Country Style Bologna ~ Cold Smoked ~ Sous Vide Finish

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thirdeye

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Dec 1, 2019
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The Cowboy State - Wyoming
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Years ago I gave up on emulsified meat for my frankfurters in lieu of a double-grind of my pork and beef.... and since they are similar products the same holds true for bologna. This weekend I tweaked my frankfurter recipe and made two chubs of bologna to test out. My recipe has about 15 ingredients making this most 'complex' sausage I make. I wanted a little more heat so I added cracked black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the white pepper already in the recipe. Plus I did 6 hours of cold smoke followed by a sous vide finish. I'm very pleased with the outcome.

I used a 60:40 mix of pork butt/beef chuck, then added a generous handful of cubed sirloin. I used a double grind, first through a medium plate, then through a fine plate. The seasoned meat rested in the fridge about 30 hours and was stuffed into 2.5" fibrous casings. Next was a 6 hour cold smoke with an A-Maze-N tube, then another overnight rest. The last step was a sous vide finish. I started off at 100° and over an hour ramped the water temp up to 150°. Then I did a 3-hour cook time followed by 1-hour in an ice bath.
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I didn't catch any of the sirloin cubes in these first slices, but there was about 3/4# in the mix.
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EDIT - Here is the recipe... comments welcomed.
EDIT 2 1-16-2020: The taste testing is over and I thought I would share the comments and my changes for next time. There was unanimous thumbs up in the texture and moistness department. On the flavor side everyone liked the 3-pepper component and the combination of the signature spices was fine. The number one negative comment was the saltiness was too bland and needs to be increased. A couple of folks thought a little more garlic would help too. I'll put an asterisk in the recipe below to indicate the changes. Next time: The cubed sirloin is good, but I went too light I will increase that. I also want to add mustard seeds, I have both yellow and brown. I will definitely increase the salt, and maybe add fresh garlic, but keep the garlic powder where it is.

~thirdeye's~ Country Style Bologna (check out Edit 2)

60:40 pork/beef with some cubed sirloin

Meat Weight in Pounds:1
Ingredientgrams/lb
Sharp Paprika1.40
Dry Mustard1.70
Onion Powder1.40
Roasted Garlic Powder3.00* (see above)
Mace0.40
Coriander0.50
Cardamon0.40
Ground Celery Seed0.70
Canning Salt5.20* (see above)
White Pepper1.70
Black pepper (cracked)1.70
Nutmeg0.50
Red Chile Flakes0.50
Dry Milk (NFDM)15.60
Corn Syrup6.50
Cure #1 (pink salt)1.15
Liquid Smoke (apple)1.00
 
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Looks great Thirdeye! I‘m gong ready to either make some bologna or hotdogs and have been looking at different ways to cook/smoke them. I think I’m going with your method. When you sous vide them did they go right into the water or did you vac bag them?
 
Looks great Thirdeye! I‘m gong ready to either make some bologna or hotdogs and have been looking at different ways to cook/smoke them. I think I’m going with your method. When you sous vide them did they go right into the water or did you vac bag them?
I put them into a 2.5 gallon zipper bag along with some sous vide weights. Initially I did one because I wanted to test the smoke level. I liked it... so I have the second chub in the water bath right now. My first thought was that I would do another cold smoke on the second chub (but it was a 3# one), then it dawned on me that with so many ingredients, I didn't want to risk over-smoking and masking anything. Maybe on my next batch I'll make a small chub and give it more smoke time.
 
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Looks very good. That salt is a bit low. About 7g per pound would be 1.5% salt. That’s what I usually go for. How was that fried bologna sammie?
 
Looks great, but why the liquid smoke and cold smoke?
Good question. When I researched frankfurter (hot dog) recipes the majority called for liquid smoke, I initially thought the liquid smoke was a shortcut since many true frankfurter recipes call for smoking. But after side-by-side taste testing, the liquid smoke brings something to the party. Now, in all fairness maybe the hod dog industry has trained our taste buds, and the apple flavored liquid smoke is not harsh like the hickory or mesquite. I use a moderate amount to avoid the instant taste bud alert when that product is used.

I normally hot smoke my frankfurters and really like them. The outside temperature was perfect for cold smoking, I had not used the FB casings for quite some time, plus I planned on a sous vide finish. No other reason. Here are some of my frankfurters, essentially the same recipe but stuffed in sheep gut and hot smoked.
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Looks very good. That salt is a bit low. About 7g per pound would be 1.5% salt. That’s what I usually go for. How was that fried bologna sammie?
For years I have been experimenting with lower salt in my brines, bacon and salt in general, but you are correct the amount here was too low. I think your recommendation will pull things back in line. It's funny but we did a taste test after mixing, then another before stuffing, but we fried those. The low salt is much more noticeable when eating a cold slice.

And yes, we've been enjoying fried bologna sandwiches or as an appetizer with several mustards on the side.
 
Interesting Thirdeye, I might do a taste test with some in the near future. Thanks
 
Very Nice Bologna, and a great write up! Dan asked my question. And I like 1.25~1.3% salt in emulsified sausages. I also add phosphates along with the NFDM....helps with the emulsion stability
 
Very Nice Bologna, and a great write up! Dan asked my question. And I like 1.25~1.3% salt in emulsified sausages. I also add phosphates along with the NFDM....helps with the emulsion stability
Mine is not emulsified, but that shouldn't matter. I almost added some AmesPhos but wanted to see the results of the controlled temp in the water bath. The AmesPhos instructions are:

Suggested usage levels:
One third to one half of one percent (0.3 to 0.5%) of the finished product weight.
For home sausage making: Use approximately one fourth to one half teaspoon per pound of meat. Dissolve the phosphate in water before mixing into the meat mixture. Mix into meat until well distributed, mix for approximately five minutes.


What amounts of phosphates are you using?
 
I am using 0.25% but it's TSPP, tri sodium Poly phosphate. I get it through a butcher supply shop here locally, $2.00/# but I have to buy 5# at a time. Dissolve in warm water first, stir until solution is clear, then chill with ice to mix in meat paste.
 
I am using 0.25% but it's TSPP, tri sodium Poly phosphate. I get it through a butcher supply shop here locally, $2.00/# but I have to buy 5# at a time. Dissolve in warm water first, stir until solution is clear, then chill with ice to mix in meat paste.

Well that's easy to remember since it's the same % as Cure #1. Here is the full write-up on AmesPhos, it appears to be a blend too.

16 oz. Amesphos, specialty sodium triphosphate blend for meats, seafood and poultry.

AmesPhos improves texture, maintains that fresh-made taste, and reduces bacteria.

Phosphates are used in a wide range of processed meat, poultry and seafood in which they perform several functions. Phosphates improve the retention of natural fluids in the animal muscle that would otherwise be lost in the aging, cooking or freezing process. They also act as protein solubilizers to aid in binding processed meats. Their presence results in improved texture, flavor and color.

Due to a unique instantizing process and the combination of short and long chain phosphates, AmesPhos will dissolve completely at temperatures as low as 20 F and in the presence of salt. Additionally, AmesPhos will dissolve completely in hard water and will not cause phosphate precipitation.

Specifications:
Combination of: Sodium Tripolyphosphate; Sodium Pyrophosphate and Sodium Hexametaphosphate
Appearance: White granular powder

Advantages:

  • Improved cooked flavor.
  • Reduced loss of meat fluids.
  • Increased tenderness and juiciness
  • Improved firmer texture
  • Better and faster color development
Suggested usage levels:
One third to one half of one percent (0.3 to 0.5%) of the finished product weight.

For home sausage making: Use approximately one fourth to one half teaspoon per pound of meat. Dissolve the phosphate in water before mixing into the meat mixture. Mix into meat until well distributed, mix for approximately five minutes.

For dipping or soaking applications: AmesPhos is dissolved in water (5.0 to 7.0 % solution at 60 to 70 F, typically). Solution concentration will vary by application. The solution should be chilled, (33 to 35 F, typically) prior to use. The product is then dipped into the solution. This method is used primarily for seafood (scallops, shrimp, fish fillets, approx. a 2 minute dip.) and poultry (marinating of strips or breasts, 6 to 8 hour marinating). The age of the seafood will affect moisture retention so it is important to minimize any delay between harvest and phosphate treatment. Ask us about other marinades and pumping applications for meat, poultry and seafood.
 
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