Okay so monday morning I get up bright & early as it was expected to be a toasty warm day (100+°). Got all the things lined up for frank production: grinder, mixer, stuffer, spices and about 10 lbs of pork & beef:
I'm using 80/20 mix in this: 80% beef, 20% pork and doing only a 5-pound load. the leftover meat I'll save for another adventure.
I used the frankfurter recipe from the Kutas book. Option is to use coriander instead of mace, and nonfat dry milk for SPC. I opted to use the mace & the nonfat dry milk.
Ground the meat through the finest plate I have (4.5mm). I'd like to get a 3mm someday but I've no luck in finding one that fits the Cabela grinders.
Added the spices & did a quick mix in the kirby mixer...
Now here's where things started getting squirrelly. Loving wife tells me that my son & I both have an eye appointment in about an hour (8:00am!).
I decide to quickly emulsify the meat load in the food processor—3 separate 1.75lb loads, adding ice water as I go. Finish it all on full-speed in about 6-8 minutes. uh oh.....I may have over-done the emulsifying a bit in my haste AND probably added TOO MUCH water to the mix as well. The meat paste looks a bit too thin. When I emulsified meat before (when I made bockwursts), the meat paste looked 'good', whereas this latest batch looks a bit too loose....
Undaunted, I plow ahead with the stuffing using 24mm sheep casings, rapidly firing the kirby cannon as quickly as I can, trying to minimize blow-outs.
Wound up with about 30 fairly-uniform, if not a bit 'soft' beef franks
Off to the eye appointment. Franks have to wait. In the fridge they go. I get back about 2 hours later and ready to do some smoking.
I've got the franks hanging from 4 dowels in the NEW smoker and load up a line of hickory dust into the Amazin smoker. I figure 90 minutes of good smoke, but first thing I want to do is dry out the franks in the smoker (no smoke yet) @ 135° for about an hour. So I've got the franks drying & I get a call from a neighbor. His car died & he asked if I could I pick him up at his work in about 2 hours. Sure, I said. Now I'm in a pinch for time. I failed to take any pictures of this process. NO QVIEW. My apologies! After about 30 minutes, I light the AMZN & start the smoking process—and yes, in hindsight, too soon for the smoke. After almost 90 minutes, I gotta leave soon to pick up the neighbor, I check the frank....not much color at all. Crud.
I pull 'em & lightly poach them until the IT reaches approximately 152°, pluck em & let 'em 'bloom.'
When I return from being a good neighbor, I find my franks havent really 'bloomed' at all—they look pretty sick actually.
I try one and am greatly disappointed. The flavor isnt bad BUT the texture is mushy (awful!) and the skins tough.
The grim results:
Disappointed? Sure—but some key 'learning' moments.
• Watch how long you emulsify
• Watch water content
• Stuff the casings 'tighter'
• Make sure links are dry before applying smoke
• Choose a day when there are no distractions nor calls for help....