Dried italian sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by nogoer, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    The wife was perusing facebook last friday night and i happen to catch a glimpse of one of her friends posting about his sausage exploits. Naturally i jumped over and started prodding with questions about who and what. Turns out it's the brother of a friend of hers from high school that she keeps in contact with who was making some dried italian sausage from a recipe his grandmother passed down.

    The preceding hour was spent going back and forth with texts, facebook questions and eventually a phone call in an attempt to get a recipe. As with most verbally passed down recipes there was a massive amount of vague ingredients and techniques. Gathered all up it was something like pork, heavy on the salt, crushed red pepper, black pepper and garlic. All mixed up, stuffed into casings then hung up to dry for 2 weeks. He also mentioned something about it then being put it oil for long term storage.

    Now this guy is younger late 20s to early 30s and a third generation italian meaning his parents were born in italy even though he grew up here in CT. He is carrying on a family tradition of this sausage and i think thats awesome!

    I had about a pounds worth of pork in the freezer and figure i might as well give it a try. Drawing from every ounce of my experience i took what he said and put it into this recipe. Amounts are for 1 pound and the fat ratio is purely due to me only have a small amount of pork on hand.

    10.5 oz lean pork chop

    5.5 oz pork fat

    1 TBSP flake salt

    1 tsp black pepper

    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

    2 medium garlic cloves

    1/4 tsp cure #2 (scant)

    I mixed this all up very well in my stand mixer. Instructions were to let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours then stuff and hang for two weeks. Warnings were given to make sure no links were anywhere near touching. If they get slimy things didn't go too well and they should just be cooked and eaten or tossed. He also said that they might get a powdery substance on them which i figured was white mold but with as much salt as it has it could be dried salt. Drying was to be done in a breezy place, he was using his garage as he had 35 pounds of it.

    Tonight i stuff and will hang them in a corner of the kitchen and update my results. I didn't get very good details about grinding or mixing textures and had to go on my experience. Not sure if i over mixed since some of these sausages are supposed to have larger chunks for texture. I'll find out form him if my process resulted in the correct result once its done.

    Ground up and ready to mix in spices.


    Mixed and ready for overnight cure rest period

  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you do a test fry before you stuffed it?. Frying and tasting a sample will give you a chance to adjust your seasoning if needed.  Looking forward to the finished results.
  3. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    No i didn't test a sample. It's only 1lb worth and this is more to prove the technique and end product. The salt was really the only unknown seasoning but thats so heavy because it's the main curing/drying agent. The rest of the seasoning i used amounts i knew were good from other sausages i've made.
  4. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Good luck
  5. dave54

    dave54 Smoking Fanatic

    sounds like you have a soppressata recipe .

     Cylcetrash and I hooked up with a Italian friend

    a while back and he showed us how he made his

      It was so good we made 50 pounds of it and plan on making

    more here soon
  6. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    OK you have to finish this one up because I am very interested....but it does scare me a little...[​IMG]
  7. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cure #2 is for dry cure sausage, hams and such.
    Doing a test fry will give you a taste of what it wont taste like after the drying process.
  8. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Is that srcasim [​IMG]

    The guy who gave me the recipe does do a fry test but only to get a feeling of wether theres enough salt or not. This is not something i could ever hope to acheive without guidance from him or his parents. He did ask his father for a salt amount but the best he got was "about" a tablespoon. I stuffed and hung these last night, but i forgot to grab the pic i took before i left this morning. They look almost like bratwurst because of the pale pork chops i had used and the 30+ percent fat ratio i ended up with.

    The more i think about it the more i think i shouldn't have mixed so much, although i would prefer a much finer texture to that of the sopresattas i have had in the past.
  9. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Another 13 days and a few hours and it should be all done. Everyone will just have to wait like i have to [​IMG]
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]   Need a big box for this one!
  11. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Meanwhile  I will do [​IMG]And [​IMG]and and and[​IMG]
  12. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You will like what you make way better than store bought.

    Here is a what you will get.



  13. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Sorry it took so long, but i wound up getting real busy with a few batches of homebrew and preparing for an overdue vacation. Vacation was good timing, it forced me to wait an extra week on this sausage and it's ending right when it's time to keg a fresh batch of steam beer. Below is a pic of the second day of drying. Now that it's been almost three weeks it is starting to look like Nepa's picture. However i think i over mixed and under stuffed, at 2.5 weeks it was still a little soft in the middle. I don't have it drying in the most ideal place, which is adding time to it, but it still feels too soft. I'm not sure the casing is going to shrink up enough before it hardens and tightens the whole thing. If it does it will be interesting because it's going to be very narrow i think. I will know better once i get home on sat how well it went.

    In the pick it looks like bratwurst! However by the time of the post it has darkend a little, it never will be red due to the pale pork chop meat and high fat content though. It has also straightened out a lot, which i never thought it would do because as you can see the one was very curved. I have had a lot of various dried sausages, but i am very, very curious to know how this one is going to taste. It could be very bland, cause as smokers we all know these "choice" cuts of meat are the worst at flavor. However i am really hoping it has a unique good flavor as i have never seen whitish dried sausage before!

  14. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Here's a pic of the sausages current state. Next time i need to find a draftier place. While it's hardened a lot i am still able to squeeze it some and it still feels a,little soft in the middle.

  15. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  16. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  17. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I 'm real curious on how these two come out in the end.  can't say I ever seen one that white.
  18. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    I think this weekend im going to cut into one of them and see what it looks like. They will have been hanging for a month by then. If it's still soft i will leave the other one alone and let it go for another week or two. They very well could be soft still because of not being stuffed tight enough. I may cut into it and find a shriveled up center core. that or the casing has shrunk as far as it will and hardened which wouldn't allow the core to continue drying.
  19. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Finally cut into these and found out i seriously need to re-evaluate my stuffing techniques. They were still soft not because they hadn't dried fully, but because they had air pockets still and were not packed tight enough. Cut into one and found a giant void inside too. Not sure where the breakdown in my technique i, but it's probably somewhere in how i'm packing the stuffer. I did have a blowout though and had to restuff one link almost completely by hand.


  20. killnsmoke

    killnsmoke Smoke Blower

    did you eat it???

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