Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage

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geostriata

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May 18, 2021
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This marks sausage #6 of #7 from SausageFest 2024. Thanks to SmokinEdge SmokinEdge for the recommendation, and H HushyQ who provided the reference post.

My implementation of the original recipe is pretty much verbatim, except that I was a bit light on the cheese (which turned out to be a blessing) and I doubled the jalapeno quantity used (based on a comment I saw in the thread).

So, the recipe is:

For every lb of meat (50% brisket point, 50% pork shoulder):
  • 8.1g salt
  • 2g Black Pepper
  • 1.1g Cure #1
  • 3.1g Granulated Garlic
  • 0.8 g Granulated Onion
  • 1.9g paprika
  • 2.5g mustard powder
  • 2.5g mustard seed
  • 0.4g cayenne
  • 5.5g Milk Powder
  • 4g dehydrated jalapeños w seeds
  • 45g Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar (Measure _after_ cutting into 1/4 cubes and drying in fridge for 2-3 days)
  • 34.2g water
To start, I diced the cheese and placed into the fridge. 2-3 days later, I pulled it out and it looked like this:

1718757452378.png


Now that the cheese is done, I can get started on the recipe. Moving on to the meat...

1718756838438.png


The above is 6.82lbs of meat.

As usual, I separated the lean chunks of beef from the fattier chunks and same for the pork, but being much more casual about fat when it comes to pork. I find this is so much easier and quicker than 100% separating fat from lean, especially on something like brisket point or pork shoulder/butt. It also leads to less tiny scrap bits of meat, and when partially frozen like this, the touch of lean on the fattier bits helps pull the fat through a bit. I think leads to a better grind overall.

1718757260975.png


I used the 10mm plate on the lean pork (bottom right) and lean beef (bottom left), and the 4.5mm plate on the fattier bits. This follows a common Mariansky practice of ensuring all beef fat is ground a bit fine while also emphasizing the texture of the meat with the coarse grind. I love this combo so much I'm pretty much doing it every time.

1718757406768.png


Here are all the ingredients.
1718757542983.png


I got a bit cocky this time on the mix, and wasn't as thorough as I normally was. As such, I did have about 10% fat out in the end (due to an inconsistent extraction, likely on the edges of the mixing bowl). The sausage gods do not abide cockiness...

1718757643954.png


Then got to stuffing. I hate to have things come undone, and I don't like to worry too much while handling the links, so I'm still using the twine training wheels. Better safe than sorry. I let these rest in the fridge overnight.

1718757725388.png


The post-stuffing sausage patty ritual didn't work out as well as it normally does. I mean, it's still delicious, but the presence of the cheese made it harder to sear without also burning the cheese. Still tasted great though.

Next day, I dried for 1hr at 105, and then smoked for 3-4hrs at 140F

1718757796607.png


Here are the links after smoking. A LOVELY red color!

1718757887786.png

Here's what they look like after a 30min sous vide at 153F, and resting at room temp for ~1hr.

1718757976427.png


Here's the cut shot after grilling (I need to start doing this step with a sharper knife, lol).

Again I love how red these links are! I'm really not sure what caused it this time. The paprika? Did I smoke em for longer than usual? Either way, this turned into a new favorite. I've been happily eating the 'slight fat out' rejects all week and saved the good ones for the party.
 
Last edited:
I used block cheddar a few times in my jalapeno cheddar smokies, but I've since switched to processed cheese. Seems to give it a creamier texture and it doesn't melt out as bad. Great looking links there
 
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I used block cheddar a few times in my jalapeno cheddar smokies, but I've since switched to processed cheese. Seems to give it a creamier texture and it doesn't melt out as bad. Great looking links there
Interesting! I found that the cheese came out correctly (it wasn't a melted mess), and you can see the discrete chunks of cheese in the cuts above. But I found myself not really liking the textural inconsistency/contrast as much. Chunks of meat is one thing, but I think a cheesier chunk of meat might be better. I can see how a processed cheese might accomplish that... (but then I'd also worry about it tasting like Kraft mac and sausage).
 
I used block cheddar a few times in my jalapeno cheddar smokies, but I've since switched to processed cheese. Seems to give it a creamier texture and it doesn't melt out as bad. Great looking links there
What type of processed cheese are you using? When I hear "processed" I think of american cheese but it turns to liquid pretty quick. Even so it does hold together and doesn't break like regular cheeses so maybe it works?
 
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This marks sausage #6 of #7 from SausageFest 2024. Thanks to SmokinEdge SmokinEdge for the recommendation, and H HushyQ who provided the reference post.

My implementation of the original recipe is pretty much verbatim, except that I was a bit light on the cheese (which turned out to be a blessing) and I doubled the jalapeno quantity used (based on a comment I saw in the thread).

So, the recipe is:

For every lb of meat (50% brisket point, 50% pork shoulder):
  • 8.1g salt
  • 2g Black Pepper
  • 1.1g Cure #1
  • 3.1g Granulated Garlic
  • 0.8 g Granulated Onion
  • 1.9g paprika
  • 2.5g mustard powder
  • 2.5g mustard seed
  • 0.4g cayenne
  • 5.5g Milk Powder
  • 4g dehydrated jalapeños w seeds
  • 45g Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar (Measure _after_ cutting into 1/4 cubes and drying in fridge for 2-3 days)
  • 34.2g water
To start, I diced the cheese and placed into the fridge. 2-3 days later, I pulled it out and it looked like this:

View attachment 699052

Now that the cheese is done, I can get started on the recipe. Moving on to the meat...

View attachment 699047

The above is 6.82lbs of meat.

As usual, I separated the lean chunks of beef from the fattier chunks and same for the pork, but being much more casual about fat when it comes to pork. I find this is so much easier and quicker than 100% separating fat from lean, especially on something like brisket point or pork shoulder/butt. It also leads to less tiny scrap bits of meat, and when partially frozen like this, the touch of lean on the fattier bits helps pull the fat through a bit. I think leads to a better grind overall.

View attachment 699048

I used the 10mm plate on the lean pork (bottom right) and lean beef (bottom left), and the 4.5mm plate on the fattier bits. This follows a common Mariansky practice of ensuring all beef fat is ground a bit fine while also emphasizing the texture of the meat with the coarse grind. I love this combo so much I'm pretty much doing it every time.

View attachment 699051

Here are all the ingredients.
View attachment 699053

I got a bit cocky this time on the mix, and wasn't as thorough as I normally was. As such, I did have about 10% fat out in the end (due to an inconsistent extraction, likely on the edges of the mixing bowl). The sausage gods do not abide cockiness...

View attachment 699054

Then got to stuffing. I hate to have things come undone, and I don't like to worry too much while handling the links, so I'm still using the twine training wheels. Better safe than sorry. I let these rest in the fridge overnight.

View attachment 699055

The post-stuffing sausage patty ritual didn't work out as well as it normally does. I mean, it's still delicious, but the presence of the cheese made it harder to sear without also burning the cheese. Still tasted great though.

Next day, I dried for 1hr at 105, and then smoked for 3-4hrs at 140F

View attachment 699056

Here are the links after smoking. A LOVELY red color!

View attachment 699057
Here's what they look like after a 30min sous vide at 153F, and resting at room temp for ~1hr.

View attachment 699058

Here's the cut shot after grilling (I need to start doing this step with a sharper knife, lol).

Again I love how red these links are! I'm really not sure what caused it this time. The paprika? Did I smoke em for longer than usual? Either way, this turned into a new favorite. I've been happily eating the 'slight fat out' rejects all week and saved the good ones for the party.
That looks incredible! I hope to be able to make something like that one day. I really like the idea of a course grind on the lean. Course sausages are my favorite.
Thanks for posting all these threads! They look amazing
 
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That looks incredible! I hope to be able to make something like that one day. I really like the idea of a course grind on the lean. Course sausages are my favorite.
Thanks for posting all these threads! They look amazing
Yes! A fellow coarse-grind enthusiast!

You could even take it a step further and do a 1/2 grind, 1/2 dice like I I-am-Chorizo does with his St. Rose Chorizo. I was dubious at first, but now I'm a believer :)

And thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying the threads!
 
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This marks sausage #6 of #7 from SausageFest 2024. Thanks to SmokinEdge SmokinEdge for the recommendation, and H HushyQ who provided the reference post.

My implementation of the original recipe is pretty much verbatim, except that I was a bit light on the cheese (which turned out to be a blessing) and I doubled the jalapeno quantity used (based on a comment I saw in the thread).

So, the recipe is:

For every lb of meat (50% brisket point, 50% pork shoulder):
  • 8.1g salt
  • 2g Black Pepper
  • 1.1g Cure #1
  • 3.1g Granulated Garlic
  • 0.8 g Granulated Onion
  • 1.9g paprika
  • 2.5g mustard powder
  • 2.5g mustard seed
  • 0.4g cayenne
  • 5.5g Milk Powder
  • 4g dehydrated jalapeños w seeds
  • 45g Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar (Measure _after_ cutting into 1/4 cubes and drying in fridge for 2-3 days)
  • 34.2g water
To start, I diced the cheese and placed into the fridge. 2-3 days later, I pulled it out and it looked like this:

View attachment 699052

Now that the cheese is done, I can get started on the recipe. Moving on to the meat...

View attachment 699047

The above is 6.82lbs of meat.

As usual, I separated the lean chunks of beef from the fattier chunks and same for the pork, but being much more casual about fat when it comes to pork. I find this is so much easier and quicker than 100% separating fat from lean, especially on something like brisket point or pork shoulder/butt. It also leads to less tiny scrap bits of meat, and when partially frozen like this, the touch of lean on the fattier bits helps pull the fat through a bit. I think leads to a better grind overall.

View attachment 699048

I used the 10mm plate on the lean pork (bottom right) and lean beef (bottom left), and the 4.5mm plate on the fattier bits. This follows a common Mariansky practice of ensuring all beef fat is ground a bit fine while also emphasizing the texture of the meat with the coarse grind. I love this combo so much I'm pretty much doing it every time.

View attachment 699051

Here are all the ingredients.
View attachment 699053

I got a bit cocky this time on the mix, and wasn't as thorough as I normally was. As such, I did have about 10% fat out in the end (due to an inconsistent extraction, likely on the edges of the mixing bowl). The sausage gods do not abide cockiness...

View attachment 699054

Then got to stuffing. I hate to have things come undone, and I don't like to worry too much while handling the links, so I'm still using the twine training wheels. Better safe than sorry. I let these rest in the fridge overnight.

View attachment 699055

The post-stuffing sausage patty ritual didn't work out as well as it normally does. I mean, it's still delicious, but the presence of the cheese made it harder to sear without also burning the cheese. Still tasted great though.

Next day, I dried for 1hr at 105, and then smoked for 3-4hrs at 140F

View attachment 699056

Here are the links after smoking. A LOVELY red color!

View attachment 699057
Here's what they look like after a 30min sous vide at 153F, and resting at room temp for ~1hr.

View attachment 699058

Here's the cut shot after grilling (I need to start doing this step with a sharper knife, lol).

Again I love how red these links are! I'm really not sure what caused it this time. The paprika? Did I smoke em for longer than usual? Either way, this turned into a new favorite. I've been happily eating the 'slight fat out' rejects all week and saved the good ones for the party.
yum! nice !
 
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Dang it! How do I get on a delivery schedule!?!?!? You are making some great looking sausages!

Jim
Man, I wish! I'd love to be able to share these sausages!

You can try the processed cheese it works fine but to me it makes the sausage to rich and I get tired of eating it. So I prefer sharp cheddar, the sharper the drier and better for sausage, rather than dicing I buy Tillamook Farm shreads and use as is.
Yeah, that makes sense. One of my local butchers makes a "Cheese Bavarian" that I similarly find initially delicious, but it does also get tiring.

For what it was I feel like the sharp cheddar used in the recipe did a good job. I'm thinking instead just omitting the cheese entirely and making it a simple jalapeno sausage. But I also think maybe it'd help to just dial-down the chunk size of the cheese... So if I were to make this again, I think using shredded cheese (exactly like the one you recommend) might work optimally.
 
This marks sausage #6 of #7 from SausageFest 2024. Thanks to SmokinEdge SmokinEdge for the recommendation, and H HushyQ who provided the reference post.

My implementation of the original recipe is pretty much verbatim, except that I was a bit light on the cheese (which turned out to be a blessing) and I doubled the jalapeno quantity used (based on a comment I saw in the thread).

So, the recipe is:

For every lb of meat (50% brisket point, 50% pork shoulder):
  • 8.1g salt
  • 2g Black Pepper
  • 1.1g Cure #1
  • 3.1g Granulated Garlic
  • 0.8 g Granulated Onion
  • 1.9g paprika
  • 2.5g mustard powder
  • 2.5g mustard seed
  • 0.4g cayenne
  • 5.5g Milk Powder
  • 4g dehydrated jalapeños w seeds
  • 45g Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar (Measure _after_ cutting into 1/4 cubes and drying in fridge for 2-3 days)
  • 34.2g water
To start, I diced the cheese and placed into the fridge. 2-3 days later, I pulled it out and it looked like this:

View attachment 699052

Now that the cheese is done, I can get started on the recipe. Moving on to the meat...

View attachment 699047

The above is 6.82lbs of meat.

As usual, I separated the lean chunks of beef from the fattier chunks and same for the pork, but being much more casual about fat when it comes to pork. I find this is so much easier and quicker than 100% separating fat from lean, especially on something like brisket point or pork shoulder/butt. It also leads to less tiny scrap bits of meat, and when partially frozen like this, the touch of lean on the fattier bits helps pull the fat through a bit. I think leads to a better grind overall.

View attachment 699048

I used the 10mm plate on the lean pork (bottom right) and lean beef (bottom left), and the 4.5mm plate on the fattier bits. This follows a common Mariansky practice of ensuring all beef fat is ground a bit fine while also emphasizing the texture of the meat with the coarse grind. I love this combo so much I'm pretty much doing it every time.

View attachment 699051

Here are all the ingredients.
View attachment 699053

I got a bit cocky this time on the mix, and wasn't as thorough as I normally was. As such, I did have about 10% fat out in the end (due to an inconsistent extraction, likely on the edges of the mixing bowl). The sausage gods do not abide cockiness...

View attachment 699054

Then got to stuffing. I hate to have things come undone, and I don't like to worry too much while handling the links, so I'm still using the twine training wheels. Better safe than sorry. I let these rest in the fridge overnight.

View attachment 699055

The post-stuffing sausage patty ritual didn't work out as well as it normally does. I mean, it's still delicious, but the presence of the cheese made it harder to sear without also burning the cheese. Still tasted great though.

Next day, I dried for 1hr at 105, and then smoked for 3-4hrs at 140F

View attachment 699056

Here are the links after smoking. A LOVELY red color!

View attachment 699057
Here's what they look like after a 30min sous vide at 153F, and resting at room temp for ~1hr.

View attachment 699058

Here's the cut shot after grilling (I need to start doing this step with a sharper knife, lol).

Again I love how red these links are! I'm really not sure what caused it this time. The paprika? Did I smoke em for longer than usual? Either way, this turned into a new favorite. I've been happily eating the 'slight fat out' rejects all week and saved the good ones for the party.
Great job, those look amazing!
I think your color is due to that 3'ish hour of smoke applied vs longer but only testing will tell.

So was it correct that "double" the jalapeno was the right way to go? I still have to do my 2nd batch where that is the one definite tweak I would make. I think I also would buy the thick/rustic cut sharp cheddar and dry it out instead of cutting up little cubes and drying them out. I think the shreds will break down small enough in the mixing process to where it may fix the "chunk" of cheese texture situation you mention. I didn't find too much of an issue with the chunks as when I heated/grilled/nuked my links the cheddar would melt a bit and offer a good eating experience BUT I get it if just biting into a cold link hahaha :D
 
Great job, those look amazing!
I think your color is due to that 3'ish hour of smoke applied vs longer but only testing will tell.
Thanks! Yeah, possibly the smoke was a little heaver than usual as I was experimenting with my dust generation (burr grinder vs. soaked pellets in alcohol with dust vs. soak and dehydrate). I'll have to test.

So was it correct that "double" the jalapeno was the right way to go? I still have to do my 2nd batch where that is the one definite tweak I would make. I think I also would buy the thick/rustic cut sharp cheddar and dry it out instead of cutting up little cubes and drying them out. I think the shreds will break down small enough in the mixing process to where it may fix the "chunk" of cheese texture situation you mention. I didn't find too much of an issue with the chunks as when I heated/grilled/nuked my links the cheddar would melt a bit and offer a good eating experience BUT I get it if just biting into a cold link hahaha :D
Yes, absolutely! If I didn't use double the jalapeno, I would've felt like it was not enough. At double the amount from the original recipe, it's just right.

Also yes on the shreds. I think drying the shreds and using those will be the right balance -- noticeable bits of cheese without them being too pronounced, but also not too blended (as I suspect processed cheese would be).
 
Interesting! I found that the cheese came out correctly (it wasn't a melted mess), and you can see the discrete chunks of cheese in the cuts above. But I found myself not really liking the textural inconsistency/contrast as much. Chunks of meat is one thing, but I think a cheesier chunk of meat might be better. I can see how a processed cheese might accomplish that... (but then I'd also worry about it tasting like Kraft mac and sausage).

What type of processed cheese are you using? When I hear "processed" I think of american cheese but it turns to liquid pretty quick. Even so it does hold together and doesn't break like regular cheeses so maybe it works?

Can you explain exactly what you mean by procesed cheese? Velveeta?

Also, nice work G geostriata !


I'm using what you would call American Cheese, though we tend to just refer to it as processed cheese slices in my little slice of heaven. I'm specifically using Sunspun Ribbon Slices in my smokies. I got the idea from Duncan Henry and his episode in Celebrate Sausage S3. Heck he just runs it though the grinder as cubing cheese is a rather tedious chore. I can't be 100% positive on this, but I believe he cites Marianski as his source for the idea.

It does have a fairly low melting point, but it doesn't grease up or break like regular cheddar. It's also readily available and CHEAP. Cheese prices are seemingly controlled by the Mafia here in Canada.

I've used both types of cheese in my smokies, block aged/old and processed. The family and I find the aged block cheddar a bit overpowering compared to the processed. In terms of it being too rich, I'd suggest cutting the amounts down a tad since this is supposed to add to the sausage, not be the sausage.

I'd suggest that one of the easiest ways to find out if it's for you would be to simply add a strip or so to the bun the next time you have a dog.
 
I'm using what you would call American Cheese, though we tend to just refer to it as processed cheese slices in my little slice of heaven. I'm specifically using Sunspun Ribbon Slices in my smokies. I got the idea from Duncan Henry and his episode in Celebrate Sausage S3. Heck he just runs it though the grinder as cubing cheese is a rather tedious chore. I can't be 100% positive on this, but I believe he cites Marianski as his source for the idea.

It does have a fairly low melting point, but it doesn't grease up or break like regular cheddar. It's also readily available and CHEAP. Cheese prices are seemingly controlled by the Mafia here in Canada.

I've used both types of cheese in my smokies, block aged/old and processed. The family and I find the aged block cheddar a bit overpowering compared to the processed. In terms of it being too rich, I'd suggest cutting the amounts down a tad since this is supposed to add to the sausage, not be the sausage.

I'd suggest that one of the easiest ways to find out if it's for you would be to simply add a strip or so to the bun the next time you have a dog.
Thanks for all the detailed info. That all makes a lot of sense to me. I've seen a lot of Duncan Henry's videos but apparently not that one. But I'm about to. Thanks for the link.
Personally I like the taste of aged cheddar but understandable how some would not. It is a strong flavor.
I would assume that all of the commercial sausage with cheese sold in the US is made with processed cheese. I've never had one that had a strong cheese flavor though local meat shops get a little crazy with the flavors on some products.

My apologies to G geostriata for getting off topic. Great thread here.
 
My apologies to G geostriata for getting off topic. Great thread here.
Not at all! The opposite, in fact. You're helping to make it a great thread! I think your inquiry is causing us all to dig a bit deeper, and potentially find an awesome better outcome. I'm so thankful that you've asked the question, and in N nlife 's detailed response. Fascinating!
 
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20240620_164200.jpg


Here is a test "smokie", with melted Velveeta on it to test if I want to make cheese smokies.

I bought the processed cheese yesterday after reading this thread.

Ehh... everytime I add cheese, I always feel it would be easier and more flexible to just let folks add cheese on it when eating.

Half the family say they don't like cheese inside and don't eat it, it just seems limiting to add it. This was so easy to melt some on top. And yet, I have Velveeta freezing right now to cut up lol. The dang cheese-inside always lures me back with it's insidious illusion of goodness...
 
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