kosher natural casings for sausages
I guess this is part of why I couldn't keep strictly kosher. The motor has nothing to do with the grinder and you could conceivably have a meat and a dairy grinder attachment. BUT, the pieces are near each when in use and I suppose a molecule of meat could land on the motor unit and you would have to bury it for a month, or something like that. And what about the counter under the grinder or even that whole side of the kitchen? How far away is far enough? Personally, I follow the original commandment...I don't "seeth a kid in it's mother's milk". For that matter, I don't cook cheeseburgers, drink a glass of milk with a steak, etc. But, I am sure that no meat remains on my chef's knife after it goes thru my dishwasher. I'll be damned if I am going to have two sets of everything, two refrigerators, pots, pans, etc. The old rabbis, whose decisions I generally respect, lost their minds on this topic!
OK. I will get off of my soapbox and answer the original question...
I use Butcher & Packer. (Do a web search). But, you may find that they, and most provisioners, only have casing which are certified kosher, or exempt by virtue of total non-living origin, because they are either collagen-based or plastic casings. If you search around, you will probably also find casings that are, basically, a paper product...made from wood fiber.
As for collagen casings: These are available in edible and non-edible versions. Being artificially formed, their advantage is that they are uniform. Some of them come close to natural (intestine) casings. But they are not going to be completely equivalent in either form or function.
The best thing to do should be obvious to you...ask your kosher butcher! Even if he doesn't, himself, make sausages, salami or frankfurters, I would bet my life savings (all $1.25) that he knows where to get them and could order a reasonable quantity for you. Obviously, there are rip-off artists in everything. But, usually, casings, whether natural or artificial, are surprisingly inexpensive. I think the last casings I bought cost me about $3.00 and are enough for 50 feet of sausage. Obviously, kosher, natural casing do exist because there are kosher products, like frankfurters, that are available with natural casings. But, a lot of them use collagen, etc.
By the way, when you find a source of natural, salted casings...don't worry about buying too much: First of all, you are not going to want to go thru the hassle of making franks, sausages, etc, to make a few of them, especially since they keep well AND you will regret making only a little, once you have tasted them!!! Second, the casings will keep for months and months in the refrigerator, if the salt has not been washed off of them. Also, most natural salted casings can be frozen!
I have said this before, but it is so IMPORTANT, that I will say it again:
Having gotten a bit knowledgeable about "charcutery/charcuterie", or sausage-making: PLEASE follow these cautions and any others that are in my other post: Except for fresh sausage, which is kept constantly refrigerated, and used quickly (or frozen)...ALWAYS cure your meats and use the proportions of cure recommended by a professional sausage-maker OR the USDA!
The non-acid, anaerobic environment of a sausage or salami is perfect for the growth of bacteria whose toxins can quickly kill you and your whole family! That is especially the case when the curing is taking place at above refrigerator temperatures. Have no doubt...the most poisonous of these toxins are tasteless and odorless, yet deadly. You also can't tell they are there by the look of the product.
Next caution in regard to smoking meats: First...it takes a really big pipe. (Haha. Just kidding). But, seriously, the wisdom about COLD smoking meats is, "If you don't cure it, DON'T smoke it.) Cold-curing takes days and the temperatures are only cold in comparison to hot-smoking In actuality, it involves the absolute perfect temperatures for bacterial growth. Don't murder your family! Again, "If you can't cure it, don't (cold-) smoke it." Hot smoking is different, because you are cooking the meat while it is being smoked.
Final note...about cures: Sure, we don't want to eat unnecessary chemicals. BUT, properly followed curing recipes will result in extremely low cure content in the finished product. The major part of the initially-added cure breaks down into nitric oxide, which is already present in your body naturally. (This is the fun chemical that controls blood pressure, erections, etc.) So don't be paranoid about meat cures. Just follow the recipes that you get from a professional sausage/salami maker, and allow the meat to cure for the recommended length of time.
Best of luck...write me if I can be of help!
I guess a part of me wants to say that G-d never mandated two refrigerators and 2, or 4, sets of dishes, cooking implements, utensils, etc. He said, "do not seethe a kid in its own mother's milk" and prohibited the consumption of blood...It was paranoid men who expanded the rules to ridiculous proportions. But, I will try to answer the question of kosher casings and sausage making in general:
A broad search of the web has produced NO sources of casings available for retail sales. If you really want to obtain genuine kosher, natural casings, the only solution I can suggest is to beg some from a kosher butcher, or ask them to order some for you wholesale.
However, I believe you will find that virtually no kosher sausage or salami products use actual intestines as casings these days. I have never seen any at all, though I assume some of you have encountered them. Most are fibrous (cellulose) casings (basically, paper) or plastic...both kosher, or more realistically, non-foods. Others could be collagen, which could be kosher, depending upon the manufacture.
From a practical standpoint, what you want to make will determine whether the casing must be porous or not.
A word about Kitchen-Aid or other similar grinders, and sausage-making: These grinders are also used as the "stuffer", and usually grind the meat twice...the second time is during the stuffing. If you really want to make good sausages and salami's, spend the money to buy a real stuffer, in addition to the grinder. Grinders were never intended to be stuffers and they do not do a good job of it.
About grinding the meats and curing salts: NEVER omit, or reduce the amount of curing salt in a recipe. DON'T "wing it" and guess at the right amount of cure. Most cure breaks down to almost nothing by the time the product is supposed to be eaten. But BOTULISM, from improper recipes or insufficient cure, will kill you very nicely, thank you. Always start with chilled, even partially frozen meat, and work quickly when grinding, mixing and stuffing. The whole process tends to heat up the meat and you don't want it spoiling as you are working.
"Charcouterie" is a fascinating process, but the results can be wonderful, or dangerous. This is something to learn about, not just guess at and do casually. Don't kill yourself or your family by taking a casual attitude about it.
Get a good book on the subject. Do a search for the book(s) by Rytek Kutas. While there are many recipes in his book that are based on pork, you will find a lot that involve beef or other meats that are, or can be made, kosher. An important issue is the fat percentage. You will find that "leaning down" many sausages simply does not work. The fat turns out to be an important component in the taste. But, it doesn't hurt to experiment with that. You just may not be satisfied with the result.
Most important, again, is the subject of cures. Experts can work with salt only, instead of curing salts, but amatuers should beware of trying that. Remember that anything that will be fried (beef or turkey "bacon") should use a cure that only contains nitrites, not nitrates and nitrites.
Don't let anything I have said stop you from trying home sausage making. The results can be marvelous. I especially love homecured corned beef. Easy and delicious! I just urge you to do a bit of studying on this subject.
Best of luck.
There is a Kosher Natural Casing, we have used it in the past and it is pretty good. It has a decent "snap" to it. Devro is the right company, our rep in Ontario was able to source it. If you need a contact you can e-mail me at mn@central(remove everything her including the brackets)epicure.com
I think we even have some if you need it. I could probably fedex them from Toronto.
If you're looking for the casings, maybe Glatt Mart on Ave M in brooklyn will sell them to you. I bought the sweet Italian sausage from them and it was really good, but I can't tell you if it was a natural casing or not. The recipe I was making called for removing the casings and crumbling the meat.
As far as I know Natural casings (I assume you mean animal ones) are not used very much (if at all) in the US. I have heard that even the "Kishke" is artificial casing.
Then again that could just be a rumor, and I don't know because I never tried to buy them. Good luck.
Don't know the answer to the question, but just curious, if you start using your KitchenAid mixer for meat, won't the whole thing become fleishig? Or, would it just be the upper part that has the attachments that become fleishig? I don't have any attachments for mine--yet--so I'm not sure how they work.
Or perhaps keeping separate cooking supplies doesn't apply in your case, because I'm asking specifically about a kashrut question.
I keep a separate bowl and mixers for my dairy baked goods, otherwise my KitchenAid is parve.
you have hit on the hidden source of contention between my wife and I! She is the baker, I am the cook. And she does not want her precious kitchen-aid turned to the "meat side" on her...
Yeah, I think the whole thing would become fleischig. Having two is not too practical but I am anxious to try out the food grinder/sausage attachment.
What makes it more complicated is the fact that the food griner and the sausage maker attachment are two seperate pieces. So the food grinder is now meat as well...And what if I wanted to make salmon sausage? The problems just keep mounting....
Not much of a gift after all...
I don't keep kosher but I have made sausage many times with the Kitchenaid.
The grinder is attached to the Kitchenaid. The Kitchenaid functions as the motor. No meat comes into contact with any part of the Kitchenaid.
The meat goes through the grinder and is ground. It then goes through through the grinder (without the grinder plates) through the stuffer attachement. I think you could make a good arguement that the meat does not contaminate the mixer.
I don't have a source for kosher casings but I have had very good luck using lamb casings. We buy them from Niman Ranch.
Thanks for the reply. I have never used this particular attachment, but thought that an argument could be made for keeping the mixer from turning to a meat appliance...I have to think about it a bit more.
Strictly speaking, the possibility of cross contamination is too great for many observant jews to say this is an okay way to go. My own level of observance is such, that i consider that a bit extreme and may consider using the mixer...
As to my original post, if i ever do find a good supply of kosher suasage casings, i will let everyone know.
Still don't have an answer to your original post, but...
Sounds like if no meat comes in contact w/ the motor you're ok (and also it's cold anyway, so I agree with previous comment about heat transfer!).
Regardless, you could definitely use that meat attachment for salmon sausages- the equipment should just be clean & with no meat residue, that's all. Oh, and I guess you would only be able to serve them on meat plates.
I know that Glatt Mart in Flatbush makes their own sausages. You could call them and perhaps purchase casings from them, or find out who their supplier is.
I have a blender that I use for milchig +fleishig. I have a separate jar blade cover etc for each. the motor remans the same.. but anything that relates to actual food is different.. do I count the occasional food spill on the motor housing??/ oh come on... we all know even in our heart of hearts that milchigness/fleishigness/treifness is transfered only with heat.
I think there are definite sociological reasons that folks are so eager to establish chumrot.. that really have very little to do with actual halacha.
I think that our great grandmothers in the shtetels (and their rabbinic authorities) would be horrified at some of the stringincies we impose on ourselves... Two kitchens???? two sinks??? ...
this is a longet non-chow discussion related to post holocaust guilt as well as our relative wealth.. so I will now cease and desist.