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Ring Bologna in beef rounds

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by danmcg, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. SFLsmkr1

    SFLsmkr1 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good looking rounds there Dan.
  2. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    not 14c.... 14f!  
  3. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep ~ 2 below zero (Farenheit) at 9:00 this morning....[​IMG]

    Looks like I can give it a cold smoke for a few hours in the Big Chief and then finish it in the oven, or just give it the liquid smoke treatment and do it in the oven....

    What say y'all?
  4. WOW I assumed you were giving us the temp in Celsius  cause I thought you were in upper Canada LOL  it is supposed to hit 70f here today Sorry bout your luck man
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holy crap it was 2 years since I posted the original thread....I still got some rounds left in the frig packed in salt. I wonder if they are still useable?

    So Ron .....How they lookin?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  6. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Looks tasty. Any changes in the recipe over the years?
  7. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    extremely impressed so far, dan! i will prepare a pictorial as soon as i can, but here are my notes from yesterday:

    fry test patty was really, really good, nearly perfect, i'd say, with absolutely no need to adjust! tasted exactly like the really good bologna you can get, not the cheap stuff but the real thing. the beer substitution really put a good spin on it. thanks to my grinder, this was almost country-style coarse, maybe a little finer than that due to the mixing and binding method. it held together really good with no hint of crumbliness and no mushiness; just about right, considering it wasn't completely ground into paste ~

    i then stuffed the mixture into nine 10-oz chubs of synthetic casing, then let them hang around for an hour or so before i smoked them. i had enough left over at the end to roll 4 "links" and fried them up for lunch for my son and me - outstanding!

    my smoking process was a little unorthodox because i was using a non-adjustable big chief smoker in sub-zero temperatures; they got about 6 hours worth of hickory smoke (4 pans total), but no real temperature.

    when i judged the smoke was good, i brought them in and finished them in the oven. oven temps were 170 degrees. following the recipe, i removed from heat at 155 internal. my instincts said to throw them in the ice bath at this point, but the instructions said to drop them into 180-degree water until they floated, so that's what i tried, since this was my first time and i didn't know what i was doing anyway - lol.

    anyway, after 10 minutes of not floating, i decided it wasn't going to happen, so i removed them from the water and ice-bathed them for 10 minutes, then i gently wiped them dry and laid them on oven racks with the oven off and at room temperature in order to finish drying andso they could "bloom." after about 2.5 hours, i put them in the fridge overnight.

    i will let the flavours etc. marry in there during today, then try one tonight before vacuum-sealing the rest and freezing them. first impressions are that i really think this recipe nails it. in fact, i'm going to see about getting some sort of natural 52-55mm casing that will fit my stuffer so i can make rings with this sometime.

    if you want bologna, this is the stuff to try. i think a person can experiment with fat, grind and texture according to their preference, and it will be excellent no matter what - just stick to the flavour profile and spice ratios, and you will love it, i think 
  8. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    we had a power outage last ngiht, so while sitting around in the dark, what else was there to do but crack one of these open and see what the finished product is like?

    i didn't get any pictures due to the circumstances, but here are some notes:

    were there any issues with case sticking to the bologna? nope - peeled right off, just like it was supposed to.

    bologna chub was firm, and sliced very easily with no dryness or crumbliness at all - reminded me of slicing a summer sausage. looks like the combination of ground oats and beer worked perfectly as a binder, as advertised.

    colour, as far as i could tell, was just right. i'll be able to better evaluate this tonight, where i'll have good light by which to see it, but it seemed that there was just the right amount of pink with no gray or brown to speak of. more on this later.

    the texture of the bologna was not totally smooth like commericial bologna, but it was not coarse like a commercial bratwurst or kielbasa, either - somewhere in-between, with good body and mouth-feel.

    flavour was very good - the coriander and pepper came through well and it had a nice, mild savoriness that was really nice. the hint of sweetness from the brown sugar was just right to bring everything into balance. the beer not only worked very well with the ground oatmeal to hold the product together, but also - as far as flavour goes - it came through just right, adding a little extra something to the background that, to me, gave it a nice german character.

    smoke flavour was not present as much as i personally would prefer, which is unusual for the big chief since usually i have to be careful not to get TOO much smoke in. the flavour was there, but really hanging in the background - a farther back than optimum, i think. four pans of hickory should have worked quite well, so i can only assume that the sub-zero outside temperatures somehow kept the smoke from penetrating well into the bologna, even though it was indeed warm inside the smoker. i think the next time the temperature is below 20 degrees, i'll simply add liquid smoke and do it in the oven, and see if there is a difference.

    i would have liked more garlic, but that's just me.

    because i used TQ, i did not add any salt. the resulting bologna did taste like it needed more salt, and i am not sure why. i suppose it is possible that the oatmeal soaked up the salt - or, it is also possible that they bologna simply needed salt added. the salt level seemed just right when i did the fry test, so i am guessing that the "cooking" process somehow had some effect, but i am not experienced enough to know the particulars. next time i make this, i will add salt and see what happens

    hot water soak - after trying it, i absolutely do not see any point in the "soak in 180-degree water until it floats" part of the instructions. for one thing, it never did float, and for another, i think it might have robbed some of the salt and smoke flavour away (i could be wrong about this). in any case, from now on, i will simply smoke it, finishing in the oven if necessary, then do the ice bath for 10 minutes and bloom for an hour.

    bottom line - very, very good recipe, and the adjustments that i used in preparation and also decided on after tasting it should tweak it right in line with my tastes and available ingredients to give me a "perfect" (for me) house bologna recipe. this will definitely be made again.

    reccomend? yes! i absolutely would recommend this to anyone looking for a good bologna recipe. if you do want to try it, i suggest making it as closely to the recipe as possible the first time, adjusting for your preferred cure or binding product if necessary, so that you have a base line from which to tweak, if needed, to your individual tastes.

    very good stuff, for sure!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  9. I think your hot water soak is to make the casing easier to peel off or otherwise it may stick, the water bath should not effect your smokey flavor,  the casings should be completely dry to the touch to absorb smoke and color, and even then I think it will still absorb smoke flavor but not  "color" well if the casings are wet,

    but it sounds like you have a great sausage to enjoy, so what sausage are you making next????
  10. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    definitely good stuff, and this will be made again for sure ~

    future sausage projects:

    kolbasa from slovakia (i've got a great-looking recipe that is actually slovak, where my wife's grandmother is from)

    hungarian kolbalsz (another traditional family recipe)

    spanish chorizo (checking with contacts in spain for a tried and true recipe)

    after that, who knows?
  11. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    ok - last round of notes. this one is in the books and i have to say it is definitely a success.

    last night we were able to break another one open and get a good look (and some pictures). colour was a beautiful pink, exactly like it should be, with flecks of fat and spices in it. the meats were perfectly bound and this, to me, is the final word on the oatmeal/beer issue. it works, and works very well, when done right. not having any specialised sausage-making ingredients available to me, it is a perfect, natural, readily-available substitute.

    as before, casings peeled with absolutely no effort. texture was just right - as before - very similar to summer sausage or something like that, but with much less fat. no graininess or coarse-ness - another testament to the oatmeal/beer binding and the judicious mixing during the prep stage.

    the thing that interested me was the flavour. having another day or two for the tastes to develop and mature, it was even better than before. the spices, as before, really made this bologna what it is, and i can't stress enough that even though it looks a little heavy on coriander (and maybe pepper), trust the recipe where those spices are concerned! the same goes for the brown sugar, which might seem strange, but it does its job of providing counterbalance and really brings this around to a superior product.

    the garlic also came through a little better after maturing for a couple of days, but i personally would still add a little more - not sure how much, but it is one place where i am willing and eager to experiment. pulverised garlic cloves or home-made granulated garlic might work better, as well - since the commercial, "bargain-rack" granulated garlic is probably lacking in intensity.

    it still needs a little salt, but not nearly as critically as i had thought before. TQ aside, i would still add a teaspoon or maybe two of some kind of salt.

    i would also infuse a little more smoke in tothe bologna; although it also came through a little better this time. i think "normal" people (who are not as obsessed with that wonderful, old-timey, sweet-savory hickory smoke aroma and taste as i am) would find the smoke level to be just right, however, i believe it could definitely benefit from just a little more, and smoking in better weather would certainly achieve this.

    that's what i know - pictorial to come up as soon as i format and size the photos. it will include most of these notes, plus anything else that crosses my mind. if anyone has any questions, please ask them here. i will try to provide answers and also incorporate those answers into the pictorial.

  12. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  13. weisswurst

    weisswurst Smoke Blower

    After looking these rings over , if I were you i m not sure I would trust them. I would be more than willing to sample them , along with some good 10 year old Wisconsin cheese and Lowensenf German mustard. Some good german Bauer bread.If you care to send them , I wouldnt feel put upon. I am always willing to help a fellow ring bologna maker.It may take a while. I could be your official taster for these rings.A mans got to do what a mans got to do.        Your rings look great and the texture looks very good . Deciding on a flavor that one likes is always difficult.A little more garlic . a little less pepper; smoke it a little longer? Thats part of the fun and learning process of SM. Congratulations on something homemade , done professionally! Weiss wurst.