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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 55855  
Subject: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 10:16 AM
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I found Voelkel's recipe on this board:

Old World Italian Sausage

2 tea salt
1 tea black pepper
4 tea fennel seed
4 tea Oregano
1 tea garlic powder
1 tea red pepper (optional)
8 pounds boneless pork butt

Sprinkle combined seasonings over meat cubes in large bowl. Toss until well coated. Grind with desired grinding disc and stuff into casing.


We'd like to give it a try as soon as I can find pork butt on sale (my husband found the box of accessories for the KitchenAid mixer we inherited 10 years ago and thinks he espied a meat grinder in there!).

I don't keep garlic powder, I just buy whole garlic bulbs. Any reason I shouldn't use garlic cloves in this recipe? What would 1 teaspoon garlic powder translate to? Would I need to smash up the garlic really thoroughly, or would regular mincing be OK?

Voelkels and anyone else who makes their own sausage: Is this (still) the recipe you use? Any tips for a sausage-making newbie? We'll make patties as I usually crumble Italian sausage anyway for use in marinara sauce and minestre (Italian sausage, bean and cabbage stew).

This is important because our local maker of decent Italian sausage stopped making it, and I've been unhappy with Italian sausage I've tried at local stores (no Italian area here in the Deep South). Oddly, I can get excellent bratwurst here, although that will be the next sausage I try if Italian is a success :-)
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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54836 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 10:52 AM
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Don't know about Italian, but I make Thai sausage with garlic and it turns out fine.

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Author: OleDocJ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54837 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 12:33 PM
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I use a similar recipe. I think that recipe that CJV posted is a tad light on the salt and fennel. Here's a link to the mix I use:

http://schmidling.com/itsaus.htm

As you can see by comparing, more salt and fennel and less oregano. Also, adds 2 oz red wine per lb. I think the red wine addition really makes a big difference - makes the Ital sausage flavor "pop".


OleDoc

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54838 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 1:11 PM
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Thanks for the tips, OleDoc--caraway seed, that was a surprise!

(Now that I'm more or less gluten-free, I really miss a nice, seedy rye...used to be one of my favortie breakfasts, poached egg, cottage cheese or melted jarlsberg on a nice rye. Or just scrambled eggs and well buttered rye toast....sorry, daydreaming!)

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54839 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 1:16 PM
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Don't know about Italian, but I make Thai sausage with garlic and it turns out fine.

Care to link/post your recipe? I don't recall having seen sausage on the menu at a Thai restaurant, but I know you've been to Thailand and taken Thai cooking lessons and know a lot more about Thai cuisine than I do. How do you use your Thai sausage--just grilled by itself, as an ingredient?

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54840 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 2:09 PM
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I found Voelkel's recipe on this board:

“Old World Italian Sausage

2 tea salt
1 tea black pepper
4 tea fennel seed
4 tea Oregano
1 tea garlic powder
1 tea red pepper (optional)
8 pounds boneless pork butt

Sprinkle combined seasonings over meat cubes in large bowl. Toss until well coated. Grind with desired grinding disc and stuff into casing.”

Axe-u-lee, that was a recipe that came with a booklet that came packed with a Oster meat grinder that I bought in 1983 or 82. It’s a fairly good one to start with but you may want to add/substitute seasonings, etc. for your own taste.

What would 1 teaspoon garlic powder translate to? Would I need to smash up the garlic really thoroughly, or would regular mincing be OK?

Hard to say, that. I would press 3 or 2 cloves of garlic with a garlic press and maybe mix it with a couple table spoons of red wine and use that. As OleDoc say, the recipe is a bit light on salt but you can always add more to your own taste. I like to crush at least half the fennel seeds in a mortar with a little salt before adding that to the spice mixture. You might also try making only a 1 or 2 pound batch at a time until you get a spice/salt mixture to your own taste. Other things that I have added besides wine is more red pepper and finely grated Pecorino Ramano and/or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (caution - they are fairly salty along with being expensive!!!).
;-)

Any tips for a sausage-making newbie?

I like to separate the fatty pork from the mostly lean meat and grind the fat with the fine plate of the grinder and the lean meat with the medium-coarse plate. Now-a-daze I use a Northern Tool meat grinder (See; http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200451267_200... ) and cool the metal parts of the grinder and meat in the freezer prior to grinding. I’ll grind the fat and refrigerate it while I grind the lean. Both the fat & lean will then be mixed along with the salt & spices before being stuffed into casings. I try to keep the temperature of the meat & finished sausages below about 37 degrees F. I make up the sausage into links of 1/4 to 1/2 pound each, wrap each link in plastic wrap and freeze in gallon-sized “Zip-lock”- type bags for later use. When I want some sausage for a recipe, its fairly simple to open the bag, take out 3 or 2 links, reseal the bag and put it back in the freezer without defrosting the whole mess.
;-)

C.J.V. - hope dat helps some, me

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54841 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 2:40 PM
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I make a red curry paste from scratch (but you could use the red curry paste in tubs), and add that to a fatty pork mixture, and stuff it in casings. I don't have the recipe at hand, but you could use any red curry paste mix - it's a mix of galangal, chiles, kaffir lime peel, garlic, shallots, and fish paste. I just grill them up.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54842 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/7/2013 2:41 PM
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Oh - and fish sauce for salt of course!

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Author: Blackduff Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54846 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/10/2013 12:42 PM
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I was posting on the "Health & Nutrition" board for about meat grinders, etc.. I am planning on making another batch of Italian Sausage and I was told maybe I should post here too. I can see this is a better place for what I'm writing.

This is my second try at making some good Italian Sausages. I posted on the other board that I tried with a recipe, which turned out to be a little "Light". The amounts of the spices were too little and the sausages only had a hint of the true Italian Sausage. To a great extent, I had used the recipe from Voelkel's recipe:

“Old World Italian Sausage"

2 tea salt
1 tea black pepper
4 tea fennel seed
4 tea Oregano
1 tea garlic powder
1 tea red pepper (optional)
8 pounds boneless pork butt


I'm planning on grinding a smaller amount of sausage but I need a lot more taste for these jewels. 4 teaspoons of fennel will not cut the taste with 8 pounds of pork.

So, how much other spices can be included on the meat.

I have to also mention that I haven't found any Old World Italian Sausages when I lived there. I have worked in Venice region, Latina, south of Rome, and a long time in Naples. I found a meatball once in Naples but never any sausages.

This board does seem good though. The Thai sausage sounds nice and after I get the Italian sausage, I would like to try the Thai.

Blackduff

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Author: blueberryhill Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54847 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/10/2013 10:01 PM
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Hi Blackduff, you might want to check this grinder out: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200451267_200...

Most of us on the bbq fools board have this grinder and I don't think
you will find an unhappy person there.

You might some good recipes on that board also.


Good luck, Blue

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Author: OleDocJ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54848 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/11/2013 1:59 AM
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I'm planning on grinding a smaller amount of sausage but I need a lot more taste for these jewels. 4 teaspoons of fennel will not cut the taste with 8 pounds of pork.

So, how much other spices can be included on the meat.


You're right about the fennel. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, that recipe that you used was too light on the salt and spices.

First, the salt. You need to add enough salt to give about 1.5 to 2% salt. That means 15 to 20 grams salt per kilo. Translating that to tsp/lb measurements gives about 1.5 to 2 tsp per pound. (About 6-8 times as much as was listed in the "Old World" recipe.)

Second, the fennel. This is the spice that "makes" it Italian sausage! The "Old World" recipe was way too light on this, also. It needs 3-4 times that much seasoning. I don't know the measure in grams/kilo, but it needs about 1½ tsp/lb to a tbsp/kilo - plus a little more for good measure if you don't crack it first with a mortar & pestle.

Third, red wine. This is the "magic" touch. It just adds that something special that makes the flavor "pop". Add about 2 oz per lb or 60 mL per kilo.

In the US, per USDA labelling regulations, "Italian Sausage" has to be made from pork meat (muscle tissue) with no organ meat or other extraneous tissues and cannot exceed 35% fat content. However, when making my own, I like to use 2 parts pork and 1 part beef and limit the fat to 20-25%. I think it makes a more healthy, leaner sausage that tastes better and fries better. YMMV.

Finally, I wouldn't increase the oregano; it's about right - ½ tsp per lb. Adding a little basil would be good if you've got lots of it that you need to use. I often crumble in some air-dried, fresh basil leaves when I have them.


OleDoc

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Author: Blackduff Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54849 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/11/2013 8:37 AM
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OleDocJ
That was a good post for me. I think that this will work for me when I start fixing the sausages next week.

Question: How much difference when you crack the fennel seeds in the mortar and pestle? I've used this on some soups but I just want to be certain if I'll have more or less of the amounts needed.

Putting some red wine into the batch will be fairly easy. We always have some red wine open at the house.

Thanks for this good information. I've been missing some good Italian sausages so this is great to start in 2013.

Cheers Blackduff

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54850 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/11/2013 9:18 AM
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. . . the fennel. This is the spice that "makes" it Italian sausage! The "Old World" recipe was way too light on this, also.

Doc, our next door neighbor in New Jersey was Italian and most of the sausage that he made back in the 50s was fairly light on the fennel. There is still a fairly large number of people of Italian decent in Ocean County, N.J. (the mob used to burry the bodies around Lakewood). When I went back there last spring for oldest grandson’s graduation from Penn, I stopped in at the “Pathmark Supermarket” in Toms River for some sausage (I was elected to cook that night at the “beach house”) and discovered two piles of “Italian Sausage” packages, one labeled “With Fennel” and the other labeled “Without Fennel”. I, of course, picked a package each of “hot” and “sweet” from the piles labeled “With Fennel”.
;-)

The taste of the fennel, as with most herbs & spices, depends among other factors upon its age and storage history. The amount that was in the Pathmark sausage was about the same as what was in my original recipe but, because the herb was fresh, it had a fairly strong taste, IMHO.

You need to add enough salt to give about 1.5 to 2% salt. That means 15 to 20 grams salt per kilo. Translating that to tsp/lb measurements gives about 1.5 to 2 tsp per pound.

I’ll agree that it’s a little light on salt for most people’s taste, Doc, but, especially if its going to be used in other recipes, its much easier to add salt to a dish at the table than remove it once its been added. ;-)
FWIW, Kytek Kuntas’s recipe in the book “Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing” for 10-pounds of fresh sweet Italian sausage calls for 5 tbsp. salt, 1 lb ice water, 3 tsp. fennel seed, 2 tsp coarse black pepper, 1 tbsp. sugar and 10 lbs. boned pork butts. For my taste, I usually reduce the salt in his recipes by about a third.

For his med-hot Italian sausage, he specifies “cracked fennel seed”, and adds “3 tsp. crushed hot peppers, 1 tsp caraway seeds, and 1 tbsp coriander“ (he don’t tell you what kind of “hot peppers” or if the coriander is whole seed, crushed or powdered, no).
;-(

C.J.V. - believes dat a recipe be only a guide dat you modifies to your own taste, me

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54851 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/11/2013 9:47 AM
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Adding a little basil would be good if you've got lots of it that you need to use. I often crumble in some air-dried, fresh basil leaves when I have them.

Doc, most air dried herbs, like basil & cilantro, have little or no taste, IMHO. Back around 1974 or 73, I had a seed catalog containing some recipes. Among others, there was a method of preserving fresh basil in salt. They pick and rinse the leaves then dry them on a towel (paper or cloth). Sprinkle a layer of table salt on the bottom of your container (I used wide-mouth Mason jars), place a single layer of basil leaves in the jar & cover with more salt. Alternate basil and salt layers to the top with a final layer of salt. Screw on the lid to make a airtight seal and allow to remain at room temperature. The basil leaves will darken but remain fairly flavorful for about a year. The salt also picks up some of the basil flavor and both can be used in recipes like red gravy, etc. I used to use the preserved basil leaves, chopped up, in my red gravy and the salt for salting my pasta water.
;-)

C.J.V. - you don't want the salt & basil to dry out because it'll lose most of its taste ;-(

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Author: Blackduff Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 54876 of 55855
Subject: Re: Homemade Italian sausage? Date: 1/15/2013 4:50 AM
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OleDocJ
I made the italian sausages this weekend.

MIKE’S ITALIAN SAUSAGES

• 1 ½ tsp/pound cracked fennel. Double if it’s for frozen bulk sausage meat.
• 1/8 tsp/pound of crushed red pepper flakes. Be careful with Chinese peppers ~ it’s very hot.
• 1.5 to 2 tsp/pound pickling salt.
• 1 tsp/pound of cracked black pepper corns
• 1 tsp/pound ground coriander
• 1 garlic clove per pound ~ chopped finely
• 1 cup ice water
• 2 oz/pound red wine
• 1/2 tsp/pound oregano

Currently using 90/10 % fat although 80/20 is better. This recipe should produce a Sweet Italian Sausage but it has added a bit of crushed peppers for joy.


This was great! I only made bulk sausages but this is great. I do have to change a few items though.

~ I crushed the fennel too much and it and the taste was a bit weak. I had doubled the amount of fennel in my recipe, since it's all for freezing the meat afterwards. Tne next batch I will crush less the fennel.

~ I put the meat through the coarse plate first and then add the spices, etc.. Then I rerun the meat again with the medium plate. Next time I'll only use this with the coarse.

~ I need to put fat into this sausage. The final sausage was great but for processing the fat would be better. I think I had about 10% fat but I'll double for the next batch.

~ I bought and used a Kenwood meat chopper. It has enough power (1600 watts) for doing my job. It has the attachments to feed the casings for making links.

Thanks for everyone who gave me good advice. I'm moving forward now and this is always good.

Blackduff

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