This is a very nice tasting sausage that showed me how bland our store bought varieties of sausage can be. Despite being a bunch of links, it is a longer preparation (plan at least 10 days in advance) but turns out really nice.
For this recipe I used a Boston Butt. Despite the name, the butt comes from the top of the front shoulder, it was named this way because in Boston they used to put these and some other lessdesirablecuts into butts (or barrels). The name apparently stuck and it is a great piece of meat for a variety of preparations. For example, your pulled pork sangwich is either from the butt or the lower portion, the shoulder known as the picnic. Perhaps more importantly thought for the home_charcutier_, it is often a rather economical selection to use. What you have to do is be aware that there is a bone in there and you’ll have to purchase a piece of meat Here is what I used:
- 5# of Boston Butt. I trimmed the connective tissues and cut into 1" cubes. I then took about half of these cubes and cut them into 1/4" cubes. These will be added to the rest of the meat when it is ground up and loaded into casing. The mix of chunk and ground gives a nice texture in the final product.
- 1/2C water
- 1/4C finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1/8C ground black pepper
- 3T Mortons Kosher salt
- 2T Thyme (chopped)
- 1.5t crushed red peppers
- Cure #1 as directed by the manufacturer. Not all brands of cure are the same concentration so you’ll want to figure out what the manufacturer recommends for the amount of meat you are using. After mixing up the dryingredientswith the water, I covered andthoroughlymixed the meat in. Put this concoction (as my daughter calls it) into a large ziplock (the 2.5 gallon ones if you can find them) orvacuumseal it (if that is your thing). I then put this into the fridge for a week. I prefer the ziplock because I can go out and mix it up every day or so to ensure that all the meat is getting the juicy goodness of the herbs and such. Take the large cubes and grind them through your meat grinder (I use a kitchenaid mixer attachment) using a largish plate. Remember to keep the meat cold at all times. Before grinding, I put the meat into the freezer to get a little hard, as it makes the grinding easier and does not smear the fat, you want good separation between fat and meat in the final product. I put a bowl of ice under the bowl that receives the ground goodness. After grinding, mix in the smaller chunks and I stuffed into natural hog casing. I then hung them in my curing fridge for 2 days (I’m getting close to a fully functional curing chamber, I’ll put a post up in the near future). You want to have this hanging so that the casing dry sufficiently to get a good smoke on them.
After hanging, I smoked these in a mix of pecan & cherry wood at a lowish temperature. This was not cold smoking,sensu stricto,since it was over 100°F. What I tried as keeping it at 140°F for a couple of hours with smoke. What I found was that it was difficult to keep my MES smoker making smoke since the element was mostly off. I think next time I will use the cold smoker to inject smoke while keeping a low temperature. I then raised the temp to 160°Fand monitored the sausages until the reach an internal temperature of about 150-155°F. This took at least a 2 hours in my smoker.
After smoking, I quickly rinsed the sausages in cold water and hung them overnight back in the fridge to dry out. The next day, I tried them and packaged some up for the icebox.
All in all, a great taste. I may want to kick up the spices a bit and add just a touch more heat to them next time.