I thought an interim report on my thoughts to date might help.
We started out wanting a large diameter and firmer cold smoked Poiish sausage with large chunks of meat so we modeled it on Szynkowa. The only stuffer we have is a 5 lb LEM and I felt limited in chunk size by the largest of the tubes for it-about 7/8" ID-so caution led me to 1/2 cubes of lean boneless pork loin.
I used a 12.4 lb loin and due to the amount that was trimmed to get clean lean cubes with no fat or connective tissues I would up at about 60% lean cubes and 40% of the fatty trim and meat that had marbling or connective tissue. The cubes and chunks kept separate and mixed with the Cure #2 and let sit for 2 days or so in a 38-40 degree fridge to cure through.
The original cold smoked Polish sausage recipe in my copy of Marianski's Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages called for 28 grams of salt per kilo of meat which we knew would be far saltier than we liked. I eventually settled on 18g/kg of salt. I now suspect that the fat content was well below the target figure of 30%. The roughly 40% fatty trimmings I wound up with contained a fair amount of lean, too. At any rate, here's what we made ( guessing a bit at the fat content):
Per kilogram of meat:
600 g lean cubes
200 g ground lean
200 g ground fat
Next time, regardless of how it happens, we'll ensure something more like 30% total fat.
Salt 18 g 12g next time (see below for more info)
Cure #2 2.5g
Coarse black pepper 2.0g
Granulated garlic 1.8g
Dried Marjoram 1.0g
We ground the trim through a 3/16 plate, mixed thoroughly with the seasonings and water until sticky and then stuffed into 42mm hog casings. It was cold smoked over hickory for 5 hours at 50 degrees and let it air dry at that temperature for another 24 hours. It probably lost 8-10% in weight from drying. Next time I'll weight it after stuffing and after drying to get a better feel for what's happening.
We grilled a link over lump charcoal last night and the flavor was great. The texture was what we wanted, firmer than a normal sausage with a great bite but a bit too dry due to the low fat content. It is still saltier than we like so that will be cut again to about 12g/kg in the next batch along with adding some fat as needed to get to around the 30% level.
We also found that my concerns over the relative size of the lean cubes and the stuffing tube were unfounded. 3/4: cubes would have worked fine and will try that next if I use that stuffing tube. Alternatively, the 1/2 chunks would stuff into a casing in the 26mm range with no problem.
The other thing we noticed is that the filling tended to crack around the chunks when cooked. If you double click on the last picture above you can see what I mean. I'm thinking that the next time I'll run some lean trough a 1/16 plate or even make a paste of some lean in the food processor to up the free protein level and see if that helps. I've never used TVP, soy concentrates, NFDM etc before and if anyone with experience with them thinks they might help the issue or has other ideas, please speak up.
Happily, the most important part of all this was achieved. Nancy loved it and wants more so life is good.
Well, that's it for now. I'll post back after making the changes on the next batch.
I have three butts in the basement calling my name and it's time to fire up a bowl cutter and make something emulsified. I've been thinking for some time of of making a large batch of meat batter and then dividing it and seasoning the portions for coneys, franks and hot dogs so it's time to give it a whirl.......
I'm off to the basement to check my casing hoard to see if I need to order any for them.
Have a great day!