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Germans from Russia - Sausage Recipes

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    Posted: 28 January 2015 at 19:30
From the plains of Kansas, up through the Dakotas and into Canada, there is a unique community whose German ancestors emigrated to America from the Russian Empire. Most of these families were originally from the forested regions of Alsace, Württemberg and Bavaria and set up "colonies" in various Russian-held areas at the invitation of the ruling Romanov family. Bessarabia, Ukraine, Crimea and the Volga River Valley were some of the main points of settlement; These "Volga Germans" (Wolgadeutsche) and "Black Sea Germans" (Schwarzmeerdeutsche) were excellent farmers and brought with them traditions of agriculture, gardening, brewing and "making meat." The Great Plains region of North America is full of these descendants of "Germans from Russia"  - chances are if that you you have Germans in your ancestry and they settled in the states mentioned above (or the plains of Canada), they may very well have been Germans From Russia.

My own ancestors came from the Black Forest and Alsace and settled in and around the farming town of Sulz, which was along the Beresan River in Ukraine.  They eventually emigrated to western North Dakota (Dunn County). 

As a community that can claim three homelands (Southwestern Germany, Southern Russia and the American Midwest), the Germans from Russia have interesting food traditions.. One aspect of those traditions is, of course, sausage. I thought I would share some of these sausage recipes with you and see if anyone would like to try them. These recipes come from the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at North Dakota State University, a website that is well worth a look for some interesting things. 

Looking at the amounts involved, these guys didn't mess around! I've not tried any of them yet, but they should be self-explanatory. Keep in mind that the recipes are written by chilrden or grandchildren of immigrants, and as such are not perfect, so they might need a little tweaking or modification here and there (eg: modern cure versus "saltpetre" or salt only), but they are an accurate representation of sausages that were made on German immigrant farmsteads all across the region, and the memories that come with those recipes are as useful as the recipes themselves. 

Quote German Sausage

From Lauren Brautner

All the years I was growing up on the farm, my father and my brothers were the sausage makers in the family. They would disappear into the basement and mix up big batches of sausage and periodically appear upstairs to test fry a patty. Then they would disappear again. Finally the sausage would be stuffed and my Mother and my sister and I would package it into freezer bags. The recipe was a SECRET! About 8 years ago we put out a family cookbook and my father gave us his recipe. My sister decided that he must be thinking he was dying to turn loose of his recipe. It shook her up when he casually handed it to her. He's still farming at age 84 and here it is:

William Brethauer's German Sausage Recipe

3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup black pepper
1/2 of a 1.25 oz. bottle of garlic powder
30 lbs. of ground pork
10 lbs of ground beef
1 cup brown sugar (optional) 

The sausage needs to be mixed thoroughly to distribute the seasonings evenly. Test fry a patty to check the seasoning. When you are satisfied with the seasoning, stuff the sausage. If you don't own a sausage stuffer you can freeze the sausage in patties or in small bulk packages. I hope you enjoy this as much as four generations of our family has over the years. The Great-Grandkids think Dad's sausage is OK.


Quote Summer Sausage

From Jolene K. Ehret

Summer Sausage (1)

Mix together:

66 lb. of finely ground beef.
34 lb. finely ground lean pork
3 lb plus 1/2 cup salt
1 lb brown sugar
4 oz black pepper

Cut 2 fine bulbs of garlic and cover with hot water in a cup. Let stand for several hours. Add the liquid to the sausage. Mix very well. Stuff the sausage very tightly into plastic sausage bags. Have a few small ones and some medium sized ones. Tie the ends with a good strong string or twine. Let it hang in a cool place (but don't freeze it) for a day or two, then smoke it. Skip a day or two and then smoke it again. This keeps very well in a cool place. We used to leave ours hang in the smoke house all summer, but it is better to have it in a cooler place. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summer Sausage (2)

25 lbs of good beef and pork
1 lb. sugar cure smoked salt
2 tsp salt peter
3 T pepper
3 T sugar

Mix thoroughly. Put in casings or sacks that have been dipped in smoke salt water.


Quote Liver Sausage

From Daun Beyer

For 50 lb batch, mix together:

10 lb boiled liver (20% pork liver/80% beef liver)
20 lb hog jowels 
20 lb good pork 
Seasoning (see below) 

Seasoning mix:

1 g pepper per lb of meat 
6.5 g salt per lb of meat  
4 cloves garlic well blended 

Put in casing and bring slowly to 160° F.  Or you can seal in pint jars. 

More notes, from Milton Darr:

For liver sausage, the pork/beef mix is important to keep the sausage from being too greasy (pork liver) or too dry (beef liver).

Other spices can be added to the recipe such as mustard seeds, onion flakes, etc.  Get creative, but taste before you cook and be aware that the flavors will intensify during cooking (i.e., careful with the salt!).  If the flavors are too strong after cooking, they will often mellow out with time, but try to err on the side of less seasoning as opposed to too much.  

For all pork treats, it is essential that the meat be cleaned and rinsed impeccably; otherwise will get that “pig” flavor that turns people off.


Quote Head Cheese

From Daun Beyer

Start with 15 lb hog rind cooked separately (a gluey mess!).  Boil til soft like gluten.

Mix together:

20 lb good pork chunks, boiled til ready to eat, and then ground coarse 
15 lb jowels and trimming off bacon 
5 to 8 lb raw ground beef 
Seasoning (see below) 

Seasoning Calculations:

5 cloves (per pound?) garlic, well blended 
1 g pepper per lb meat (so, 50 g for the above quantity of meat) 
6.5 g salt per lb of meat (so 325 g – almost 1 lb)

NOTE: Rita Darr suggests far less salt here – 1 tsp per lb of beef instead.  Use judgment and personal taste. 

Use casings that you can cook meat in – 6” white casings.  Fill the casings and put in pot in lengths that fit the pot (submerge the filled casings).  Cook in hot water til the temperature reaches 160° F and “a bit longer” – 10 minutes or so.  WATER SHOULD NEVER BOIL.    

Take out of water and put between boards with weights on top to make flat.  Some fat comes out the ends. 

More notes on recipes above, from Milton Darr:

For head cheese, use as much of the head as you are comfortable with – ears, snout, etc., also gristly stomach meat).

Other spices can be added to the recipe such as mustard seeds, onion flakes, etc.  Get creative, but taste before you cook and be aware that the flavors will intensify during cooking (i.e., careful with the salt!).  If the flavors are too strong after cooking, they will often mellow out with time, but try to err on the side of less seasoning as opposed to too much. 
 
For all pork treats, it is essential that the meat be cleaned and rinsed impeccably; otherwise will get that “pig” flavor that turns people off.


Quote Leberwurst

From Gwen Schock Cowherd

There always was a canned pint jar of leberwurst (liver sausage) in my German Russian home refrigerator. The whole family loved it. We smeared it on toast with mayo for breakfast and whenever a snacking urge hit. I still crave its' peppery flavor. I never saw how leberwurst was made because the butchering process was done when I was in school, which was a good thing because I wouldn’t have eaten it if I had observed the squeal to jar process. If my parents gave you a jar of leberwurst, you were either a close relative or one of their best friends. They were geitzig (stingy) with the leberwurst.

In the cookbook, "Food ‘N Customs – Recipes of the Black Sea Germans", published by the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS), Bismarck, North Dakota, page 28; Mike Welder describes how to make leberwurst:

Clean the head of a pig by scalding it in hot water and baking soda. Scrape off the hair. Cut the ears off and eardrum sections out. Cut out the eyes. Cut the head through the jaws so the lower half of head is separated. Remove tongue and brain. Remove and throw away the teeth. Cook the meat from the pig’s head for about three hours. Add a small cooked liver and some skin and meat from the head. Add some salt and pepper and garlic juice (soak a head of chopped garlic in about ½ cup hot water and then strain it). If it’s pretty dry, add some fat. Some add cinnamon and flour. Mix well, and then using a sausage stuffer, fill sausage casings with the liverwurst and tie ends. Gently cook sausages in the same water the pig’s head was cooked in for a half hour. Hang the rings of sausage until they are cold. The meat can also be canned in pint jars instead of put into casings. Pressure cook for 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure or whatever your canner indicates for pork meat. If you want to make your own casings, take the pig intestines, empty the contents and use a dull knife to scrape the contents out. Rinse well with water to clean. The small intestines were used for this.

I have never found “canned” leberwurst in any grocery store. I realize that if I am again to taste the delicacy, I will have to make it. But, I don’t have the guts. I’ve been considering getting my German Russian friends together to partake in the laborious grind thinking that camaraderie would help alleviate the tediousness. We would definitely skip the pig head cleaning and jump right to the grinding of the meat supplied by my favorite butcher, but does he have head skin? I’m also scared of pressure cookers. I have heard the story many times of my grandmother’s blowing up and how she washed green beans off the kitchen ceiling and walls for days. What if us softies, who are used to buying our meat both white-wrapped and in see-through packaging, do not have the intestinal fortitude to face the pressure cooker of sausage processing? What would I then do with all those body parts? So, I have no picture capturing leberwurst in a jar to share with you. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2015 at 19:13
Since 40 pounds is a ridiculous amount of sausage for me to make, I decided to see if I could scale The first "German Sausage" recipe down to a 5-pound batch. As far as I can tell, this is an accurate conversion of the original recipe:

Quote German Sausage (details above) - 5-pound batch (by volume):

Salt - 4.5 teaspoons (1 tablespoon + 1.5 teaspoons)
Black Pepper - 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon)
Garlic Powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Ground Pork - 3.75 pounds
Ground Beef - 1.25 pounds
Brown Sugar (optional) - 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons)


If you are going to smoke it, then use the appropriate amount of cure as per your package of cure, and adjust for salt, if necessary.

Note that the recipe apparently uses only a very small amount of garlic, in relation to the amount of meat. This - in my mind - marks it as a true old-style German recipe, as garlic seems to be rarely or at least sparingly used in a lot of older German cooking. This is only an observation of mine, and I could be wrong. Having said that, this sausage recipe comes from Germans who spent a few generations in Russia's empire before emigrating to America, and consequently the habit of using some garlic could very well have been adopted there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papa Tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2015 at 18:56
Although I don't have grandma's recipe I'm gonna say that this one appears close. Grandma liked a little garlic in hers but grandpa didn't so she always had to make two batches.

As for the curing, another option of course is Prague powder #1,also called Pink salt, Modern Cure, Insta Cure etc. but they are all the same. This cure is used at the rate of 1 oz per 25 lb of meat; that amounts to one level teaspoon per 5 lb of meat. Always follow the directions on the package of cure that you are using.

Cure #1 is used for quick curing and Cure #2 is used for long cures like fermented sausages and such.

Some other tips on curing:

Some recipes will say to let the meat sit in the refrigerator overnight before stuffing; I don't do that as in my experience the meat will stiffen and require re-grinding, which could cause it to not bind well.

If you want to brine cure - like making a corned beef out of a brisket - Use 1/4 cup of pink salt to a gallon of water. Place the meat in a zip lock plastic bag in the fridge and turn daily. A brisket will probably take a week and cure #2 probably will work better for this. DO NOT reuse the brine it is done - discard it.

If you want to speed up the curing in sausage, you can add a cure accelerator; sodium erythorbate is used but it takes very little, about 1/4 teaspoon in 5 lb of meat. Add it to the mix last after the cure and spices, then mix in quickly and thoroughly and stuff your sausage. You probably haven't heard of sodium erythorbate but it is available; ascorbic acid (vitamin C) works just as well in the same amount; crush it fine before adding.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2015 at 15:00
It is hard to beat the basic german/czech sausage made in central Texas

I use 10 lb of meat. the simplest way I know to get a good blend is to just buy boston butts on sale, debone and grind.

I take a cup of tenderquick, add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup black pepper, 2 TBSP of garlic powder and 1 TBSP of ground cayenne.

I mix 8 TBSP of it with 10 lb of meat, grind once. case and cure at least 3 days then my choice of smoke at 170-180 degrees for 4-5 hours.

I like my sausage to have a texture , so I use the 8mm plate on my grinder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lachaffin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 September 2015 at 12:04
I'm a newbie to sausage making and did my first stuffing last week. It wasn't the best but it was okay. My wife is from North Dakota, where her parents made their own sausage - but no one really had a recipe, they just added this and added that - but omg it's by far the best.

So, what I'm doing is searching for a German Sausage recipe that would be similar to what I have eaten made by her Russian/German immigrants. This recipe looks fantastic.

Drinks, when you mention mixing 8 TBSP of it - is that the total mixture of all the ingredients for 10 lbs? Please excuse my ignorance of being a new guy.

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 September 2015 at 12:34
I make a batch of the German/Czech sausage several times a year.

Yes, 8 tbsp per 10 lb meat is what I use.

As you get into sausage making, you shall learn there is no one recipe. If you want leaner sausage, use more beef...if you want really lean, use chicken or turkey.

I like boston butt for at least 2 reasons: first, HEB usually has it on sale for $1 a lb at least every 3-4 weeks. Second, it has about the amount of lean and fat I like, roughly, 80/20.

Now and then they even have vacuum bags of "Pork for Carnitas" which is boneless boston butt for $1-1.50 a lb.

I have made all beef, all turkey, (not my choice meat), all chicken,same as turkey, even a fish/pork blend, not very good.

If you are really interested, go on Amazon.com and order a copy of the book, "Great Sausage Recipes", by Anton Kusac.

After a few times of reading it, you should have very few questions about sausage making.

If you expect to get serious, get a good grinder and a vertical stuffer, stuffing from a grinder is not very good. The sausage comes out very similar to store bought hot dogs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 September 2015 at 06:43
Welcome, lachaffin!

It's great to see you here, and I look forward to more discussions on this. The recipe that I "converted" above has not been tried yet by me, but a fellow that I know in Kansas did give it a try and pronounced it to be excellent.

The advice provided by Don (drinks) is good wisdom - sausage can be made from pretty much anything, and the fat content is a matter of preference and practicality, from what I can see.

A sausage stuffer is definitely preferred, but not 100% necessary to get started. When I started, I made good sausage stuffing from the grinder, but it does require some care. There are many stuffing alternatives, but if you do this much, you will most likely want to get a stuffer. Mine is a 5-pound vertical stuffer from LEM, and I am very, very happy with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lachaffin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2016 at 07:53
Wow, so impressed with all the great comments and suggestions.

I have now made two batches and each gets a little better. I also bought a combination grinder/stuffer which is okay, but I can see where a vertical is on the list soon.

Thanks everyone, and I'll be back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 November 2017 at 15:07
Sounds great - I am glad that you're making it work!

If anyone would like to take look at another sausage with more than a bit of Germans from Russia heritage, here's truly great one, from a wurstmeister who really knows his stuff:

Manitoba Farmers Sausage

Also, for those who use Morton's TenderQuick (or Mad Hunky's TennerQuack) for curing and smoking sausage, here is the "Basic German Sausage" recipe, scaled to 5 pounds and using TQ at the rate of 1.5 teaspoons per pound:

Quote German Sausage (details above) - 5-pound batch (by volume), with TenderQuick as a curing agent:

Morton's TenderQuick - 7.5 teaspoons
Salt - 1.25 teaspoons
Black Pepper - 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon)
Garlic Powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Ground Pork - 3.75 pounds
Ground Beef - 1.25 pounds
Brown Sugar (optional) - 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons)


Mixing the curing agent and spices into a slurry is always a good idea, so that the cure and spices are distributed evenly and that the sausage is easier to handle after curing. Water is commonly used; but in this case, beer might be the way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olyeller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2018 at 17:11
I've been looking for a great German/Czech sausage recipe for years and have found the Mother Lode. Thanks Ron and drinks.

drinks is right on about using Boston Butt for sausage meat, and also about the HEB "Carnitas" trimming. I use either with venison to make my deer sausages.

I also have Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas, 3rd Edition, which has been called the sausage bible. Great source of sausage-making and meat curing info.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2018 at 08:54
I really need to dip into sausage-making more often - I'm glad you like the German/Czech recipe!

If you're looking for something a little more Slavic, here's a great recipe for Slovak sausage:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/domce-den-klobsy_topic4136.html

And if you want something really unique and special, here's another Slovak specialty:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/jaternica-also-known-as-hurka_topic3938.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olyeller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2018 at 18:13
Many thanks to drinks and Tas. The German/Czech sausage recipe here is exactly what I've been looking for.

Made 5 pounds today using Boston Butt....perfection in a casing. Hug It could not have been better.

Thanks again.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote grouchobear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 September 2018 at 09:43
First of all, thanks to all who have posted recipes and comments in this forum, it has been very helpful.

I've been looking for a recipe for German Sausage for a while now and was really happy to find this. While I'm not German or Russian or ethnic Mennonite I do attend a MB church in the central valley of CA. I asked everyone I could find for a recipe and no one has one. Everyone talks about how their grandparents used to make it but it seems that writing down the recipe just isn't in the MB DNA.

I've made the original recipe (scaled down to 10lbs) a couple of time now. While it is really good it's just not quite what I'm after. I've added the sugar both times and the sausage just tastes a little on the sweet side. I'm going to try and reduce the sugar by 1/2 next time to see if that gets me closer to what I'm familiar with.

One thing I haven't done is to smoke the sausage. A question about this. While I do have an offset smoker that I love to use, I don't have a "cure box". Can the sausage be cured by just putting it in the fridge? Also, since smoking takes quite a bit of time as does the actual sausage making. Can the sausage cure for more than the 3 days? Ideally I'd like to make the sausage on a Sunday afternoon and let it cure until the next weekend when I have a whole day to work the smoker.

Thanks in advance for any tips and thanks again for this forum.
-jeff bryant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 September 2018 at 10:22
Hi, Jeff, and welcome to the forum. We're glad to have you here and hope to see more of you, so feel free to look around and jump into any topic that strikes your fancy.

I'm also glad that you got some use from this topic, as I STILL need to get moving and get some made - hopefully this year...with my youngest son being a teenager now, I've been pretty busy.

I think your instincts are good in cutting the sugar by half. These things are always subjective, of course, because some like a little more this or that than others; also, as you have learned, grandkids and great-grandkids sometimes don't have much to go on in terms of "recipes" when it comes to these things. To me, there are also a couple of other factors: 1) tastes have changed over the years, and what might have been considered normal or good in days gone by is different from today. Also, 2) I think sometimes when scaling up or down, some ingredients (spices, sugar, etc.) might not scale as smoothly as we hope, so tweaking seems almost always necessary.

This is my very long way of saying that I think your instincts are spot on where this is concerned. Please do give it a try, and let us know what the results are, so that it can all be added to the collective knowledge!

Regarding your question on smoking the sausage: assuming you are talking about cold smoking, I personally don't think you will run into any problems if you make the sausage on a Sunday, keep it chilled, and then smoke it the next weekend. I would recommend hanging the sausage or setting it out on racks so that it "dries" a bit before smoking; at least over-night, but longer isn't going to really hurt anything. Keep in mind that this is cold smoking, as opposed to hot smoke-cooking; so while you can definitely smoke the sausage in your offset, you will want a cool or cold source of smoke.

On the other hand, if you intend to smoke cook your sausage, I say go ahead and smoke it hot at normal temps (about 250 degrees or so).

You can learn more here using Dave's excellent tutorial on the subject:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/sausage-making-for-the-beginner_topic2903.html

If you have any further questions, be sure to ask them, and we will get them answered for you. Dave has been making sausage for quite a while, and he is very good at it!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olyeller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 08:16
Originally posted by grouchobear grouchobear wrote:

First of all, thanks to all who have posted recipes and comments in this forum, it has been very helpful.

I've been looking for a recipe for German Sausage for a while now and was really happy to find this. While I'm not German or Russian or ethnic Mennonite I do attend a MB church in the central valley of CA. I asked everyone I could find for a recipe and no one has one. Everyone talks about how their grandparents used to make it but it seems that writing down the recipe just isn't in the MB DNA.

I've made the original recipe (scaled down to 10lbs) a couple of time now. While it is really good it's just not quite what I'm after. I've added the sugar both times and the sausage just tastes a little on the sweet side. I'm going to try and reduce the sugar by 1/2 next time to see if that gets me closer to what I'm familiar with.


I use this recipe from drinks shown in a post above. It has only 4tbls sugar for the entire mix which will do several 10# batches of sausage:

Originally posted by drinks drinks wrote:

It is hard to beat the basic german/czech sausage made in central Texas

I use 10 lb of meat. the simplest way I know to get a good blend is to just buy boston butts on sale, debone and grind.

I take a cup of tenderquick, add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup black pepper, 2 TBSP of garlic powder and 1 TBSP of ground cayenne.

I mix 8 TBSP of it with 10 lb of meat, grind once. case and cure at least 3 days then my choice of smoke at 170-180 degrees for 4-5 hours.

I like my sausage to have a texture , so I use the 8mm plate on my grinder.


You may want to add a little more black pepper to the basic mix recipe, say add 2 more TBSP to the 4TBSP (1/4C) it calls for.

Originally posted by grouchobear grouchobear wrote:

One thing I haven't done is to smoke the sausage.  A question about this.  While I do have an offset smoker that I love use, I don't have a "cure box".  Can the sausage be cured by just putting it in the fridge?  Also, since smoking takes quite a bit of time as does the actual sausage making.  Can the sausage cure for more than the 3 days?  Ideally I'd like to make the sausage on a Sunday afternoon and let it cure until the next weekend when I have a whole day to work the smoker.


Ron's advice about cold smoking and hot cooking is spot on. I strongly suggest you hot smoke at about 180*-225*F until you get an internal temp of 165*. That will take several hours. Like drinks says in his recipe, cure the sausage for 3 days in a refrigerator. Your offset smoker will be just great for hot smoke cooking. Cold smoke curing is a whole different set of rules and equipment.

Dave's sausage making tutorial is great info too. Check it out. I wish I'd had access to it when I first started making sausage years ago.

My first episode was with Mother and Dad when I was 15 or so back in the mid -60's. We had a devil of a time getting the sausage into the casing until Mom snapped and slid the casing up over the stuffing tube first. What idiots we felt like, after we had smashed and squeezed that sausage down several feet of casing BY HAND to get it to the other end.EmbarrassedLOL


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2019 at 13:34
Well, everyone - I often make mistakes, and last week it struck me that I've been looking at the first "German Sausage" recipe all wrong.

It's for 40 pounds, so instead of trying to get some weird ratio of ground beef to ground pork and wrapping my head around a lot of conversions, why not just drop some zeros?

So, with that in mind, I set out to make the sausage scaled down to 10% of the original; now, instead of waiting four years to get everything together and be sure that I'm doing it right, I went from getting the ingredients to tasting the final project in four days.

For the sake of convenience, here is the original recipe, as given:

Quote William Brethauer's German Sausage Recipe

3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup black pepper
1/2 of a 1.25 oz. bottle of garlic powder
30 lbs. of ground pork
10 lbs of ground beef
1 cup brown sugar (optional)


What I decided to do is to reduce the amount down to 4 pounds; I also wanted to smoke it, so I used a curing agent rather than salt alone.

My curing agent is Tender Quick, and I knew through experience that 1.5 teaspoons per pound of ground meat is just right for curing sausage; however, at least 1/4 teaspoon of salt per pound needs to be added, for taste. More on this, later.

Using those givens, plus a little leeway in reducing the other ingredients, I came up with these measurements:

Quote Ron's adaptation of Brethauer's German Sausage

3 pounds ground pork
1 pound ground beef
6 teaspoons TQ
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
Scant 2.5 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons brown sugar


It looks very close and seemed to be in-line with the intent of the original, so I went ahead and gave this a try, with a couple of variations:

I used dark brown sugar, rather than light.

It is always a good practice to dissolve the spices and cure into some sort of liquid, so as to evenly distribute the flavours and the cure. For this project, I used 1 bottle's worth of "Salmon Fly Honey Rye" ale, from Madison River Brewing Company:

https://madisonriverbrewing.com/ourbrews/salmon-fly-honey-rye

It was at about this time that I finally acknowledged the fact that we were in the 20s and 30s below zero (F), not counting wind chill factors, which drove the temperatures down another 20 degrees or more...and I really didn't want to deal with it. Because of this, I said to hell with smoking the sausage and added 1 teaspoon of Wright's Liquid Smoke per pound of meat (4 teaspoons total).

Don't judge me!

I mixed and kneaded the sausage for 10 minutes with a hand-held potato masher, until it stiffened up nicely. I then covered it with a layer of plastic wrap pressed down on the sausage, put a lid on the bowl and set it in the refrigerator over-night.

The next day, I finished this up. At first, I didn't want to mess with casings and planned on simply rolling the sausage into a few logs inside Saran Wrap or aluminum foil, then heating in the oven at about 200 degrees (poking holes in the foil or Saran Wrap to let excess moisture out) until the internal temperature of the sausage was 153-ish. I even got to thinking that the foil or saran wrap wouldn't be necessary, either - except perhaps for ensuring a tight roll on the logs. In the end, however, I had another idea, thanks to some consultation with our own Mad Hunky, RichTee, who reminded me that poaching the sausage in 160-degree-ish water would do a more uniform job of bringing the sausage to temperature.

At about the same time, I also remembered that I have this sausage kit, from the makers of my Little Chief Smoker:



It is rudimentary, to be sure, but it is easy to use for forming the sausage into nice, uniform logs or chubs. It is efficient and gets the job done...and it's perfect for small projects such as this. I have used it before with great success.

The casings that come with this kit (as well as the forming tube itself) each hold 2/3 of a pound of sausage; I ended up with 7 chubs by the time I was done. I tied them up tightly and then poached them in water that I maintained at about 160 degrees until they floated. After that, I dropped them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. I then hung them up in a cool area with good airflow so that they can "bloom" and firm up a bit.

I gave one chub of sausage to my #2 son, one to my #4 son and one to my dad; I'll also give one to a family friend who often shares his pickles, sausages and other projects with me. The rest will be saved for snacking on evenings when we are playing cards or socializing, which is exactly what we did last night with the one that I gave to my dad. The sausage was good, well-formed and had nice flavour; my only criticism is that there didn't seem to be any salt flavour at all, so I might increase the addition of salt from 1/4 teaspoon per pound to 1/2 teaspoon per pound next time, then see how it turns out. The other flavours in the sausage were very nice, on point and in great proportion. The beer seemed like a nice addition as well. The texture of the sausage was just fine; it was moist and held together well, with no need for fillers, binders or other similar additives.

In all, my adaptation and scaling down of the original recipe seemed to go very well and I was glad to have finally made this. I highly recommend this sausage - fresh or smoked; just be sure to add a curing agent of your choice if you smoke it, per package directions, and adjust the salt from the original recipe as necessary.

Enjoy!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2019 at 10:52
Originally posted by Ron Ron wrote:

My only criticism is that there didn't seem to be any salt flavour at all, so I might increase the addition of salt from 1/4 teaspoon per pound to 1/2 teaspoon per pound next time, then see how it turns out.


I got some thoughts on this from a discussion with MarkR; they made great sense and got me to thinking about the lack of salt flavour, so I am adding it to the discussion.

The poaching process that I used could very well be the culprit where the lack of salt flavor in concerned, due to the chubs sitting in the water. The next time I make this (if I poach them), I try vacuum-sealing the chubs before poaching, so as to keep the salt in the sausage.

Of course, if I am smoking the sausage the correct way (with wood smoke rather than liquid smoke), this will not be a factor, as there is no water to leach out the salt.

In either case, I will hold off on increasing the amount of additional salt (from 1/4 teaspoon per pound to 1/2 teaspoon per pound) until after I've tried these solutions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Olyeller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2019 at 09:12
Hello Ron,

I've found when boiling sausage in a soup or pot of beans the saltiness of the sausage is greatly reduced. I bet you are right about what is happening when you poach the links instead of curing them.

I scaled drinks recipe for 5# and it was perfect for me and my German/czech heritage wife.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2019 at 09:44
Hey - glad to see you here! Hope that all is well ~

Quick update: my GfR sausage is still hanging and drying a bit so as to firm up a little. I'll see how it is toward the end of the week, if I go out to play some cards with my dad. I don't want or need a salt bomb, but a little is certainly necessary, for balance.

For my next similar project, I was thinking of Slovak, Polish or Ukrainian (klobása, kiełbasa and ковбаса, respectively); but Olyeller's post above reminds me that I should give Don's Czech sausage a go (also klobása). With this in mind, I'll hopefully have something to post about in a month or so.

Olyeller - when the time comes, I might need to check some numbers with you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 March 2019 at 08:50
Well, at the risk of demonstrating just how good I am NOT at this sort of thing, here is a photo of one of the chubs of sausage after hanging for a few days at room temperature:



And another:



Sure - why not? One more:



Important note: I'm not looking for a "perfect" sausage, where advanced charcuterie techniques are concerned; this is meant to be a farmhouse thing that would have been made each fall as part of the pig slaughter, then put up for winter and consumed as needed or desired.

Even though I sampled the sausage the first night when it was finished - barely out of the poaching and ice bath - I have not yet sampled this sausage after hanging for a few days; we intend to do so tonight or possibly tomorrow night. This particular chub is going to a friend of mine, the father of one of my school chums who has often shared his projects with me. He is also a "German from Russia," and is in fact a descendant of folks who were not far from my own ancestors.

I'm expecting it to be good, but please note the "open space" at the ends of the casing. Is this a concern? I don't think it is, but would rather hear what the knights of the round table have to say. The sausage is cured and poached until floating, so I don't see any problem; it simply looks like it did a little drying that the casing could not keep up with.
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