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Chapter 13 Curing, sausage making, and smoking.

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

* cure food.

* use the ingredients that are used to cure food.

* make a shellfish cure.

* cure fish.

* make lox.

* explain the difference between wet and dry curing.

* explain the use of brine.

* explain how to use all types of sausage casings.

* demonstrate how to grind meat for sausage.

* explain how to season meat for sausage.

* demonstrate how to stuff sausage.

* explain how to smoke food.

* discuss the difference between hot and cold smoking.

* make bacon.

* discuss how to barbecue food.

* define American barbecue.

* define Jamaican barbecue.

* define South African barbecue.

* define Indian barbecue.

* define Brazilian barbecue.

KEY TERMS

barbecue

braai

brine curing

churrasco

collagen casings

cold smoking

corn syrup solids

curing

dry curing

dry sugar curing

flushing

hot smoking

jerk

lox

natural casings

nitrate

nitrite

pellicle

Prague powder #1

Prague powder #2

preflushed casings

sausage horns

smoking

sodium nitrite

soy protein concentrate

synthetic casings

tandoor

tinted cure mix

The herring is a lucky fish From all disease inured, Should he be ill when caught at sea, Immediately--he's cured

SPIKE MILLIGAN

A Perspective in the Curing of Meats and Seafood

For thousands of years, food has been preserved with salt and smoke in order to make it more suitable for long-term storage. However, these foods were very salty or so strongly flavored with smoke that they were almost inedible. This condition resulted in the foods being soaked in fresh water, and the oversmoke became an acquired taste to those who ate it. How salt curing was discovered remains a mystery; however, it could have been as simple as someone noticing that food washed in sea water lasted longer than food washed in fresh water. Or it may have been observed that an animal appeared still edible after having been killed and naturally preserved in a salt-water lake or brine pool.

In their book on garde manger, The Culinary Institute of America (2004) writes:
   Records of various curing methods have been tracked back as far as
   3000 BC, when it is believed the Sumerians salted meats as a way to
   preserve this valuable but perishable food. Historical evidence
   shows that the Chinese and the Greeks had been producing and
   consuming salted fish for many years before passing their knowledge
   on to the Romans. (p. 4)


It would make sense, in a primitive home, that freshly cleaned fish left hung to dry near the warming fire would have had a longer shelf life (Figure 13-1). Not only would this dry smoking process have been a great discovery, but the ancient people probably thought it tasted better as well. Although the use of salt and smoke to cure and preserve is part of our ancestors' ancient history, the scientific reasons have only been discovered in modern times.

Throughout history, meat, game, poultry, and fish have been common food for most people in the world, and many groups of people have survived because they have been able to cure their food. Tribes, such as the Laplanders and Eskimos, have subsisted almost exclusively on a meat diet for many generations. Today, curing food is as important as it was for these peoples and has become a vast industry of its own. In this chapter, we show how curing can be applied to the modern garde manger, allowing the chef to become more versatile with menu and dish creations.

[FIGURE 13-1 OMITTED]

The Curing of Foods

Curing is the addition of salt, sugar, and nitrite or nitrate to any protein to preserve, flavor, and color. Salt penetrates the cells of the flesh by a process called osmosis, which dehydrates the meat. This results in the lower moisture content that inhibits the ability of bacteria to thrive and reproduce. The primary reason for curing meat is to retard the growth of harmful microbes, such as those causing botulism, particularly while the meat is in the temperature danger zone (Figure 13-2). Therefore, it is very important that meats and sausages that are cooked and smoked at low temperatures be properly cured.

There are several methods of applying the curing process to the flesh. When choosing the method for curing, several simple guidelines should be observed:

* The shape and size of the piece of meat that is being cured is important, because this will determine how long the curing process will take.

* The regularity of the shape determines how to choose the curing method. It would be very difficult to reach every nook and cranny of a whole chicken with a dry cure, whereas a wet brine will reach every part of the bird, thereby ensuring an even and complete cure.

* The delicacy of the food that is to be cured should be evaluated. It would not take a very strong solution or dry mix to cure a tender sea scallop compared to a dense ox tongue.

* When curing only the surface of the product, in order to emphasize the color more obviously, the cure must be light and briefly used.

* The introduction of dry flavoring agents into the cure, such as herbs and spices, would suggest the use of a dry rub as the best choice among the alternatives.

* The use of liquid flavoring agents, such as boiled and chilled wines or spirits, would suggest the use of wet brine as the best choice among the alternatives.

* The strength of the cure has to be determined, because certain foods need stronger cures to penetrate them.

[FIGURE 13-2 OMITTED]

The Basic Curing Methods

The basic curing methods can be applied in many different ways to the food product. It is important to choose the correct method for the food selected:

* Dry curing involves the application of the dry curing mix directly on the meat. This method results in products with very low moisture content and takes the longest amount of time to completely cure. Dry curing is used in curing hams, bacon, salt pork, salmon lox, and other small cuts of meat.

* Dry sugar curing involves the addition of sugar and nitrate and/or nitrite to the salt that is then applied directly to the surface of the meat. This is always done in the cooler and can be applied to foie gras, fish fillets, and smaller cuts of meat, poultry, and game.

* Brine curing, or pickling, involves the mixing of the salt, nitrite or nitrate, and/or sugar with water. The meat is cured with this brine by soaking it for a specific time in the cooler. Larger cuts of meat and poultry such as hams and turkeys are cured this way, although smaller products including whole chickens and fish may be soaked in a curing brine solution. It is not advisable to reuse brines because their strength has been considerably weakened when used, and it would not be of the correct strength to cure again successfully. Additionally, they will always contain contaminants from the previously cured products. There are three ways of accelerating the brining process, including stitch pumping, artery injection, and needle injection (Figure 13-3). They are generally applied to larger pieces of meats that the chef wants to cure in a shorter amount of time.

* Stitch pumping is done by inserting a needle with multiple holes on the end into the meat and injecting the brine into the flesh so that it cures from the inside as well as the outside. This method is not foolproof because it is difficult to know exactly where the liquid reaches inside the meat. An electric pump will aid the injecting and give a more accurate result.

* Artery injection involves the use of a needle with a single hole. The brachial or femoral artery is located, and the brine is pumped into it to flood the arterial system and cure from the inside as well as from the outside.

* Needle injection is the most common way of commercially curing meat today. A machine that contains multiple needles automatically injects the meats with the brining solution.

* Sausage cure method is the method for making cured sausage that differs because the meat is ground when the curing salt and spices are mixed into it, resulting in the cure getting directly to the meat.

* Combination cure method combines the dry rub cure with injection of brine solution and is generally used for hams and other larger pieces of meat. The advantage is that this method shortens the curing time required and reduces the chance of spoilage because the cure process takes place inside and outside the ham.

Ingredients Used in Curing and Sausage Making

The ingredients that are used to cure food must first be understood in order for them to be used correctly. They all have their own specific job to do during the curing process, and they need to be measured accurately at all times for effective results. The combination of curing ingredients used can also have flavoring agents added to them in order to further enhance the overall flavor.

* Salt is the most important product used in the curing of meat and the making of sausage, so it must be of the highest grade possible. In order to test the quality of the salt, dissolve 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of salt in a pint-sized (473-mL) glass container partially filled with water. Check the cloudiness of the resulting liquid. Clear liquid suggests good-quality salt, whereas cloudy liquid suggests poor-quality salt containing lots of impurities. Do not use iodized salt for curing; kosher flake salt or canning salt should be used. The salt will enhance flavor, act as a microbial inhibiter, and assist in the binding qualities of dry-cured meat and sausages. It is also responsible for the "setting up" or "stiffening" of the meat.

* Natural sugars, such as maple sugar, brown sugar, honey, and molasses, are used primarily in the curing process as a flavoring agent and to counteract the harshness of the salt used in the recipe. Caramelized white sugar is used as a flavoring agent, to enhance the browning process of the sausage during cooking, and as nourishment for the beneficial bacteria that are active during the curing process. Modified sweeteners, such as corn syrup solids, dextrose, and crystalline fructose, are also used in the sausage-making process for their binding qualities and lighter sweetening power.

* Sodium nitrite is usually blended with salt to help control the level and distribution of the nitrite in the cured item or sausage. It improves the flavor of the food and forms the cured pink color of the food after cooking. Sodium nitrite also retards rancidity and helps reduce microbial growth.

* Prague powder #1, also known commercially as InstaCure #1 or tinted cure mix, is a combination of 1 ounce (28 g) of sodium nitrite and 1 pound (457 g) of salt thoroughly mixed together. It is used for curing all meats that are to be cooked, smoked, or canned. One ounce of this mix cures 25 pounds (11.34 kg) of meat or sausage; 1 level teaspoon cures 5 pounds (2.27 kg) of meat or sausage.

* Prague powder #2, also known commercially as InstaCure #2 or tinted cure mix #2, is a combination of 1 ounce (28 g) of sodium nitrite, 0.64 ounce (18 g) of sodium nitrate, and 1 pound of salt thoroughly mixed together. It is used for curing products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. One ounce (28 g) of this mix cures 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of meat or sausage; 1 level teaspoon cures 5 pounds (2.27 kg) of meat or sausage. This mixture acts like a time-release mechanism, breaking down into sodium nitrite and then into nitric oxide to cure the meat over extended periods of time.

* Fresh ground spices and dried herbs are used in the making of a rub or dry cure mix that will be packed onto a piece of meat for curing. In the production of sausages, they are incorporated into the meat by adding them to the water so as to prevent uneven distribution throughout the entire mix. Whole spices can be roasted and added to brines for extra flavor, or they may be crushed into dry rubs.

* Water used in the production of brines should always be boiled and cooled before being used in order to clean and purify it. The water used in the production of sausage should contain a large quantity of ice, to ensure that it is very cold. The amount used is generally 1 pint (473 mL) per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of meat

* Powdered dextrose is a sweetener used in sausage making and is only 70% as sweet as sugar. It is used in dry-cured or semidry-cured sausages, and aids in the fermentation process, giving the sausage the required amount of tang. It also helps reduce the harshness of salt and helps with the browning process during the smoking and cooking of the sausage.

* Soy protein concentrate and nonfat dry milk are ingredients that are used in the production of sausages to help retain the juices of the meat and to bind the meat well together. They also contribute to the weight of the sausages and give them a nice plump look when cooked. Their addition makes the sausage easier to slice and allows the sausage to hold its shape when sliced. They are rarely added to fresh sausage, because they give a bland and greasy look to the meat, but they are excellent in sausages that are to be cooked or smoked.

* Corn syrup solids are used to add flavor and help the fermentation process. They also are very good binding agents for sausages that are to be cooked at low temperatures. They help hold the color in the sausages and are especially used when the sausages are to be displayed under fluorescent light (which bleaches out the color in the sausage).
Note: According to Dr. Janet
Starr Hull, PhD, CN, "Sodium
nitrite and sodium nitrate are
two closely related chemicals
used for centuries to preserve
meat. While nitrate itself is
harmless, it is readily converted
to nitrite. When nitrite
combines with compounds
called secondary amines, it
forms nitrosamines, extremely
powerful cancer-causing
chemicals. The chemical
reaction occurs most readily at
the high temperatures of
frying. Nitrite has long been
suspected as being a cause of
stomach cancer."


[FIGURE 13-3 OMITTED]

Curing and Brining Formulas with Time Charts

Accurately following recipes and formulas for the production of sausage is imperative, not only to enhance flavor but also, and more importantly, to ensure health and safety. The ingredients that are used in the making of sausage are powerful, so they need accurate measurement in order to render the finished product edible.
Note: It is very easy to spoil a
batch of sausage by inaccurate
weighing of salts or spices.


PREPARING AND CURING SHELLFISH

Shellfish such as shrimp, scallops, oysters, and conch care well. As a result, they take a light smoke that gives them a wonderful flavor when cooked and then served either hot or cold. It is important to note some prebrining rules:

* Clean the shellfish well and ensure that they are very fresh.

* Prepare brine made of 1 cap (237 mL) of salt to 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water, and presoak the shellfish in the brine for 30 minutes.

* Rinse in fresh, clean water and dry thoroughly
Note: This cleans any blood or
debris from the evisceration
process and ensures a bacteria-free
product with which to
start.

RECIPE 13-1

SHELLFISH
BRINE FOR HOT
SMOKING

Recipe Yield: 1 gallon (3.8 L)
for 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of
shellfish

MEASUREMENTS             INGREDIENTS

U.S.            METRIC

16 ounces       454 g    Kosher salt
8 ounces        227 g    Sugar, brown or white
1/2 ounce        14 g    Prague powder #1
1/2 ounce        14 g    White pepper
1 ounce          28 g    Mixed spice of choice or herbs of choice
1 gallon        3.8 L    Hot water
1 teaspoon       2 g     Garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon       2 g     Onion powder (optional)
1 fluid ounce   30 mL    Lemon juice (optional)

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Dissolve all the ingredients in the water and
   allow the brine mixture to cool.

2. Pour enough brine over shellfish to completely
   submerge them. Use a plate or plastic
   wrap to keep them completely below the surface.

3. Remove and discard the brine, patting the shellfish dry.

4. Allow the shellfish to air dry for 2 hours before smoking.


PREPARING AND CURING FISH

To prepare the large oily or game fish for curing and smoking:

1. Scale the fish well, cleaning the skin thoroughly.

2. Fillet the fish and remove any pin bones.

3. For large fillets, periodically remove 2-inch (5-cm) slices of the skin down the back of the fillet so the dry cure can act from both sides.

4. Small white or oily fish can be filleted with the skin still attached, split down the back with the bone and head still attached, left whole with the bone slit to the skin from the inside, or filleted and skinned.

5. Prepare a brine of 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water.

6. Place the fillets in the brine for 30 minutes to soak out any blood diffused through the flesh. We call this a prebrine.

7. Rinse in fresh water and dry thoroughly.

8 The ingredients of the brines and cures can be altered to create differing flavor with other ingredients; however, the quantities of cure mix and salt should remain the same.

9. The fillets are ready for the dry cure. (See Recipe 13-2.)
RECIPE 13-2

DRY CURE FOR
LARGE FISH
FILLETS (TO BE
HOT SMOKED)

Recipe Yield: 26 ounces
(0.7 kg) for 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) of fish fillet

MEASUREMENTS             INGREDIENTS

    U.S.        METRIC

16 ounces       454 g    Kosher salt
8 ounces        227 g    Sugar, brown or white
1/2 ounce        14 g    Prague powder #1
1/2 ounce        14 g    White pepper
1 ounce          28 g    Mixed spice of choice or herbs of choice
                         Cheesecloth as needed

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Prebrine the fish fillets; wash and dry well.

2. Mix all ingredients together well.

3. Rub all over the fish, making sure that all the mix
is used. Wrap in cheesecloth to hold shape.

4. Placing weights on the fillets at this time will
retain good shape for service.

5. Cure for 6 to 8 hours, turning once. If the fillet
exceeds 1 1/2 inches (3.75 cm) in thickness, extend the
curing time 2 hours per inch (2.5 cm).

6. Wash thoroughly and air dry for 6 hours before hot smoking.

RECIPE 13-3

BRINE FOR
SMALL OILY
OR GAME FISH
(TO BE HOT
SMOKED)

Recipe Yield: 1 gallon (3.8 L)
for 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of fish
fillet

MEASUREMENTS             INGREDIENTS

U.S.            METRIC

16 ounces       454 g    Kosher salt
8 ounces        227 g    Sugar, brown or white
1/2 ounce        14 g    Prague powder #1
1/2 ounce        14 g    White pepper
1 ounce          28 g    Mixed spice of choice, or herbs of choice
1 gallon        3.8 L    Distilled water, hot
1 teaspoon       2 g     Garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon       2 g     Onion powder (optional)
1 fluid ounce   30 mL    Lemon juice (optional)

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Prebrine the fish fillets; wash and dry well.

2. Mix all ingredients. Add hot water. Stir to dissolve
and then cool.

3. Pour enough brine over fish to completely submerge them.
Use a plate or plastic wrap to keep them completely below surface.

4. Cure the fish for 2 to 3 hours if fillets, and 3 to 4 hours
if bone is still present.

5. Wash the fish in fresh water and dry well.

6. Discard the brine.

7. Air dry the fish on racks for 2 hours before hot smoking.


PREPARING AND CURING LOX

The production of lox is as diverse as the countries that claim it as their own. The recipes here are very simple, with a minimum number of ingredients, thus allowing the fish to speak for itself. The quality of the salmon used is of paramount importance; it should be the freshest possible for these recipes. Prepare the salmon fillet, as with all large fillets, taking care not to lose any of the fat bellies of the fish. They are one of the most important areas of flavor in a carved slice of lox. (See Recipes 13Jr, 13-5, and 13-6.)
RECIPE 13-4

Dry Cure for
Lox I

Recipe Yield: 26 ounces
(0.7 kg) for 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) of fish fillet

 MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS

      U.S.           METRIC

16 ounces            454 g     Kosher salt
8 ounces             227 g     Brown sugar
8 ounces             227 g     White sugar
1/2 ounce             14 g     Prague powder #1
1/2 ounce             14 g     White pepper
1 ounce               28 g     Dill weed
                               Cheesecloth as needed

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Trim and shape fillets.

2. Mix all ingredients together well.

3. Rub all over the fish, making sure that all the mix is used.
Wrap in cheesecloth to hold shape.

4. Place weights on the fillets to retain good shape for service.

5. Cure for 6 to 8 hours, turning once. If the fillet exceeds 1 1?2
inches (3.75 cm) in thickness, extend the curing time 2 hours per
inch (2.5 cm).

6. Wash thoroughly and air dry for 6 hours before cold smoking.

7. Smoke cold for 6 hours.

8. Chill and allow the fish to stiffen or set (within 24 hours).

9. Brush with oil and wrap in parchment. Do not wrap in plastic wrap
because this encourages molding.

Note: Alternative recipes do not
include the use of the cure mix
Prague powder #1. However, we
choose to use it in order to
promote safety in the
consumption of the fish.

RECIPE 13-5

Dry Cure for
Lox II

Recipe Yield: 32.3 ounces
(0.9 kg) for 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) of fish fillet

 MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS

      U.S.           METRIC

16 ounces            454 g     Kosher salt
8 ounces             227 g     Brown sugar
8 ounces             227 g     White sugar
1/2 ounce             14 g     White pepper
                               Cheesecloth (optional)
PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Trim and shape fillets.

2. Mix all ingredients together well.

3. Rub all over the fish, making sure that all the mix is used.

4. Wrap the cure-packed fish well in cheesecloth.

5. Cure for 24 hours in the cooler.

6. Wash and dry well, discarding the cure.

7. Cold smoke the fish for 6 hours and brush with oil, wrapping in
parchment paper for cooling and setting.

RECIPE 13-6

Dry Cure for
Lox III

Recipe Yield: 32.3 ounces
(0.9 kg) for 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) of fish fillet

 MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS

      U.S.           METRIC

32 ounces            907 g     Kosher salt
1 ounce               28 g     White pepper

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Trim and shape fillets.

2. Sprinkle part of the salt all over the fish, and allow it to sit
at room temperature.

3. After 1 hour, sprinkle more salt all over the fish, and leave for
an additional 30 minutes.

4. Continue to do this over a 4-hour period in 30-minute intervals,
until all the salt has been used. There should be a considerable
amount of liquid releasing from the fish.

5. After 4 hours, wash the fillets in lots of cold water and dry
well.

6. Allow the fish to air dry for 2 hours.

7. Cold smoke for 6 hours and brush with vegetable oil.

8. Wrap in parchment paper and chill until set up and firm to the
touch.


Curing and Brining Meats, Poultry, and Game

When dry curing flat pieces of meat, trim the meats to a square shape before curing begins to ensure ease in carving the finished product (Table 13-1). (See Recipes 13-7 and 13-8.)
RECIPE 13-7

Dry Cure for
Meats

Recipe Yield: 26 ounces
(0.7 kg) for 25 pounds
(11.3 kg) of meat

MEASUREMENTS INGREDIENTS

    U.S.        METRIC

16 ounces       454 g     Kosher salt
8 ounces        227 g     White sugar (or 4 ounces;
                          113 g of powdered dextrose)
2 ounces         57 g     Prague powder #1

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Combine all ingredients well and store in an airtight jar.

2. Rub all over the meat, then stack the meats on top of each other.

3. Chill and turn every 2 days, until cured.

4. Curing times depend on the thickness and the texture of the meats
(Table 13-1).


The brining of meat, poultry, and game must be taken very seriously, because there is a distinct possibility of causing food poisoning due to inaccurate brining times and procedures. The meat has to remain in the brine for the appropriate length of time for the curing process to work all the way through to the center of the meat. When the cut of meat is large, as in the case of hams and barons of beef, the amount of time a general brine will take to penetrate might be longer than the amount of time the meat bone and marrow in the center will take to spoil. It is therefore advisable to inject the brine into product of this size in order to create curing from the inside out, as well as from the outside in. Hams such as those shown being salted (Figure 13-4) and the prosciutto hanging in a drying room (Figure 13-5) are generally salted externally as well as injected with a brine cure. When brining, it is important to consider each piece of food separately and to adjust the recipe or method of application of the brine to suit the piece of meat (Table 13-2). Some very important considerations include the following:

* Foods that have a thick or tough skin, which create a barrier to the brines

* Products with a considerable layer of fat on the exterior

* The density of the meats

* Large pieces of meat that contain bone in the center

* Very large and tough poultry and game birds

* Products that contain bone with marrow

* Ensuring that the meats are completely submerged in the brine
Note: Injection can be done by
any of the methods mentioned
under the Basic Curing
Methods and should be
administered accurately to
approximately 10 percent of
the weight of the piece of meat.


[FIGURE 13-4 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-5 OMITTED]
RECIPE 13-8

Brine for
Meats,
Poultry, and
Game

Recipe Yield: 1 gallon (3.8 L)
for 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of
meat, poultry, or game

 MEASUREMENT INGREDIENTS

    U.S.        METRIC

8 ounces         227 g     Kosher salt
4 ounces         113 g     Powdered dextrose (or 8 ounces; 227 g
                           white sugar)
2 1/2 ounces      71 g     Prague powder #1
1/2 ounce         14 g     White pepper
1 ounce           28 g     Mixed spice of choice or herbs of choice
1 gallon           3.8 L   Distilled water, ice cold

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Dissolve and mix all ingredients together well.

2. Brine for required amount of time.

3. Wash the meat in fresh water and dry well.

4. Discard the brine.

5. Air dry the meats on racks for 2 hours before hot smoking.


Sausage Making

The word sausage originally comes from the Latin word salsus, which means "to salt" or "to preserve." This process was necessary for people to allow their meat products to preserve longer. Sausage making became a crucial method for using the ground or chopped scraps and trim that were left over after the slaughter of an animal too large to consume in one or two meals. Trimmings were always enclosed in the intestines, appendix, gullet, or bladder of the slaughtered animal, in a manner distinct by region, creating a very provincial delicacy that has developed into a culinary art form.

In some parts of the world, especially in colder climates, the sausage would survive during the winter without refrigeration, allowing people to eat them regularly during the bleak months. However, during the summer, people had to develop ways of preserving meats. Hence, the process of smoking and drying sausages allowed people living in even the fairest of climates to have sausage available year-round, without the need for continuous cooling. Sausages became known by the name of the towns from whence they originated, such as bologna coming from the northern Italian town of Bologna.

CLASSIFICATIONS OF SAUSAGE

Although the culinary world is blessed with thousands of sausages, there are basically six classifications of sausage:

* Cooked sausage is made with fresh meats and then fully cooked and sold as is. It is generally eaten immediately after cooking or is refrigerated and reheated before eating. They are also commonly eaten cold. Examples include braunschweiger, veal sausage, and liver sausage.

* Cooked smoked sausage is basically the same as cooked sausage, but it is smoke- cooked or it is cooked and then smoked. It can be eaten hot or cold and is generally reheated in different ways before being eaten, although it can be eaten cold. Examples include wieners, kielbasa, and bologna.

* Fresh sausage is made from fresh meats that have not been previously cured. This sausage must be refrigerated and thoroughly cooked before eating. Examples could include boerewors, sweet Italian sausage, and fresh breakfast sausage.

* Fresh smoked sausage is fresh sausage that is smoked and refrigerated and cooked thoroughly before eating. Examples include mettwurst and andouillie sausage.

* Dry sausage is the most complex of all sausages and is made from a variety of meats. The drying process has to be carefully controlled and the sausage is ready for eating once it has been dried. This sausage keeps for very long periods under refrigeration. Examples include all styles of salamis and summer sausage.

SAUSAGE-MAKING EQUIPMENT

It is very important to ensure that all equipment is sanitized correctly before proceeding with the sausage making. The pieces of equipment involved contain many edges, ridges, and holes that are particularly difficult to inspect. However, these are the areas that must be vigilantly maintained and inspected at all times.

It is also to the sausage maker's advantage that the equipment be very cold before proceeding. Submerging the grinder head, blade, and die in a large pail of ice water for a few minutes before their use, prevents the sausage meat from warming and the separation of fats within the mix. The undesired warming of the sausage meat can result in a difficult stuffing process.

The meat grinder that is used for producing sausage can be a freestanding unit, an attachment to a mixing machine, or a small table attachment. However, there are some basic rules that chefs should always observe:

* The grinder should always be secured and completely stationary for use.

* Always refrigerate the grinder parts before use.

* Never freeze the grinder parts because food will stick

* After washing lightly, oil the attachments before chilling.

* Clean the grinder well, being careful to reach the inside of the grinder body and the holes on the blades.

* Do not overfill the grinder or force food through.

* Assemble the parts correctly; the most common mistake is facing the blades in the wrong direction.

* Never use a metal spoon to push the meat through; always use the plastic or wooden implement provided. Never try to use an implement that is too small for the opening.

* Soak or wash immediately; do not allow the meat particles to dry on the machine parts because it will be much more difficult to wash.

Assembly of the Meat Grinder

The following are basic steps in the assembly of the meat grinder (Figure 13-6):

1. Attach the chilled grinder head to the machine, making sure that the pin fits into the hole on the machine. This will lock the grinder head in place and prevent it from spinning.

2. Slide the auger (worm) into the opening, ensuring it is properly lined up and fully inserted.

3. Place the knife blade, with flat part facing outward, onto the end of the auger.

4. Secure the chilled grinder die onto the auger, lining up the pin on the bottom of the auger with the hole in the base of the die.

5. Attach the collar and turn to secure.

6. Add the feeding tray.
Note: There are several
dimensions of holes available in
grinder dies, including fine,
medium, and coarse. These are
selected for their desired effect
on the texture of the sausage.


[FIGURE 13-6 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-7 OMITTED]

The sausage horns used in the production of sausage come in at least four different sizes and are specifically sized to fit the sausage casings that are in general use (Figure 13-7).

* Sausage stuffers come as individual units or are attached to machines, and are by far the best way to stuff sausage (Figure 13-7). Rolling and tying in plastic wrap or using a piping bag can be successful; however, these methods are not very efficient nor do they result in a good finished product. When using a sausage stuffer, some basic rules should be followed for safety and efficiency:

1. Sanitize all equipment well, ensuring that the smaller pieces are thoroughly cleansed.

2. Check that the air pressure valve is working and in position before use.

3. Understand the possibility that the stuffer crank handle may slip and reverse one full crank because of the pressure buildup in the chamber.

4. Make sure the stuffer is well secured and stationary during the stuffing.

5. Always assemble correctly with accurate guidance and instruction.

6. Do not operate the stuffer on your own. Always have one person cranking the machine while another handles the sausage.

7. Soak or wash all parts immediately after use. Do not allow the meat particles to dry on the machine parts because they will be much more difficult to wash.

* Assembling a sausage stuffer can be the key to the making of good sausage; it can also lead to very serious injury if not done correctly (Figure 13-8). Be sure of the following:

1. Chill all parts of the stuffing machine before use.

2. Secure the correct sausage horn on the bottom of the meat chamber.

3. Pack the prepared sausage into the meat chamber.

4. Place the "O" ring and the air pressure valve onto the piston.

5. Place the crank handle on the low gear.

6. Apply the skin onto the horn and prepare to crank.

7. Release the air as you go to avoid a buildup of pressure.
Note: When placing bulk
ground sausage meat into these
tubs, it is imperative that the
meat be flattened well and all
possible air pockets removed
from the mass, which can
otherwise become an area for
bacterial spoilage when storing
or curing for long periods of
time.


Other Equipment Used in Sausage Making

* Large plastic, nonreactive tubs are very useful when making sausage because they hold a great deal of product and serve as a curing tub for meats that need time to cure once they have been cut or ground. They also become important when storing sausage meats, because it is very difficult to tell flavors apart when they are not well labeled. Always ensure that sausage meat, whether in casing or in bulk, is labeled well--a common fault with inexperienced sausage makers.

* The sausage knife with its three to four sharp prongs (Figure 13-9) is used to eliminate holes under the skin in the sausage when they have been stuffed. If the sausage has been stuffed tightly enough, when the sharp prong hits the air hole, the pressure of the sausage meat should fill that hole instantly. This prevents possible spoilage in that area of the sausage.

* Hog staplers or hog ring pliers (Figure 13-10) are used to close larger sausages that require their filling to be under pressure during the stuffing. They ensure a tight seal at the end of the sausage and allow the sausages to remain firm and well packed.

[FIGURE 13-8 OMITTED]

SAUSAGE CASINGS AND SKINS

Sausages are encased in a variety of the interior tube-shaped membranes found naturally within lambs, sheep, pigs, and cows. The fresh skins are by far the best when making sausage; however, they are time consuming to use and can break if not handled expertly. As a result, many other manmade sausage skins are available to sausage makers, making their job less labor intensive.

Natural Casings

Generally, sausages are made with the small intestines of the animal, although some regional specialties are made with the large intestine, stomach, bladder, or bung. The advantages of natural casings are that the sausage has a fresh, homemade appearance and that it is a semipermeable porous membrane that allows the skin to accept smoke more readily than manmade skins. All fresh casings must be washed thoroughly when removed from the animal. They are then pre- served in salt, both on the inside and the outside, in 100-yard lengths that are sold as a hank, bundle, or cap, or by the ounce. These hanks, which are smaller in length as the intestine gets larger in diameter, can be purchased salted, preflushed, or preflushed on tubes. The more that is done to the skins before you receive them, the more expensive they are going to be per hank--an important consideration for the chef.

[FIGURE 13-9 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-10 OMITTED]

Salted hanks must first be untangled and cut into appropriate lengths (Figure 13-11A). Then they are flushed clean of the salt on the outside and the inside of the sausage skin. It is advisable then to soak the skin overnight, immersed in cold water, to completely reconstitute it and avoid the cooked sausage from having resistance to the consumer's teeth when biting into it. Skins that are larger in diameter, such as beef round, are generally easier to work with because there is no need to untangle them. However, the flushing and soaking procedure is the same (Figure 13-11B).

After prepping the sausage skin, it can be placed on the sausage horn for stuffing (Figure 13-12). Take great care not to tangle the skins when feeding them onto the horn. The use of running water helps a great deal with this technique.

Preflushed casings are basically ready to use, but great care must be taken when feeding the skins onto the sausage horns because they tangle easily.

Some sheep and lamb skins come packaged in a liquid preservative that keeps the casings soft and pliable for immediate use. Preflushed sausage skins are also available untangled and fed onto plastic tubes (Figure 13-13). They can be easily slipped onto the sausage horn with no labor involved in the preparation. This is a convenient way of purchasing sausage skins, but they are more expensive.

Natural casings come in a variety of sizes and from a variety of animals and should be chosen for the specific type of sausage that is to be made. They are generally labeled according to their millimeter size and their animal type (e.g., 32- to 35-mm hog casing). The millimeter size is the internal diameter of the skin and has two dimensions to emphasize an uneven measurement throughout the length of skin. Although the measurement varies between the two dimensions, the difference is difficult to notice with the naked eye when the sausage is stuffed. The following list details the various types of casings, or skins, used in sausage production.

* Lamb and sheep casings can be difficult to use, but with care and patience they give great results. They are used for breakfast sausage, frankfurters, and fresh pork sausage, and are usually the skins used when making fish and shellfish sausage. As with all natural products, all measurements are approximate because of the fluctuations in size and breakages in the skins. The most commonly used lamb and sheep skins are 22- to 24-mm and 24- to 26-mm casings, and are bought in hanks of 100 yards (91 m). There are other areas of the animal that are used for very specialized sausages. The stomach, bung, and bladder of lamb and sheep are also used (Figure 13-14).

* Pig or hog casings are undoubtedly the most popular casing and can be used for almost any sausage of that general diameter. They are versatile, easy to handle and give consistent results when making fresh sausage. The most commonly used skins are 32- to 35-mm hog casings and come in 100-yard (91-m) hanks. Other areas of the hog's intestine used for sausage making include the hog middle (or chitterlings), which are used for a savory hot entree, and the hog bung end, which is normally used for salamis and liverwurst (Figure 13-15).

* Beef casings, or sausage casings from the beef carcass, are all much larger and are used for the larger style sausages. They are easy to handle because there is little to no tangling involved with such large casings. They are bought in a variety of lengths or as individual skins because of the variance in their holding capacity (Figure 13-16).

* Beef rounds are from the small intestines and are named for the familiar ring shape they create when stuffed. They are sold in 100-foot (91-m) lengths and can vary in diameter from 35 to 45 mm, allowing them to stuff an average of 80 to 90 pounds (36 to 40 kg) of sausage meat. They are used predominantly for the production of ring bologna, mettwurst, liver sausage, blood sausage, and Polish sausage.

* Beef middles are sold in "sets" of 18- to 20-inch (45- to 51-cm) lengths, adding up to their entire length of 57 feet (17.9 m). They vary in width, but a complete set stuffs approximately 80 to 90 (36 to 40 kg) pounds of sausage meat.

* The beef bung, or appendix, and beef bladder are generally sold as individual casings because they are so large. These are specialized skins and are rarely used in restaurants, although there are always new and innovative ways of using them. The bungs come in a variety of diameters ranging from 31/2 inches to 5 inches (8.9 to 12.7 cm). The most common size is 41/2 inches (11.4 cm) and stuffs between 8 and 10 pounds (3.6 and 4.5 cm) of sausage. They are used to make sausages such as capocollo, large bologna, and cooked salamis.

* Bladders can be large, medium, or small and can stuff between 7 and 14 pounds (3.2 and 6.4 kg) of sausage. Their most famous use is for the production of the mortadella (Figure 13- 17).

[FIGURE 13-11A OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-11B OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-12 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-13 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-14 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-15 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-16 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-17 OMITTED]

Consider the advantages of fresh sausage skins before opting for the easy selection of collagen or synthetic casings:

* They do look more like a natural product. In most cases, in a restaurant setting, this is a very good thing.

* They cook well and taste extremely good by almost any method of cooking.

* They have better flavor.

* They accept other flavors (other than smoke) well.

* They can be stuffed with a greater variety of food products.

* They shrink equally with the meat during the drying stage.
Note: One pound (2.2 kg) of
meat stuffs about 6 feet (0.45
kg) of medium-size 22- to 24-mm
lamb casing. One hank of
medium-sized 22- to 24-mm
lamb casing uses about 55 to
60 pounds (25 to 27 kg) of
sausage meat.

Note: One pound of meat will
stuff about 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to
0.9 m) of 32- to 35-mm hog
casings.

Note: One hank of 32- to 35-mm
hog casing holds about
110 pounds (50 kg) of sausage
meat.


Collagen Casings

The use of collagen casings became necessary because there were just not enough natural sausage skins to keep up with the ever-growing popularity of sausage products. They also met the need for regular and precise portion control that fresh skins could not deliver and that the industrial catering of the modern world demands.

The collagen casing is formed when the hides of beef cattle are split and the flesh side of the skin, or the corium layer, is (1) ground and swollen in acid, (2) sieved and filtered, and then (3) extruded into perfectly even-sized skins of various sizes that are uniform in diameter for their entire length. They are considered to be a fresh product and, because they are edible, should be refrigerated after being soaked. There are some major advantages to using collagen casings:

* Collagen casings are available in the same variety of sizes of natural casings and they are available curved to imitate the curving of a beef round.

* They are generally used for smoked sausages, but not as commonly for fresh sausages.

* They accept smoke well, giving a wide variety of shades of a mahogany color.

* They accept smoke so quickly that the smoking period can be greatly shortened.

* They are available in a colored form to imitate smoking.

* They are much easier to use because there is no tangling or preparation beforehand.

* They are available in an accordion style, which makes it easier to load greater quantities of skins onto the sausage horn.

* They are slightly stronger than fresh skins and are less likely to break during stuffing.

* They need little time to soak before they are ready for use, making them extremely convenient (Figure 13-18).

Synthetic Casings

Synthetic casings come in a variety of sizes and are available in a variety of shades of brown to imitate the smoking process. Synthetic casings are available in two forms, including plastic casings and fibrous casings (Figure 13-19). They are both inedible and are used predominantly for their strength. Synthetic casings are able to withstand more pressure during the stuffing process, expelling more air and creating a very compact sausage. They are easy to store and once they have been soaked for use, they require no special handling or refrigeration.

Some of the fibrous casings contain proteins, or in some cases spices, that are lined on the inside of the skin that attach to the exterior of the sausage during the drying process.

Synthetic casings are versatile and very useful when making sausage, especially when the outer skin is not important for the finished product. The following are the major advantages:

* They are strong and durable when stuffing large, tightly packed sausage, ensuring ease when slicing and good portion control.

* They are convenient, cleaned and ready to use. They can then be peeled and thrown away.

* They coat the outside of the sausage during the drying process.

* They are easy to store and do not need refrigeration.

* They are not meat based, making them appropriate for fish, poultry, or vegetable sausage.

[FIGURE 13-18 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-19 OMITTED]

Other items can be substituted for sausage skins, but they are not as effective as the natural, collagen, or synthetic skins. Caul fat, the thin membrane attached to the liver and surrounding the stomach of a pig, can be used. It is, however, easily torn and only suitable for individual small sausages that do not have to be tightly rolled. Plastic wrap can also be used with some success in poaching, but there are several limitations. For example, plastic wrap cannot be used in smoking or grilling.

PREPARING AND SELECTING THE MEATS

Although most sausage is made from a mixture of pork, beef, and fat, sausage is a great way to use up tough pieces of meat, no matter where the meat, poultry, game, fish, or shellfish came from. However, most other meats do not contain the appropriate quantities of suitable fats for the making of sausage. This is not to say that other meats cannot be tried, but it may require the blending of multiple meats and fats.

The basic rule of thumb for most sausage is that it should contain at least 25 percent of its weight in fat. The chef can use this guideline to mix and match the meats, often substituting pork fat and some pork meat (for that matter), into the sausage recipes that are being created.

For example, if pheasant sausage is to be served as an accompaniment to a dish being pre- pared with pheasant breast, the tough pheasant legs and thigh can be ground with a quantity of pork fat and meat to accomplish the needed ratio. When the protein used is of a finer consistency and structure, as is the case in fish and shellfish, the fats used should be more refined and better flavored, like butter and heavy cream. In this case, there may also be a need for panada because the proteins themselves will not sufficiently bind the sausage.

Table 13-3 provides an approximate guideline for the creation of sausage using a variety of proteins. It is important to alter the recipes as needed for each individual protein, to suit the flavor and consistency desired. The addition of fresh herbs, spices, and other flavoring agents can also be chosen as appropriate.

Cutting and Grinding

The strictest rules of sanitation and safety must be observed during the process of cutting and grinding the meats for the production of sausage:

* Sanitize the table, cutting board, meat tubs, grinding equipment, and knives.

* Use only the best quality and the most suitable cuts of meat.

* Bone the meat carefully, removing all the bones and their splinters.

* Make sure that the proportion of fat to meat is correct (Figure 13-20).

* Remove the gristle, sinew, blood spots, and excess fat from the meat.

* Make the meat the appropriate size for the grinder.

* Do not store the cut meat for too long after it is cut.

* Make sure that the meat is very cold before grinding.

* Always measure the amount of spice to meat accurately.

Once the meat is ready for grinding, prepare the machine by checking that it has been set up accurately and is well chilled.

Grinding the Meats

Several precautions should be observed during the grinding process: including:

* Always grind starting with the large-holed die. Second and sometimes third grinds are made with sequentially smaller-holed die (Figure 13-21A).

* Have the meat and the grinder well chilled.

* Make sure that the fat is well distributed within the mix.

* Feed the meat through easily with limited pressure; do not force the meat.

* Have the correct size container to receive the ground product. The container should be at least twice the capacity of the amount being ground so that the meat can be easily mixed in the container.

[FIGURE 13-20 OMITTED]

Adding Water and Spices

When adding the spice to the ground sausage, it is important to distribute the spices evenly throughout the sausage mixture. To facilitate the addition of the spice to the sausage, the spice should be mixed well with ice-cold water first before being added (Figure 13-21B). The addition of the ice water, at a rate of 1 pint (473 mL) per 10 pounds (4.8 kg) of meat, not only aids in the even distribution of the spice but also gives the sausage lubrication for the stuffing process. Added water also results in a moist texture in the cooked sausage and assists in the cooling of the sausage mix during stuffing.

The water also makes the mixing process easier. When the integration is complete, the sausage should squirt out from in between the fingers when a handful is squeezed together (Figure 13-21C). It is important when the sausage has been blended well that it be stuffed immediately into the sausage casings or skins. Placing the sausage mixture in the refrigerator before being stuffed will result in the meat becoming too firm to stuff, requiring additional mixing. The flavors of the raw ingredients are sufficiently developed, by resting in the skin, after be stuffed. Resting the meat in bulk, before being stuffed, does not appreciably improve the flavor of the finished product and only impedes the stuffing process.
Note: It is prudent to pan fry a
patty of sausage before stuffing
the mixture. Testing the
binding qualities and flavor,
before stuffing, allows the garde
manger chef an opportunity to
adjust the ingredients, if
needed.


Stuffing and Storing

Once the sausage meat has been seasoned and lubricated, it can be stuffed into the casings, which should be standing by, already flushed, soaked overnight, and on the horn.

Once the stuffer is in place and has been assembled correctly, the following precautions should be adhered to:

1. When placing the meat into the stuffer, pack it down well, eliminating as many air pockets as possible.

2. Ensure that the casing to be stuffed is very wet inside and outside. This will aid in the free flow of the stuffing.

3. Crank slowly at first, until the meat reaches past the open end of the skin.

4. Tie the skin into a strong knot, and begin to stuff.

5. Eliminate any air pockets that develop using the sausage prong.

6. Always ensure the casing is in front of the horn, and free from twists or obstructions (Figure 13-22A, B, and C).

7. Link the sausage in appropriate lengths, and store them in the cooler at once; or place them on smoke sticks and load them straight into the smoker.

8. Twist the sausage at the desired lengths, or tie the lengths of sausage with pieces of twine.
Note: If the skin bursts, tie the
tear off, and start the process
again. A tear or break in the
skin is not considered a failure;
it's a common occurrence in
making sausage.


[FIGURE 13-21A OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-21B OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-21C OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-22A OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-22B OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-22C OMITTED]

SMOKING FOOD

Man has been smoking food since ancient times, probably unwittingly at the beginning. It was widespread practice for our ancestors to hang their "kill" in the rafters of their timber, straw, or stone dwellings, to prevent wild animals from running off with it, and to preserve the meat through air drying. The prevalent practice of building fires in the center of these lodgings for cooking and heating purposes allowed the smoke to swirl upward and envelope the hanging meats. Chimneys were not often built, and the smoke was usually trapped under the sod roofs. The "blackhouses" of Scotland get their name from the soot that completely coated the walls and ceilings of those ancient drystone and thatched-roof croft houses.

It is likely that this practice led to the discovery that foods exposed to the smoke from the fire remained in better condition, and for a longer time. And probably, just as important, they improved the taste of the otherwise unseasoned and possibly rancid meat. Once realized, smoking meats and seafood became a common method of preservation, helping to provide meat, fish, and other food for the long dark winter months.

In modern times, the smoking process still involves the same basic steps of brining and salting, or somehow curing the food; air drying it; and then smoking it slowly over a smoldering fuel source. The process still effectively extends the product's shelf life, but only to a point. Smoking is now primarily used to impart a pleasant taste and color to the food, as well as to enhance the natural flavors. The methods used to smoke food have changed dramatically as technology has progressed, and the demand for smoked products has risen--regardless of the season of the year.

The smoke itself consists of numerous tiny droplets of various natural chemicals, such as aldehydes, phenols, ketones, and carbolic acid. These chemicals tend to condense on the food being smoked and form a tacky film called the pellicle. The chemicals settle on the surface as well as penetrate into the meat and through the porous skin, and all the way into the casing of the sausage. This action gives the meat a smoky flavor and allows the natural chemicals to kill or stop the formation of bacteria, yeast, and molds that would lead to spoilage. The phenols in the smoke also help prevent the oils and fats within the product from turning rancid.

SMOKING EQUIPMENT

The most primitive of smokers were simple, enclosed vessels or rooms through which air could flow freely. This enabled the smoke to continually generate, and the heat within the chamber could be controlled. They tended to last for years, and the person operating them had an intimate knowledge of their idiosyncrasies and knew exactly how to produce the best results for anything that was going to be smoked.
Note: To have the most versatile
smoker, it is necessary to have
the option of operating each
element of the machine
independent of the others.
Separate functioning allows the
elements to be used together
simultaneously, or in any
combination that the recipe or
technique demands.


Today, a host of machines are available for smoking, and they all have their individual procedures for being used, generally according to the manufacturer's instructions (Figure 13-23). Although it would be impossible to write about them all, a set of guidelines on the important facts of smoking, as noted in the following section, can offer general insights into the process of smoking foods.

Understanding the Elements Involved in Smoking

The first step is to break the smoking process down into its elements or components, and then to understand the difference between cold smoking and hot smoking.

* The smoking chamber can be made from almost anything and comes in many shapes and sizes, although there are some very important elements to keep in mind when choosing one (Figure 13-24):

** The chamber should be of the appropriate size for the quantity of product that is generally smoked by the establishment.

** It should have the ability to hang smoke sticks, as well as receive small and large sheet pans or screens for supporting resting products.

** It should have easy access for loading, with a solid well-sealed door.

** It should have effective dampers for releasing moisture and smoke.

* The dampers control the flow of smoke and can affect the color of the finished product. There should be a draft control at the base of the chamber to work with the damper and to create the flow of air. The dampers should be easy to operate and have the ability to stay wide open or shut, or any point in between, as required.

* The heat source can be wood, peat, pellet, gas, or electricity. It must work dependably, and should have accurate and reliable temperature gauges and controls so as to monitor the cooking process properly. It does not have to be the smoke source as well, and often works in conjunction with a smoke source.

* The smoke source can be exterior to the food chamber and heat source where it is more versatile and controllable. It should be able to be used for both cold smoking and hot smoking. The smoke source should be fitted with a fan to allow for a controlled flow of smoke, enabling it to produce the correct amount of smoke for the correct length of time. It also allows the chamber to be used for cold smoking because the heat source can be turned off independently.

* The humidity control allows for a greater range of products including dried and semidried sausage and meats that have to be very carefully monitored. Sometimes, if a great quantity is being smoked, it is better to do this drying process in a separate air-controlled room that draws the moisture out and controls the relative humidity. The ideal conditions for this drying process are between 45[degrees] and 55[degrees]F (7.2[degrees] and 12.8[degrees]C) with a humidity of 70 to 72 percent.

* The fuel to be used will affect the eventual flavor of the product and should be carefully selected (Table 13-4). A combination of hard woods, such as oak, alder, and mesquite, generally provides the best results for smoking. Fruit woods, such as cherry and apple, contain a lot of tar compounds and should be used sparingly or in combination with hardwoods. Soaking the dried wood well, before use, helps to give a colder smoke and a much better final product. Soaked rice, tea leaves, spices, specialty woods, dried fruit skins, peat moss, and plant leaves are examples of fuel alternatives used throughout the world.

[FIGURE 13-23 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-24 OMITTED]

Understanding the elements of smoking and knowing what the chef requires a smoker to do, make choosing a smoker much easier.
TIP

Soak all wood chips for at
least 30 minutes before
use. Just before putting the
food on the grill, add the
chips directly to the
charcoal. One or two
handfuls is about the right
amount; add more for a
stronger flavor.


Cold and Hot Smoking

There are two methods of smoking food: cold smoking and hot smoking. As their names suggest, cold smoking is done without any heat being present and hot smoking is with the addition of heat. Cold smoking merely imparts a smoke flavor and color without increasing the internal temperature of the food product, allowing it to remain raw if desired. Hot smoking raises the internal temperature of the product and helps render the food cooked.

* Cold smoking is done by controlling the flow of smoke from the smoke generator, preferably located on the outside of the chamber and blowing it over the food while having the heat source switched off. Or, the food can be trapped in between two layers of ice on pans, and then the smoke and heat source can be directly below the ice, thus preventing the heat from negatively affecting the food. The time and amount of smoke differs by recipe and needs to be carefully monitored.

* Hot smoking is accomplished by controlling the heat and the application of smoke over a long period of time, allowing the food to cook and smoke evenly together, rendering a fully smoked and fully cooked end product.

HOW TO SMOKE FOODS

In order to use the smoker to its best advantage, it is important to understand some basic rules that will render a superior end product:

* Use tested recipes.

* Follow the recipe's recommended times, temperature, and humidity readings accurately for the best results.

* Ensure that the products to be smoked are allowed sufficient time to air dry, usually 3 to 5 hours depending on their size, before adding them to the smoker. Spots of moisture on the outside of the sausage will result in a mottled surface on the finished product. It also does not allow the desired brown color to develop on the outside as it should.

* When air drying sausages, they should be hung on the smoke sticks on which they will eventually be smoked.

* Make sure that the sausage stays cool during the drying process or else bacteria will develop.

* When the product goes into the smoker, continue the drying process by initially opening the dampers fully to allow the excess moisture to escape and not settle on the product.

* Excess heat at the beginning of the smoking process will create sweating, and moisture will build up on the surface of the sausage. Opening the dampers and minimizing the heat initially can avoid this.

* Excess heat at this stage can cause the fat to run before the skin has dried and coagulated.

* Cook the sausage to an internal temperature of 152[degrees]F (66.8[degrees]C) to avoid spoilage.

* When the sausage has been cooked, shower it well with cold water to avoid shriveling and the development of wrinkles on the surface. Wrinkling happens quickly, so showering has to be done immediately.

* If the sausage does shrivel, lightly poach the sausage in hot water for a short time to remove the wrinkles somewhat, but the showering process has to be repeated.

* Once the sausage has been removed and showered, it should be allowed to hang at room temperature to develop even more color. The longer it hangs, the more brown it becomes; this technique is called "blooming."

Making the Products

The following recipes represent the international diversity that exists in the world of sausage making (Figure 13-25A, B, and C). Also included are some recipes for other cured and smoked pieces of meat. The recipes are identified by their country of origin.

[FIGURE 13-25A OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-25B OMITTED]

[FIGURE 13-25C OMITTED]
RECIPE 13-9

ITALIAN
DRY-CURED
PEPPERONI

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

5 pounds              2.3 kg        Boneless pork butt (approximately
                                    25 percent fat content), cubed
5 pounds              2.3 kg        Lean beef, cubed
9 tablespoons       133 mL          Salt
3 tablespoons        45 mL          Powdered dextrose
2 teaspoons          10 mL          Prague powder #2
2 ounces             57 g           Corn syrup solids
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Allspice
5 teaspoons         142 mL          Anise seed, ground
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Cayenne pepper

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the well-chilled meats through the medium plate.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients, and regrind through the small
plate.

3. Stuff immediately into medium lamb casings (24 to 26 mm).

4. Hold the sausage at 70[dagger]F (21.1[dagger]C) at a humidity of
75 percent for 48 hours.

5. Chill and hold for 20 days in the cooler to allow hardening
before use.

RECIPE 13-10

CAJUN
ANDOUILLE
SAUSAGE

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                       INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

10 pounds             4.5 kg       Boneless pork butts
                                   (approximately 25 percent
                                   fat content), cubed
8 tablespoons       118 mL         Salt
2 tablespoons        30 mL         Thyme, dried
1 cup               237 mL         Fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup             118 mL         Black peppercorns, cracked
2 tablespoons        59 mL         Cayenne pepper
2 cups              473 mL         Iced water
1 teaspoon            5 mL         Prague powder #1

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the well-chilled meat through the large die (through a die
with 1/4-inch [0.6-cm] holes, if possible.)

2. Mix well with all the other ingredients and stuff into beef
middles or beef rounds.

3. Air dry for 2 to 3 hours and smoke for 4 to 5 hours at
175[dagger] to 200[dagger]F (80[dagger] to 93.3[dagger]C) until an
internal temperature of 152[dagger]F (21.1[dagger]C) is achieved.

4. Flush with cold water and bloom for 2 hours at room temperature.

5. Chill overnight before use.

RECIPE 13-11

GERMAN
BRATWURST

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

5 pounds              2.3 kg        Boneless pork butt
                                    (approximately 25%
                                    fat content), cubed
5 pounds              2.3 kg        Veal trim, cut
2 cups              473 mL          Whole milk, ice cold
1 ounce              28 g           Salt
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Black pepper, ground
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Powdered dextrose
1/2 teaspoon          2 mL          Nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Coriander, ground
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Mace, ground

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the pork and veal through a medium die.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the milk and mix well.

3. Mix the ground pork and veal well with the milk and seasonings.

4. Stuff into 32- to 35-mm hog casings and chill well.

RECIPE 13-12

TRADITIONAL
SCOTTISH
HAGGIS

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

8 pounds              3.6 kg        Sheep pluck (including the
                                    heart, liver, and lights
                                    or lungs)
1 pound               0.45 kg       Toasted pinhead oatmeal
10 ounces           283 g           Lamb suet, finely chopped
3 cups              710 mL          Onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons        30 mL          Salt
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Allspice, ground
1 tablespoon         15 mL          White pepper, ground
1/2 teaspoon          2 mL          Nutmeg, ground
1 cup               237 mL          Lamb stock

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Soak the pluck in cold salted water for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Gently simmer the pluck for 2 to 3 hours, making sure it is
always completely covered with water.

3. Chill well and grind through the medium plate.

4. Combine well with all the other ingredients and stuff into beef
bungs.

5. Close the bung by sewing the opening with butcher's needle and
thread. Gently poach in a stockpot for 1 hour.

6. Chill and use for service.

FIGURE 13-26 Ode to a
Haggis

      Ode to a Haggis
      by Robert Burns

   Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
   Great chieftain o' the puddin race!
   Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
   Painch, tripe, or thairm:
   Weel are ye wordy of a grace worthy
   As lang's my arm.

   The groaning trencher there ye fill,
   Your hurdies like a distant hill,
   Your pin wad help to mend a mill
   In time o' need,
   While thro' your pores the dews distil
   Like amber bead.

   His knife see rustic Labour dight,
   An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
   Trenching your gushing entrails bright
   Like onie ditch;
   And then, O what a glorious sight,
   Warm-reekin, rich!

   Then, horn for horn, they strech an' strive:
   Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
   Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
   Are bent like drums;
   Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
   'Bethanket!' hums.

   Is there that owre his French ragout
   Or olio that wad staw a sow,
   Or fricassee wad mak her spew
   Wi' perfect sconner,
   Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
   On sic a dinner?

   Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
   As feckless as a wither'd rash,
   His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
   His nieve a nit;
   Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
   O how unfit!

   But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
   The trembling earth resounds his tread.
   Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
   He'll make it whissle;
   An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,
   Like taps o' thrissle.

   Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
   And dish them out their bill o'fare,
   Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
   That jaups in luggies;
   But if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
   Gie her a Haggis!

TIP

This sausage is now
completely cooked and
ready to eat; it should be
gently heated in the original
skins or it can be molded
into desired shapes and
heated for service. Serve
with mashed potatoes,
mashed cooked rutabagas,
and sometimes skirlie
(traditional oatmeal and
onion stuffing). Haggis is
normally presented to the
dining room on a silver
platter. It is carried by the
chef who is led by a
bagpiper playing a
traditional Scottish tune.
The haggis is then
addressed with a recital of a
famous Robert Burns poem
("Ode to a Haggis," 1786),
and served to the guests
with a dram of Scottish
whiskey (Figure 13-26).

RECIPE 13-13

FRESH POLISH
KIELBASA

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

10 pounds             4.5 kg        Boneless pork butt
                                    (approximately 25 percent
                                    fat content), cubed
2 cups              473 mL          Ice water
5 tablespoons        74 mL          Salt
3 tablespoons        44 mL          Fresh garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Marjoram
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Sugar

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the well-chilled meat through the medium die, and place
ground meat in a large bowl.

2. Add the seasonings to the water and combine with the meat.

3. Mix well until spices are evenly distributed.

4. Stuff into 32- to 35-mm hog casings and chill immediately.

RECIPE 13-14

SOUTH AFRICAN
BOEREWORS

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

6 pounds              2.7 kg        Lean beef
4 pounds              1.8 kg        Boneless pork butt (approximately
                                    30 percent fat content), cubed
1 1/2 ounces         43 g           Coriander seeds, freshly roasted,
                                    coarsely ground
1 ounce              28 g           Salt
1 ounce              28 g           Black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Nutmeg, ground
6 fluid ounces      177 mL          Red wine vinegar
1 cup               237 mL          Iced water

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the well-chilled meats through the large die.

2. Mix the seasonings with the water and the vinegar.

3. Add all the ingredients together and stuff into
32- to 35-mm hog casings.

4. Chill well before use.

RECIPE 13-15

SPANISH
CHORIZO

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS
U.S.                  METRIC

10 pounds             4.5 kg        Boneless pork butt (approximately
                                    25 percent fat content), cubed
5 tablespoons        74 mL          Salt
5 tablespoons        74 mL          Spanish paprika
10 each              10 each        Fresh garlic cloves
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Oregano
2 teaspoons          10 mL          Black pepper
3 tablespoons        44 mL          Cayenne pepper
1 cup               237 mL          Iced water
1 cup               237 mL          Vinegar

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the well-chilled meat through the medium die, and place
ground meat in a large bowl.

2. Add the water, vinegar, and all the seasonings and mix well with
the meat.

3. Stuff into 38- to 42-mm hog casings and chill well for use.

4. Use the fresh sausage within a few days.

RECIPE 13-16

Canadian
Smoked
Country
Venison
Sausage

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

5 pounds              2.3 kg        Venison meat, cubed
5 pounds              2.3 kg        Boneless pork butt
                                    (approximately 30 percent
                                    fat content), cubed
2 cups              473 mL          Iced water
6 tablespoons        89 mL          Salt
2 teaspoons          10 mL          Prague powder #1
3 ounces             83 g           Corn syrup solids
2 cups              473 mL          Soy protein concentrate
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Nutmeg, grated
1 tablespoon         15 mL          Ginger, ground
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Black pepper, ground
2 teaspoons          10 mL          Garlic powder

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind all the well-chilled meat through the small die.

2. Mix well with all the other ingredients.

3. Stuff into 32- to 35-mm hog casings and link into 8-inch (20-cm)
links.

4. Dry at room temperature for 1 hour on smoke sticks.

5. Place into the smoker, with the dampers wide open, for 1 hour at
120[degrees]F (48.9[degrees]C).

6. Close the dampers to one-fourth, and apply heat--increasing it to
160[degrees]F (71[degrees]C) while applying a heavy smoke.

7. Continue to heat in increments of 10[degrees]F ([1]12[degrees]C)
every 30 minutes until an internal temperature in the sausage has
reached 152[degrees]F (21[degrees]C).

8. Shower with cold water until the internal temperature has
reached 100[degrees]F (38[degrees]C).

9. Bloom for 1 hour in the kitchen and chill immediately overnight
for service.

RECIPE 13-17

ENGLISH
BREAKFAST
SAUSAGE

Recipe Yield: 10 pounds
(4.5 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

10 pounds             4.5 kg        Boneless pork butts
                                    (approximately 30
                                    percent fat content), cubed
2 teaspoons          10 mL          White pepper
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Ginger, ground
2 teaspoons          10 mL          Dried sage
1 teaspoon            5 mL          Mace, ground
8 ounces            227 g           White bread crumbs
3 ounces             85 g           Salt
1 cup               237 mL          Iced water

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Grind the well-chilled meat through the small die.

2. In a mixing bowl, add the other ingredients, mixing well.

3. Stuff into 32- to 35-mm hog casings.

4. Link in 4-inch (10-cm) links and chill for service

5. Or, the sausage meat can be shaped into a log and
sliced into patties.

RECIPE 13-18

PASTRAMI

Recipe Yield: 25 pounds
(11.3 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

25 pounds             11.3 kg       Beef briskets, whole
5 ounces             142 g          Prague powder #1
20 each               20 each       Garlic cloves, crushed
10 ounces            283 g          Salt
6 ounces             170 g          Powdered dextrose
5 quarts               4.7 L        Iced water
2 ounces              57 g          Black pepper, ground
2 ounces              57 g          Coriander seeds, ground

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Prepare a brine by dissolving the salt, dextrose, and Prague
powder in the iced water and adding the garlic.

2. Allow to sit for 2 hours and then pump the brisket to 15 percent
of their weight.

3. Submerge the briskets in the brine for 4 to 5 days and holding
in the cooler.

4. Dry the briskets well and rub all over with the spices.

5. Place in the smoker at 130[degrees]F (54.4[degrees]C) for 1 hour
with the dampers wide open until the meat dries well.

6. Increase the temperature to 220[degrees]F (104.4[degrees]C) with
the dampers one-fourth open and allow the brisket to smoke and cook
to an internal temperature of 175[degrees]F (80[degrees]C).

7. Cool the meat at room temperature for 1 hour and chill well
overnight before service.

RECIPE 13-19

DRY-CURED
BACON

Recipe Yield: 25 pounds
(11.3 kg)

MEASUREMENTS                        INGREDIENTS

U.S.                  METRIC

25 pounds             11.3 kg       Pork belly, skin removed
                                    and trimmed to rectangular shapes
12 ounces            340 g          Salt
16 ounces            454 g          Brown sugar
4 ounces             113 g          Powdered dextrose
2 ounces              57 g          Prague powder #1

PREPARATION STEPS:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients very well and rub liberally onto the
pork bellies.

2. Pack them together, removing any air pockets; cover and chill
for 2 days.

3. The bacon should be turned and repacked in the natural brine
that has developed.

4. Brine for 7 days.

5. Wash well with cold water.

6. Dry the bacon thoroughly and hang in the smoker with the dampers
open at 130[degrees]F (54.4[degrees]C) until the bacon is very dry.

7. Now cook at this temperature with the dampers one-fourth open,
applying smoke until an internal temperature of 130[degrees]F
(54.4[degrees]C) is achieved.

8. Chill well overnight before slicing.
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Title Annotation:Part 1: A Perspective in the Curing of Meats and Seafood: The Curing of Foods-Sausage Making
Publication:Modern Garde Manger
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:12824
Previous Article:Chapter 12 Methods of preserving foods.
Next Article:Chapter 13 Curing, sausage making, and smoking.
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