Another installment of the "awesome pork sale" sausage-making marathon - this time, ring bologna.
My father-in-law lives to hunt, fish, and... hunt. He had some venison roasts in the freezer, and asked me if we could make something out of them. Absolutely, yes, we can, and we did. None of the recipes we looked at hit the spot quite right, so we took Rytek's as a starting point, and tweaked it a little bit. We made 15 lbs, but the recipe below is for 5 lbs. In order to get a nice, even mixture of seasonings and cure in the meat, I almost always make batches in multiples of 5 lbs.
- 2.5 lbs fine-ground venison
- 2.5 lbs 80/20 fine-ground pork
- 1 tsp Instacure #1 (dissolved in 2-3 ounces water)
- 2 Tbsp non-iodized table salt
- 1 cup ice water
- 2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup Nonfat Dried Milk Powder
This was stuffed into some 40mm x 18" collagen casings for ring bologna that are already curved. These are STRANGE. It's kind of like stuffing meat into a yellow-clear bicycle tire tube. They're a little thick and pretty rubbery. The casings were prepared by soaking in hot water for 5 or so minutes, and then tied at one end with butcher's twine. 15 lbs made 12 rings, with a little left for a test-fry. My smoker is big enough for a run of 6, so I smoked them in two batches.
Stuffed and resting to normalize and dry before smoking:
These were smoked with whiskey barrel oak with the following method:
- Preheat smoker to 130F
- Hang rings from top rack. Cook at 130F until internal temp 100F. No smoke.
- Apply smoke for 2.5 hours, dampers 3/4 closed at 150F. (IT at end of smoke was about 135F)
- Raise temp to 170F and cook until IT 155F.
- Pull and cool in cold water bath until below 100F
- Bloom at room temp for 2 hours.
Talk about an amazing color transformation! The pic was even before a full bloom!
Haven't eaten one of these yet, but the test-fry patty was awesome. There was enough pepper in our recipe to give a little bit of heat, and enough garlic and onion to be present, but not PRESENT, FRONT AND CENTER. We're happy with this for a "standard" ring bologna. We'll bump up the garlic and maybe add some mustard seed (whole and/or ground) for a spiced up version. Might look at formulating another version, too, with some other flavors as a third alternative.
My father-in-law helped grind, mix, and stuff this, and was his first ever sausage-making experience. It will NOT be his last. He had a good time, and, come deer season this year, we'll be busy. This was really a proof-of-concept run to show him we can do good things with venison, and to pilot test the recipe ahead of a big production run when he goes all out on the deer population in the fall. Usually, he gets about 100 lbs of venison processed into summer sausage and ring bologna every year. He's talking about pulling all of that from the butcher he usually goes to, and just having me do it. Tall order... but we'll manage. We'll dial in exactly the flavor he's looking for, and give him a bigger variety in smaller quantities.
edited to correct the casing size
Edited by Ragnar - 2/22/16 at 3:27pm