I set out to re-create the beef sausages made in the famous Lockhart, TX BBQ establishments like Blacks, Smitty's, and Kreuz. They all make a beef sausage, simply seasoned, with a unique soft texture. There isn't a modern recipe shared for these sausages but some old information basically stating that they are 85% Beef and 15% Pork and the beef mostly comes from the brisket points. They are simply seasoned with only salt, black pepper, and cayenne. I can attest that they way them make them ends in an excellent, but VERY fatty sausage. I couldn't in good conscience make a sausage that fatty, so I used both the flat and point from a whole, somewhat lean brisket. For the pork I used simple shoulder meat. There is also some speculation that they use a cereal binder....this may have a lot to do with the texture.
For a 10lb batch I used:
8.5 lb beef brisket
1.5 lb pork shoulder
2.2 oz coarse Kosher salt
1t. cayenne pepper
About 3.5 T. coarse black pepper
14 grams cure #1
1.5 cups of water mixed with 2 oz dry milk powder
I was conflicted on the pepper...some mixes called for way more...like 2 oz. Some way less. I weighed out 2 oz. and it looked like about 2 pounds so I got scared to add this much! I started with only about 1.5 T. but added about 2 T. more but was afraid to over spice it.
The brisket flat
The point already cubed up.
I added and mixed all seasoning minus water and milk powder to the cubed meat and put it back in the fridge to set overnight.
Pulled it out the next day and ground it twice through a medium plate then back in the fridge till later in the day. Then I added the water and milk powder slurry and stuffed into pork casing.
This is an older picture of stuffing some pork sausage but I thought I'd throw it in for effect!
I usually like traditional links tied with string but I thought I'd try to do something different...I thought you had to be a real old European sausage maker to link sausages but if I can now do it I am certain anyone can!
I threw the stuffed sausage back in the fridge overnight and pulled it out early the next morning to let the casings dry off at room temp for a little over an hour.
Then into my smokehouse for about 4-5 hours of oak smoke running between 120F and 140F. I just let them roll until I liked the color. Almost done here.
This is what works the magic!
Just out of the smokehouse.
I got one of these old roasters to use for poaching and it worked really well...I have the water set around 165F and poached these sausages to 154F internal temperature.
Then into an ice bath.
Then let them bloom for a couple hours.
Finished product after cooling again overnight.
I grilled some yesterday to test it all out and I'm very happy with the results. The pepper was a bit light and I would put at least 6T. next time. The texture of the Lockhart sausage is what I can't seem to get, but I may try the cereal binder next time and see what that does...but if it takes simply more fat I'm not going that direction! The whole process was much better than any of my previous sausage. It's beginning to get easier and more fun thanks to practice and suggestions from others that have done it a lot more than me!