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Smoked Rope

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
No....not the hemp rope the old cowpokes smoked around the campfire late at night......cold smoked breakfast sausage.

It started with Monday's newspaper. A local store was selling butts sliced into pork steaks for 89 cents per pound. So I opt for two of the bigger ones I find in the case:

As an aside, the little bottle of sage I needed to fill out the spices was over $5 PDT_Armataz_01_19.gif

Butt as for the butts, I find they trim out about 90% or so. I really don't understand why, but for some reason, it takes me almost an hour to bone, trim and cut up a couple butts to do this. If I had to do this for a living, I'd have to pick up some speed or find another job.

Anyway, once the final amount is weighed, spices mixed in and chilled, it goes through the grinder. In this case, an Enterprise #12.

There were 12 pounds and it took 12 minutes to grind, including the time spent snapping photos. I only grind it once. As this was being smoked.....even for a cold smoke..... after the grind, I mixed in two cups of ice water with 2 tsp of Insta Cure with the nitrite in it. Then on to the stuffer.

I'm still using the old Enterprise 8 qt my folks gave me. It cleaned up well, but as I understand it, the "black" stuff they used on these was japanning, which is some voodoo stuff I would not want to eat off of, so to eliminate food contact (and cleanup) I line the stuffer with a plastic freezer bag.

I have used a two gallon size in the past, this time I found 2.5 gallon Hefty zipper locks. Even more better. I was able to fit nearly 8 pounds in one bag:

Through the stuffer:

Interesting deal on the casings. Store that sells the butts also makes brats, etc. and will sell these casings in bulk. They were $8 a pound, but I got enough to do this batch for $1.50. A partial hank, all in one piece.....must have been over 15 feet, cleaned, wet and ready to slide on the stuffing tube. And good quality casings too. My new favorite way of buying casings!

This was then cold smoked in the UDS for about 3 hours. Cold smoking like this doesn't cook anything. It's only for the smoke flavor. It was chilly out this morning, starting at around 50, and in the UDS, there is enough volume for the heat to disperse and not matter much. But the drum fills with smoke and you get a good flavor. For this, I prefer apple chips.

Final product, which is still a fresh breakfast sausage:

To cook, you put the sausage in a small skillet with a little less than 1/4 inch of water in the pan. Heat is med/low and let it cook until the water is all gone. What fat is in the sausage then remains for the sausage to brown in (if it's really lean, you need to add a few drops of cooking oil).

And 15 packages of frozen rope for the future:

Thanks for looking!
post #2 of 11
Great looking sausage Hog Warden....
post #3 of 11
Buy sage at a bulk foods store and you will get more than you can carry for $5.00 plus it is usually fresher than the stuff in the little bottles.
post #4 of 11
Nice looking sausage - amazing what you can turn out even with older equipment - some of it is better than the new stuff
post #5 of 11
Looks awesome nice job PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #6 of 11
Man that looks awesome and yet again I have the hankering to make sausage but I don't think I can cut it up that small with a knife. But you did a heck of a job there Hog warden. Keep it up it looks great.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
That "older" equipment is how it's been done at home for close to 100 years. That stuffer came out of my folks basement and they bought it used in the 50's. Same with the #22 grinder I got from them. I did remove the ultra scary motor setup they used to use. I wouldn't stand near it running and my hand/eye coordination isn't good enough to toss the meat in from 5 feet away. But they were butchering 2 or 3 hogs at the same time, so they needed the horsepower (I was still in diapers or I'm sure I would have been pressed into service).

Having said that, I wouldn't buy one of those used cast iron stuffers. I'd get a nice stainless one. But it works for me and the price was right. For batches of 10 pounds or less, I would buy one of those grinders....with the hand crank. icon_wink.gif
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm in a town of 100,000. Not saying we don't have a bulk foods store, but if we do, I'm not aware of it. I wish we did....it's where I would go. It's also something to be on the lookout for when I travel.

ALL of our larger grocery stores have bulk foods and spices and I was in one today looking around. Sage is not one of their choices. In fact, in the spice section, they had at least 4 and maybe 5 spice brand selections and sage was present in only two of them. I was shocked to see little .4 oz bottles of the Tones brand selling for 99 cents. Two of those would total $2, which is less than half what I had to pay at the pork butt store for .8 oz.

Mail order is an option....but as the lady I'm married to sometimes reminds me.....hey, lighten up........this is 12 pounds of sausage.....not rocket surgery. biggrin.gif
post #9 of 11
Great Job, PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

I have several of the old crank grinders, The largest is a #32 Porkert that I just bought it New on eBay for $9.00, it cost $27.00 to ship. LOL

I also have a #22 and Several #12s plus a plethora of small food grinders, I started collecting them in the 1980s...
post #10 of 11
Ya my parents had them too. When they retired nearly 30 years ago they got rid of all of it except for a paring knife that they have sharpened so many times on one of those drag thru disc sharpeners that it now looks like a rainbow rather than a blade and I can not get it out of their hands LOL - I love the older stuff but no where to put it. Garage is full of old catering equipment - may start using when I retire next year
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
GnuBee hit this one out of the park.....600 feet to dead center field.

Driving by a second food store.....not one of the more elaborate ones, but one I knew had bulk foods and spices.......I find a full (meaning fresh) bin of ground sage selling for $5.79 a pound. After seeing how much a pound was, I stopped at 1/4 pound......$1.45 worth. It's fresh. It's been riding in the front seat with me for the past hour or so and all I can smell is that fresh sage.

Based on a recipe Pops offered....if I understood the ratios correctly.....I've now got enough sage to do nearly 500 pounds of trimmed and cubed shoulders.......roughly 100 butts!

Bulk spices it is! (and they had them all....up to and maybe including "eye of newt")

Not sure how to keep them fresh, but I'm going to give vacuum bags in the freezer a try.
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