Need advice with cooking fresh homemade sausages. Please help!
- potbeagle Mar 29, 2011 03:52 PM
So i made and cooked my homemade sausages for the first time today but after many tries at cooking it the meat always leaks out of both ends of the sausage, making it look like mushroom heads. I am wondering what i need to do to cook the sausage without the meat coming out of the casing??
Also, after cooking the sausage, the meat inside looks white and has a pasty texture to it...am i doing something wrong? I cannot afford a meat grinder right now nor can i find a good one...so i had to use ground pork bought from whole foods instead. Could this be the reason why the texture of the sausage is so?
Thanks for your help...pictures coming soon
Yes for the grinding, as far as I understand.
How are yo binding off the sausage ends? Using a tie or just a twist?
Sounds like the ends are coming loose and so the stuff comes out. Did you fry or poach then fry?
Check in Chow videos I know there is one on how to keep sausages from bursting (which so far is not your issue). But it is a good lesson for method.
Hey Quine thanks for your fast response.
I am just twisting the sausages 2-3 times as instructed in the "Home Sausage Making" book. Should I tie it with a string instead? Can I fry the sausage with the ties still on?
I prepared it based on wally's method in another topic "Best method to cook fresh sausage"
"Try cooking them with about a quarter inch of water in the bottom of a covered pan. After about 15 minutes, remove the lid and let the water evaporate and the sausages brown, turning occasionally, in the fat that has oozed out. I don't think it would ever take 45 minutes. I would imagine you would lose most flavor in that length of time."
Would you recommend a different method?
Also, any recommendations on a cheap meat grinder? Most of the ones I see on amazon that are below 50 bucks have crappy reviews.
Well the twist tie is not enough in this case (and you may have stuffed them too tight) but hey, you're learning! Sure butcher's twine or any white cotton should work.
When the sausages start to swell, while doing that water bath, give a slight pin prick of the casing so some pressure and fat is released.
I agree 45 mnutes of cooking is way too long, I agree with 10-15 minutes of water tmie, then pour off the remaining water and crisp up. As I do recall Chow Video did a number of sausage videos for last summer, I watch a few and thought they were good.
My meat grinder was passed down, it's the old crank style. If you have the chance to shop thrift stores they tend to show up there, cheap!
I am using a 5 lb stuffer and hog casings I bought as part of the stuffing kit from LEM.
The recipe comes from the book Home Sausage Making that also came with the kit:
Garlic Sausage (measurements altered for 2 lbs of pork)
1/2 tblspn kosher salt
1 teaspn sugar
1/2 teaspn black pepper
1/8 teaspn all spice
1/8 teaspn ground cinammon
1/8 teaspn fresh thyme
1 tablespn minced garlic
1/2 teaspn minced gingerroot
1/4 cup dry white wine
Maybe you are overfilling the casings? Also, I've heard that if you use collagen casings you should rest the saussies in the fridge overnight.
My favourite way to cook them (because I am so lazy) is to roast them in the oven. Put them in a lightly oiled roasting tray or dish, put into a cold oven then turn the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. I find that it takes about 40-45 minutes from cold to cook 6 sausages, but just check them after 30 minutes and see how long your oven takes. This way is good because you can cook your side dishes in the oven at the same time.
As for mincer/grinders, I got my second-hand hand-crank one for NZ$9 on TradeMe (New Zealand's version of eBay). I found that the ones listed in the Fishing section (fisherman use them to grind burley on their boats) sold for cheaper than the ones in the Cooking section!
You should be able to find a very good hand crank for less than what you paid for the stuffer. Remove the knife and die, add a tube and it doubles as a stuffer to boot.
I see professional makers do magic when twisting their links - not me. I stuff casings about a yard long (tying the "front" with butcher string first then the end after being stuffed) then twist in about 5 or 6 inch legths. I use natural casings and twist every link maybe 8 or 10 times. After stuffing awhile, you can tell when its too full and the twist will break (tie off on both sides of the break) but it will still hapen occasionally...
Its important to twist your links in the same direction, otherwise you will untwist some that you've already done
I agree with Billy33, rest the length of links in the fridge overnight (for both natural or collagen). This will allow the sausages to develop flavor (and cure if using salt or nitrites) and help retain its shape. Just keep them in a covered bowl. Next day cut the links and you should be fine.
I almost always grind (not for the price, but for controlling what goes into the sausage), but I do make sausage from store-ground pork occasionally. Too fine a grind and longer stuffing time (meat warming slightly) might make for a pasty texture. Ask for a coarser grind and stuff in smaller batches, keeping your meat reserve in the fridge.
Seems whenever I mention nitrites or nitrates, I get a hailstorm of controversy. Mostly from health alarmists, or others who don't know much about the subject (I'm by far no expert, but I know enough that improperly handled, they can lead to trouble. So I been trying to learn myself a bit - hehe).
Anyways...when making fresh sausage, you don't require curing as the meat is going from your fridge to the fryer and up to temp (or from the freezer...). When the sausage is not cured, you will get a whitish/grayish color. Nothing wrong about this, per se, but if you want to get a nice pinkish color (as well as a tangy "cured" flavor), you gotta use a cure (and let sit at least overnight).
I'm not sure what is in the LEM Backwoods Seasoning, but the most basic cure is salt plain and simple. My basic cure is 15g of salt per kilo of meat. This works out to about 3 tablespoons per kilo, or 3 level tablespoons salt per 2.2lbs meat.
Besides the cure, theres seasoning of course (for Italian, I use fennel seed, black pepper, cayenne, and crushed chile pepper). Again resting overnight develops the cure and flavors plus allows the casing to accept its new shape.
Nitrites. Sometimes I'll use Instacure#1 when making fresh sausage (I always use it when making dried sausage). You can use the recommended amount of 1 level teaspoon per 5lbs of meat, or less. It doesn't seem like much, but you don't want more of this than needed. Instacure#1 is a stronger curing agent than salt alone, and you will not have a whitish color.
We made sausage yesterday. From left to right. Pheasant, with jalapeno, shallots and bacon. Spicy, low fat, chicken breakfast sausage made from thigh meat only. Those are in the smoker now. Italian, made from pork shoulder only. Tomorrow we are making soft Italian rolls for sausage and peppers. It’s got be the most off beat Easter Diner to date for us.
man those look delicious. may i ask what kind of casing u use and what brand?
The brand I have been using is LEM Hog casings 32 mm, and I think it makes the sausage taste weird. Do casings have a particular taste/smell in general that you cannot get rid of?
I taste it in my sausages but when I try another kind of store brand natural casing sausage such as Johnsonville it does not have the weird taste.
So, you are using dry cured? I’m up by Lake Tahoe but this should be easy. Do you have a place that you buy sausages at now? They will be happy to sell you fresh casing. If not, find a butcher that makes good sausages and he will fix you up. I would also keep an eye out for a grinder at the thrift stores. I see them there for pennies on the dollar all the time. Next time you make them feel free to drop me a line if you need help.
If you can't find a local source for casings, try Butcher-packer.com. They have everything you need for sausage making and lots of things you don't.
Back to your original problem, as Porker suggested, just letting them sit overnight in the fridge will help, but one guaranteed way to avoid having the stuffing gush out the ends of the sausage is to par boil the entire string before cutting into links. You don't want to cook them, just heat the outside enough to firm up the casing. Plunge the string into a large pot of boiling water on high heat and remove after 1 minute (don't worry if the water doesn't come back to a boil). Rinse in very cold water, and cut into links. Now you can cook what you need for dinner and refrigerate or freeze the rest.
As I make about 100-150 pounds of sausage a week, I've run into all of these problems. As for stuffing and twisting to prevent leaking, it came down to a lot of trial and error for me. I just had to get a feel for it. Stuffing a bit less full and adding a few more twists may do the trick for you.
As far as the pasty consistency goes, I would mix the seasoning into the meat when it is extremely cold and handle it minimally. Also, after mixing but before stuffing, make sure the meat returns to a very low temperature. I find that if I skip that, the fat melts a bit in the process and distributes itself in a way that might seem gummy or pasty in the end product. Best of luck!
ground pork could be too fine. Ask for sausage meat next time or chop your own. The ends should be tied tightly with butcher's twine. As to cooking, first cook sausages covered to create moisture for 20 minutes or so, then uncover, with heat at medium high bring the sausages to crisp. Turn occasionally.