Korean BBQ inspired sausage
I made a version of a Korean marinade for BBQ. Because the meat was already a bit too salty, I used a mix of sweet soy sauce and low-sodium soy sauce. AND, because I used sweet soy sauce, I didn't add any additional sugar. Typically, Asian pear juice (or shredded Asian pear) is used, but I skipped that because it is primarily a tenderizer (not needed) and because I didn't have an Asian pear handy. I added fish sauce for some additional umami.
I was going for bold flavors to stand up to the smoke.
Quite the pan-Asian selection! Indonesian sweet soy; Chinese-style soy; Japanese rice vinegar & sesame oil; Thai fish sauce; and Korean-style pepper flakes.
For 5 pounds of meat:
1/2 cup - sweet soy sauce
1/2 cup - low sodim soy sauce
1/4 cup - rice wine vinegar (seasoned - roasted garlic)
1/4 cup - sesame oil
2 tablespoon - fish sauce
1/2 cup - green onion, thinly sliced
2.5 tablespoon - garlic, minced
2 teaspoon - gochugaru Korean pepper flakes
Note: I used half of this for 2.5 pounds of meat and reserved the remainder for a dipping sauce for the finished sausages.
I mixed this with the meat (very wet!) and refrigerated overnight.
I used sheep casings and made very short links (about 2.5"). This was intended as a cold snacking sausage. I had a lot of trouble with the sheep casings breaking and getting small holes. They were packed in dry salt. I only rehydrated them for a day (which has worked for me in the past with hog casings) but that clearly wasn't enough, despite them feeling very silky and looking nice and white.
Because there were a half dozen links with small leaks, I decided to vacuum bag them before putting them in the sous vide bath. (I had that problem once when all of my sausages fell apart when I was boiling them.) After sous vide for 2 hours at 150, I froze half and put the other half in the smoker. All of the links separated, so I couldn't hang them and just put them on a rack.
I cold smoked for an hour (cherry wood) and then smoked for an hour each at 130 and 150. (Total smoke - 3 hours)
Note: I was going to stuff all four sausage types and smoke them yesterday, but after the difficulty with the sheep casings, I postponed the rest. I will do the jalapeno/cheddar and Southwestern sausages today in hog casings, and the breakfast sausages tomorrow in the sheep casings. Hopefully three days soaking will be enough for the sheep casings!
Even though I only did three hours total smoke time, I still felt that these sausages were too smoky. The Korean flavor that was so evident in the test patty was overwhelmed by the smoke. I've always thought that electric smokers (I have the Bradley digital) imparted less smoke per unit time than offset or other smokers. I think I'll back off to 2 hours when I do flavored sausages.
Next up: jalapeno/cheddar
Edited by Shyzabrau - 4/20/17 at 10:00am