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My attempt to make Cervelat sausage

pushok2018

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SERVELAT is a semi-dry sausage.
I made this Cervelat sausage using Soviet's government recipe dated 1938. This sausage was very popular in Soviet Union in 1960th, 1970th & 1980th but lost its quality at the end of 1980th and in the beginning of 1990th … It was literally impossible to buy this type of sausage in the store because of shortage of it and people used their connections to get some of it on the table.
I followed the recipe by the letter with these three exceptions: I added 80 ml of cognac in the ground meet and I used beef (chuck) only. Not every member of my family eat port that is why I used beef. Next time I’ll make it with pork. The recipe is very simple with a limited amount of ingredients:

250г Beef lean
250г Pork lean
500г Pork butt or pork belly
20г Salt
2.5г Cure #1
Sugar
1,5г Black or White Pepper
0,3г Ground Nutmeg or Cardamon
80 mm water

I used 5200 g of meat total for this project but will be giving you all calculations for 1000 g of meat.
I substitute pork with beef and beef fat: 800 g. of lean beef and 200 g of beef fat.
I used my own process to grind meat because government recipe comes for commercial process…. And it’s quite different.
I grind semi-frozen meat using 5 mm plate and divided the meat: placed 600g of meat in the fridge and 200g of meat and 200 of fat back in the freezer till it’s semi frozen again for further grinding…
In about 1 hour, I grinded 200g beef and 200 fat using 3 mm plate and placed grinded meat/fat back in the freezer for one hour….
In about one hour, I mixed all ingredients with the meat, slowly adding finely ground and semi frozen rest of meat and fat. I added 80 ml of water. Mixed till meat is tacky and my hands are semi-frozen… then back it in the fridge for 24 hours (per original recipe it is recommended to leave it in the fridge for 48 hours).
In 24 hours I stuffed meat using 60 mm collagen casing and placed chubs back in the fridge for 24 hours to set.
Next day I smoked sausages at 110F for 12 hours (per recipe it should be 48 hours).
Next step is cooking the chubs. I vack packed my chubs and used SV method for 1 hour at 153F.
After that I removed chubs from vacuum bags and hang them outside in my drying cage to dry till tomorrow morning. The ambient temperature at night was between 47 and 53 so…. this worked for me.
Next morning I smoked the sausage for 12 hours again at 90F (once again, per recipe it should be 48 hours). I just thought this would be way too much smoke for me so I reduced smoking time in twice. After the smoking, I hanged all five chubs in the drying cage and left them in the cage for 9 days to dry (recommended 12 days). Ambient temp was between 40 and 55. The highest temp was 62 only twice close to evening time so I had to take sausages in the fridge till temp outside drops below 60F.
After 9 days of drying I vac packed them again and placed in the fridge for two weeks for moisture equalization.
I forgot to weight every chub In the beginning of the process (I know, I know – my mistake) so it didn’t have any sense to check the weight after drying process was finished.

Well…. Here is my verdict: great taste, texture and appearance. Very-very close to Cervelat sausage I was eating in my childhood. Slightly different but very close. I did not expect to achieve the same taste because this is simply impossible. I will not change anything (not in recipe nor in the process) for my next butch. This was real semi-dry sausages: pretty dry but had some moisture in it. Oh, I am sure it will be much better when I use pork/beef meat. I am aiming to make batch of 20 # next time…
I know you are going to hate me for the luck of picks but I promise I will give you much more next time…
Her are just two:
IMG_3067.jpg

IMG_3083.jpg


Thank you!
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Them chubs look pretty dang good.
 

SmokinEdge

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The chubs look great. You’re humidity must be very high this time of year. No dry ring. Nicely done. Would be nice to just hang sausage outside to dry. Like for sure.
 

pushok2018

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he chubs look great. You’re humidity must be very high this time of year. No dry ring. Nicely done. Would be nice to just hang sausage outside to dry.
Thank you! Yes, you are correct about humidity. I completely forgot to mention this in my thread. The humidity was between 60-92 around the clock. I know that 60 is kind of too low but was hoping high humidity at night/morning time will compensate that. This exactly what happened. No there was no dry ring. Thank you for the like!
 

FFchampMT

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How does this compare to Cotto salami taste-wise? My grandmother used to call Cotto Salami "Serve-Alot" and I didn't understand until just now she was referring to a type - Servelat.
I thought Serve-Alot was a dead brand name or something.
 

SmokinEdge

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Yes sir, in the old world that’s how it’s done. Humidity goes down by day, but rises by night. In the winter months it’s perfect, just as you described. The humidity averages. Well done.
 

pushok2018

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How does this compare to Cotto salami taste-wise?
Two different types of sausages: cotto salami is fully cooked, larger diameter and has slightly more spices added.
Cervelat is semi-dry sausage with completely different cooking process: cooked, smoked longer, dried for several days, time for moisture equalization, smaller casing diameter. Cotto salami and cervelat have completely different texture and taste.
Saying that, please keep in mind that there are many other recipes on how to make Cervelat. I used Soviet Union government's recipe and standards. For example, Marianskyi has his recipe for fermented "American Cervelat":
and so on, so on....
 

Brokenhandle

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Looks really good! On your next batch don't forget the pic of me eating several slices! :emoji_blush:

Ryan
 

pushok2018

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Looks really good! On your next batch don't forget the pic of me eating several slices!
Thank you, Ryan! Don't mind to share some with you - next butch will be ready in about one or one and a half month. :emoji_wink:
Thank you for the like!
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Now y'all got my head smokin.

Im going to rig up a hanging area in my shed. Temp and humidity are just bout perfect here in SW, FL.

My shed temp right now is 81* Humidity is 82%

I'm heading to lowes for a 4' oak dowel and 2 screw in hooks.

Just do the smoke then hang. If shed gets to hot or humid i can always put in front closet.

IMG_3671.JPG
 

pushok2018

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Now y'all got my head smokin.

I'm going to rig up a hanging area in my shed. Temp and humidity are just bout perfect here in SW, FL.
Ha! This is exactly my thoughts too. I just checked the weather conditions in my area for next 10 days and it looks almost prefect. Hope I will be able to pick some meats tomorrow and hopefully process it the same day (grinding, mixing).
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Going to be making your recipe. Only making a 2.5 lb batch with pork so if it dont work in my shed then not out a 5 lb batch.
 

pushok2018

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Going to be making your recipe. Only making a 2.5 lb batch with pork so if it don't work in my shed then not out a 5 lb batch.
Sounds good. Yes, I think it makes sense to make a small batch first to try.... High temperature in your shed concern me a bit... Like I said in my post I was taking sausages from my outside drying cage and in the fridge when temp started rising above 60F.... Let us know how it goes... As a matter of fact, I am curing 15 # of beef right now, in the fridge. It will be 48 hours curing tomorrow morning when I start stuffing it.....
 

uncle eddie

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That's a new type of sausage to me. I haven't heard of it before but it sure looks good from this side of the screen!
 

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