Lannae's Food and Travel

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March 13, 2010

That's a Spicy Sausage

We have attempted to make dried sausage this year for the 1st time. I hope it comes out, but we will not know until 6 weeks when the sausage should be air dried and cured.

the pan, gloves, and attempting to work clean

What I do for a living is work in the environmental biz. When I take soil samples, I don't want to cross contaminate the soil with other stuff because I want to know what is in that soil. Also, I follow a really strict protocol for working "clean", so I don't take home any soil, especially if it is contaminated with a hazardous material. I try to do the same when making wine and now dried sausage. I try to work clean, so I don't cross contaminate my wine or sausage.

spreading the 3 parts meat to 1 part fat ratio in the pan

So, according to Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio, 2009, the sausage ratio is 3 parts lean to 1 part fat by weight. It may look like a lot of fat, but that is ratio that seems universal. We also used pink curing salt #2 to kill the bacteria that is not good for our guts and health. It is a fact that bacteria will breed in meats hanging in ambient air and temperature, so the curing salt #2 is a nitrite/nitrate mix to keep bad bacteria from breeding. There is a "natural" alternative of nitrite/nitrate, but I don't know what it is right now. When I have time, I will investigate this alternative more.

spices and red wine mixed sausage meat

We used some red wine, Spanish smoked paprika, sweet paprika, sharp paprika, red pepper, cumin, fennel seed, black pepper corns, and garlic powder to make our sausage. We used a lot of spices. We kept on pouring and pouring and pouring spices in, taking a little bit and frying it up and tasting it. I don't know how much we used because I did not measure. Later, we asked Tandy how much oregano he use for his oregano dried sausage he serves at City House. He said he uses about 5 oz of dried and about 1 oz of fresh oregano for 100 lbs of meat/fat. Taking a look at the the typical spice rack jar, it is about 0.2 to 0.3 oz of dried herb. That means Tandy would use about 16 - 25 jars of dried oregano for 100 lbs of meat/fat.

sausage hanging in a friend's garage

After we mixed the meat/fat with the salt cure #2 and the spices, we forced the mix into a sheep casing. And now, all of the sausage is hanging in a garage drying. We are waiting, and waiting and waiting for about 2 months to see what we get. I wasn't sure if TN was a good place to make dried sausage. When we talked to Tandy about his dried sausage, he made us feel better about making dried meats in middle TN. He said that he thinks mid-TN is a perfect place to make dried meats like parts of France and parts of Italy. He pointed out that country ham is made and hung to dry here in mid-TN, so the atmosphere, air and temperature has to be good for drying sausage. He also said that the late winter, early spring time was the best time too. OK, I trust Tandy.


At 3/14/10, 12:04 PM, Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, fantastic homemade sausages! My dream!



At 3/14/10, 12:43 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Holy cow..I mean, pig! Very impressive. I hope the Mid TN environs are good to your sausage - very cool. Where did you get sheep's casings?

At 3/14/10, 10:23 PM, Blogger Lannae said...

Thank you Rosa, will make sure to post how the sausages come out. Also much love to Fridolin.

Erin, Thank you, but I won't know if it is edible until it is completely dry. A friend of ours, who has made dried sausage for years, ordered the sheep casing for us. The casing is not locally made.

At 3/15/10, 2:00 PM, Blogger Hazza said...

Hope it turns out well. Looks good so far. Reminds me of chorizo. Have you not thought of attempting to make lap cheong?

At 3/18/10, 6:37 PM, Blogger Lannae said...

Hi Hazza, after making these Italian inspired dried sausages, I thought of lop cheung. If these come out well, I will attempt lop cheung.

At 3/21/10, 3:28 PM, Anonymous ModFruGal said...

Cool...very impressed...can't wait to hear how they turn out!


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