of the best around. Some of his books have been all time greats (or will be in time!) but I assume on the Charcuterie/Salumi jobs Brian Polcyn was supposed to be the 'expert' on the subject. He may well be, but all the more, that would not excuse some of the straightforward technical cock ups in the books. For the above reasons my sympathy will be saved for other things ;)
HFW is another very good writer imo. but he was never an expert and I am not sure he surrounds himself with them either. He is, first and foremost it seems to me, a TV producer with a love of food. His charcuterie knowledge always feels like it was gained over a few pints with an elderly John Seymour.
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby DiggingDogFarm » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:48 pm

quietwatersfarm wrote:Michael Rhulman is an absolutely fantastic writer in my opinion. One of the best around. Some of his books have been all time greats (or will be in time!) but I assume on the Charcuterie/Salumi jobs Brian Polcyn was supposed to be the 'expert' on the subject. He may well be, but all the more, that would not excuse some of the straightforward technical cock ups in the books.


Yes, the provenance of the recipes is stated in the last paragraph of page 26 in Charcuterie ....."The recipes in this book, with a handful of exceptions, reflect Brian's work .. While some are wholly his own, most are standard preparations that he has molded over the years to satisfy his own tastes and spirit. ... "
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby This Little Piggy » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:14 pm

Giving Ryan Farr's recipes a closer look, I can't say that I'm encouraged to give them a try.

At first glance, it looks like a good thing that for all the ingredients, he gives dry measure amounts, weight in grams, and a percentage, which is very handy for scaling up a recipe. Only he doesn't seem to understand how the percentage system is most useful.

For professional breadbaker's, the total flour weight (since it's the heaviest) is taken as 100%, and then all the other ingredients are a lesser percentage of that (ie, the weight of the water is 60% to the flour's 100%, or 600 g per 1kg). Scaling up is easy; it's all about ratios; once you know how much you're increasing the flour, you apply the same multiple to everything else: 5kg of flour? multiply that by 0.6 and there's your water.

In Ryan Farr's book, he takes the total, final weight of the sausage mix (which he doesn't give you, except in very rough terms) as 100%. I'm sorry, but that's useless. When it comes to making sausage you usually start with a certain amount of meat that you have to work with. That's why a baker's percentage (taking this as 100% and scaling everything else to it) works. Knowing that the meat is supposed be 72% of the total recipe doesn't help you scale anything up.

It's just as well, as the percentages he gives aren't accurate anyway. For his maple-bacon breakfast sausage on page 60, he calls for 42g of ice water (saying that's 2% of the total) and 84g of maple syrup (saying that's 6.15% of the total). Now, you don't have to have a calculator handy to realize that 84g is twice as much as 42g, but that 6.15% is a lot more than twice as much as 2%. The percentage for the ice water is off by more than 50%. While we're not talking about a lot of water, it is a huge percentage to be off and doesn't inspire confidence. Since all the percentages in the recipe do add up to 100, I don't know what happened to that 1.07% of water he's missing... It's as if the percentages have just been fudged in order to make them add up to 100, when that number is useless anyway.
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby DiggingDogFarm » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:48 pm

I agree that the recipes are presented in a very irritating way. Just the way they're formatted in the book is irritating...at least in the Kindle version.
I think that the weight/volume are out of sync in most, if not all, of the recipes because the US volume measurements are just an approximation. Weight measurements taking priority. I also think that the noted yields in the book are also just an approximation.

He does state....
"You’ll see that I’ve given you formulas for each recipe that show the ratios of every ingredient as a percentage of the total, in addition to U.S. measurements. The formulas are based on the yields of the recipes in grams and enable you to accurately scale the recipe up (or down) so you will able to make sausages for a crowd as easily and as successfully as you would make a single batch. In the interest of preventing waste and making these recipes user-friendly, I’ve made them completely adaptable, based on the weight of the meat being prepared. All that’s required if you want to maintain the consistency of the recipe is to multiply the percentage of the ingredient by the total weight of the recipe in grams. This formula is always based on the yield of the recipe in grams. The process is far more intuitive when working in grams, but I’ve also included volume measurements (cups and tablespoons), as well as the percentages for each ingredient. It works like this: Desired weight of recipe in grams × % of ingredient = weight of ingredient Example: Recipe yields 1,000 grams × 10% salt = 100 grams of salt (Remember: to convert a percentage into a decimal, shift the decimal point two spots to the left (10% = 0.10). This will make your calculations much easier.)"

Farr, Ryan (2014-05-13). Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes (Kindle Locations 227-238). Chronicle Books LLC. Kindle Edition.
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby DiggingDogFarm » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:37 pm

Luckily it only takes a couple minutes to adapt the recipe in a spreadsheet...baker's percentages on the right.

Image

Recipe Adapted From: Farr, Ryan (2014-05-13). Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes (Kindle Locations 227-238). Chronicle Books LLC. Kindle Edition.
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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby This Little Piggy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:52 pm

Wow, Dan, you're much better at spreadsheets than I am!

As for what percentages are most useful, I guess it's a question of starting point. He assumes that the starting point will be a known quantity of sausage that someone wants to make, ie a 20 pound batch. Whereas to me it seems more realistic that the starting point for most people will be a known quantity of meat that they have to work with: I've just boned out a pork shoulder, and I've got 11 pounds of meat for this batch of sausage. Both are legit, but they way he uses percentages just seems redundant to me. As long as he gives precise weights for all the ingredients, all you need to do is calculate the multiple. If his recipe is for 3 pounds, and you want to make a 20 pound batch, just divide 20 by 3, get 6.67, and multiply all the weights by that number in order to scale it up. If he only gave volume measurements, then indeed his percentages would be useful.
"Nothing exceeds like excess."

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Re: Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes

Postby DiggingDogFarm » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:01 pm

I agree!

I looked at the preview of the book on Amazon.
The recipe formatting problem exists with just the Kindle edition, no surprise there!
~Martin
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