After a number of attempts to find that “just right” taste in my beef summer sausage, I asked for some advice from forum members. I got a number of great responses that led me to my latest summer sausage adventure. See the thread below:
Anyway, one of the responses gave me a link to a seasoning mix, using Bactofirm F-LC instead of ECA or Fermento. It also had a process that I had never tried as the Bactofirm needs a fermenting period. Here’s the link to the recipe and process:
One part of the process calls for fermenting the stuffed sausage for 24 hours at 86 degrees and a high humidity. I thought about this for a while and tried a number of ways to do that. Then I thought about proofing bread and the low constant temp needed for the dough to rise. I tried my oven but couldn’t get it down to th 86 degree range so I looked on Amazon.com for a bread proofer and found a folding bread proofer that had a temp control from about 70 degrees to 120 degrees. Since my wife likes to bake fresh bread, she got an early Christmas present which of course I had to use to make sure it held temperature!
After getting the proofer and a package of Bactofirm F-LC, I made the spice mix,
After mixing the meat, spices and Bactofirm, I just did a small 3 pound batch, I ended up with 2 1.2 sausages and after warming up the proofer, placed them in with the water tray filled to add humidity. Here in Arizona it was impossible to get the humidity in the proofer up to the 95% in the recipe, but adding the water tray did help some.
After about 24 hours in an 86 degree sauna, I pulled the sausages out, inserted the probe for my Maverick remote thermometer set, and into the smoker they went.
From there, I followed the normal process of 120 degrees for an hour, then starting to add smoke and bring the temp up over time to 160 degrees. About 12 hours later, with an IT of 152 degrees, out they came. After a cold water bath bringing these sausages down to 100 degrees, on the hangers they went for an hour or so of “blooming”. Then into the fridge overnight.
After a thorough trial of the small sausage I finally got the good ol’ summer sausage tang I’m used to from Wisconsin. In my opinion, the taste is right up there with Usingers! Their next stop, Thanksgiving cheese and sausage plate……
My thanks to everyone that helped get me to this point!!!