Sausage Curing - Anyone heard of this method?

Discussion in 'Curing' started by tom ryle, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. A number of years ago I crossed paths with one of the BEST cured sausages I've ever had.  I like the firm texture of cured salami and this one takes the cake for flavor, firmness, and overall enjoyment of eating!

    After some poking around I found the creator who lives in NY.  Well, the guy who makes it is a butcher/processor and I got it from his girlfriend.  They've both been making this product for years and keep a supply on hand for special events, holidays, and gifts.  It's that good!  This is the recipe they provided and as much as I want to try making my own batch, I have safety concerns over the salt/meat ratio and humidity of a regular refrigerator.  I'd love thoughts and opinions from experts here...especially any tweaks you'd make to the salt and curing process.

    Ingredients   *NOTE* Amounts for each ingredient were 'guesstimates' only

    (30# batch)

    Leanest pork (they use cushion butts)

    Table salt - 1 1/2 Cups

    Fennel Seed - 1/2 Cup

    Crushed Red Pepper - 1 Cup

    Paprika (color) - 1/2 Cup

    Grind to burger, mix well and stuff tightly into hog casings (~5" links or so they fit whichever size canning jars you use).

    Use a hat pin and poke into an fresh orange (often) and poke lots of holes in the casings to allow moisture out.

    Hang in refrigerator for 2 weeks, keeping the door closed as much as possible.

    Pack links into medium canning jars tightly and fill to top with corn oil.  (30# will fill 14-15 canning jars)

    The longer you let them set, the better.

    To eat, wipe off oil or rinse with cold water and slice.  As you remove sausages from a jar, add oil to keep them completely covered in corn oil.

    Again, these links are to die for.  Does anyone see any red flags?  
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And no cure?

    Never tried it, but I have heard of it. Oiling and larding are processes that seal the preserved food from contact with the air. But I thought it was used with already cooked meat and not raw, uncured or uncooked meats.  It was also called "jugging" was popular through the 19th century.  I think the process even goes back to ancient Roman times though.

    Smaller pieces of salted or smoked meats are immersed in a variety of oils or covered with melted lard or butter. With the meat already being "cured" by the salting or smoking process it was in essence already preserved before being stored in the oil.  The oil or lard should completely cover the preserved food, leaving no air pockets.  Any air would allow trapped microorganisms to multiply and start spoilage.  Jars and crocks of oil stored foods were often also sealed with a piece of leather or waxed cloth tied close about the opening, or the opening was plugged with a piece of cork.  Later bottles and jars were available with a close fitting lid or stopper.  Smoked and salted foods stored in oil often lasted for years, and were usually still quite edible after lengthy storage. Another method of "jugging" called for the actual cooking of the food in the jug which was then sealed similar to modern home canning processes.

    That being said, the main thing that caught my eye on your proposed recipe is..... And no cure?    I did not do the math but the salt ratio seem way lot to be "salt curing" the meat.  I don't know about this......  Perhaps someone else will have more info.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All I can add is the salt.... should not be table salt... too much stuff in it... Sea salt, canning/pickling or Kosher salt would be fine...
    For the amount of salt, I can't remember for sure but I think the minimum is around 3 1/2 % by weight...

    Also, I would use weights and not volume measure... different salts have a different density.. totally unreliable.....

  4. Dave,

    Thanks for the historical reference to this method, very interesting.  I'm with you though, no cure raises concern for me.  At the very least the salt content would need to be significantly increased to salt cure 30# of raw pork.

    I appreciate the input - thanks!

  5. Good point, Dave.  I use Kosher salt for smoked salmon, etc. and you're right about density.  Weight is a much better unit of measure.  As I mentioned, she guessed at the amounts so I expect they are off if she's just going from memory or what it may have looked like in the mixing tote.

    Happy New Year!

  6. I should mention too that I'm trying to contact the source one more time to get more details.  I'm not holding my breath but we'll see...
  7. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    For me reading through this thread, you gave the recipe, but then said that the measurements may not be quite accurate as she guessed at them. Dave mentions 3.5% by weight for the salt, 30# x 16 = 480 * 3.5% = 16.8 oz of salt which is only 2 cups by volume and if you use fine sea salt you may be close at 1.5 cup to get the 16.8 oz. I am also seeing that this is going to be refrigerated somewhere it won't be disturbed very often, which would keep the temp and humidity fairly constant.

    The citrus must sterilize the pin some, the hole being there to allow the moisture out as the salt draws it out, would probably also shrink the sausage and casing together as they dry.

    The only place I see a possible issue is getting them into the jars without contaminating the the outsides of the sausage and maybe that isn't an issue since they will be in the oil and away from the air and already covered or shielded with the drying salt moisture escaping the holes.

    I would work the recipe down to say a 5# batch weigh the amounts shown and divide those weights by 6 and try to keep your salt to the 3.5% weight mentioned above.

    I am not a sausage maker, don't even play one on TV, but this is how I would go about it if I wanted to try, with the information given above.

    Good luck and if you do it, share the journey please, it looks interesting.
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The salt amount listed is 3.2% to 3.8% depending on what online conversion table you use., so thats a good amout to preserve the sausage.
    2 weeks in the frig sounds a little short, but that would really depend on the frig.
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tom, morning.... Below is the definition of Confit... As far as processing in a safe manner, I would consult Marianski et. al. in their Charcuterie book..... Just to be on the safe side.... Homemade recipes, for years, were considered safe... With todays food standards, and modern bacteria etc., new and somewhat safer rules should be adhered to....

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  11. shannon127

    shannon127 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I know some Coal Crackers in PA that make a soupies.  It is a spicy salty dried salami that is placed in olive oil with a weight on it to flaten them out. 

  12. Yes! This looks strikingly similar to what I'm referring to.

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