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Sausage Foamheart, First Try!

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by foamheart, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I figured since I always recommend chickens to learn smoking, frying, baking, braising, etc etc.... I would start with chicken sausage to get my hands dirty. I have done boudin before and have done some smoked country sausage too. Boudin was first then I bought a press before attempting sausage. Wish I knew were that went!

    Anyway, went with Kevin's recipe. Oh, one other thing I will add, I have never eaten any chicken sausage before. LOL So no preconceived expectations.

    Here's Kevin's recipe:

    Couger78's Chicken Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese

    2 1/2 lbs chicken w/skins
    1/4 cup fresh garlic, minced
    1/3 cup fresh basil
    13 grams kosher salt (1.1%)
    1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp allspice
    1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (after soaking until soft)
    1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

    Here's the chicken thighs which were on sale

    I boned them and left the skin and any fat on, then into the freezer for a 3 hour tour.

    The weather started getting rough the tiny ship... oh wait, nevermind.....

    Three hours BTW was perfect, they were not frozen but dang close.

    Ingredients amassed and ready. I wanted to make sure everything was done head, even the easy stuff so I could things as cold as long as possible.

    Now here's my idea for the second 1/2 of the chicken meat. I am sure I am about to show my backside here, but I never saw a dried tomato before, smoked I saw once, never dried. So I tried myself. Decided to do something different though, its an almost sweet sausage.

    Foamhearts Sausage

    2 1/2 C Chicken w/skins

    1T Minced garlic

    1T Sage Chiffanade (I know some good words)

    2T Italian Flat Leaf (That word above again)

    1/2C Green onion tops chopped

    1/4 C red pepper Minced

    1/4 cup dried Apples minced and re-hydrated in apple juice

    Salt & Red Pepper

    1T Maple Syrup, grade B

    Dash Of Tony's

    2T Olive oil

    We are on a roll now!! I mixed all the sausages up loaded 'em in bags back in the fridge over night for the flavors to meld.

    But before that I sneaked some patties to try, I mean any excuse to have a good breakfast for supper shouldn't be missed, right? Eggs, biscuits, sausage, grits...... OMW.

    The next day I learned, two days means twice as many clean ups....LOL BTW did I mention I was grinding and stuffing with ACME #333 home and commercial grinder and sausage maker. Here's a look at that baby all torn down in its glory!

    Thanks to a friend I learned of that little piece in the middle, the only piece that wasn't Mom and Pops and Mom's Mom's before them. Did I mention Pop loaned out my sausage press and doesn't know to whom? Someone I am sure about this time yearly makes the statement at some camp, "yeah, this is Mr. Ned's stuffer, I gotta return it someday".

    After untangling, cleaning, flushing, and inspecting for holes, I loaded a 500 yard intestine on the stuffing nozzle. LOL... was only 100 ft. that the butcher gave me a bag of her's since I seem to have lost mine during the last refridge swap-out.

    So there it is. I didn't think the mixing or cooling down was anything new for anyone.

    It was indeed great practice, lessons learned:

    1. Too much Garlic for my taste and I love good garlic. Did you know that a little maple syrup will reduce the garlic taste? And without adding too much sweetness.

    2. There should be a national code and standardization on hog casings, with schools on learning the proper way to untangle. Its easier to untangle a birds nest on a casting rod!

    3. Manual sausage operations require patience or two more hands, or both.

    4. Last but not the least, below is the most important part of the sausage making art.

    Besides the cleaning and gathering, I enjoyed it. Its not like smoking but had it needed smoking afterward it woulod have been much more fun I am sure.

    I do have a finial question. Why the poach if you are going to freeze 'em? You'll have to cook 'em to eat them will you not?  Mine are in the fridge, I can still poach if needed.

    Thanks for looking in. I learned alot, I am sure you got a smile anyway from my exploits.

    I am thinking a stuffer will be in the near future. I am also thinking Andouille would be fun to try.
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Look good to me!  [​IMG]

    Great tip on the syrup to reduce garlic flavor.

    Nicely done,

  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good from here!

    My Mom's old Universal sits right behind me even though it never gets used any more.  Still?  They will have to bury it with me!  Too many wonderful things she made with it.

    Imagine the work the old folks did with the hand grinder, or even just the knife and stuffing horn?

    Sausage is always a personal taste thing.

    Having said that?  Starting with something Kevin made will probably not be very far off.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It was an accident. I had some bisquits with my sausage taste. Bisquits means jelly, honey, syrup. The syrup got on my sausage, go figure.... It tuned down the garlic, I learned something new to share.

    Thank you for looking in and the compliment.

    Yes, Cougar's recipe I am sure is great, I just have no experience here to draw from. When the andouille rolls out now then I can appraise it properly.
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks alot. I know I sound stupid but if you don't know where you've been, how can you be sure you are traveling the right path. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways, sometimes they are the best teaching tools. Sometimes they are there to remind you that nostalgia is only great when its not you....LOL

    Like I said, I enjoyed it. I am not doing more tomorrow though. I am thinking a new stuffer will fall into place soon. The grinder is used all the time still. We always grind our own chili meat blend. Never smoked in competition, but I have cooked chili. Because it was fun, because I could take off and do it, and because I had a good chilli. It actually won some cookoffs.

    I don't know Kevin, I don't know sausage (never even heard of chicken sausage before), but had I really messed up, I'd only lost 5.00, a little elbow grease and clorox. And look what I learned. I appreciate Kevin for sharing.

    Thanks for looking Venture, I am in no way disenchanted with sausage making. Just want some new tools before I continue.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Kevin, evening......  I'm con-fused.....  Lew-zee-anna boy and the garlic was tooooo much....   and toning down the gah-lick with maple syrup...... 

    Are you sure you are not from Vermont or somethin'....  [​IMG]

    The other Kevin has some good yard bird recipes....   I've made the one that used rice as a filler....   

    The sausage looks very good.... nice stuffing job....

    Poaching is for "Ready to eat" sausage....  freezing is fine....

  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Looking good! Will be waiting to see the final smoked sausages!
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you Dave, yes this was one of those bitter loud 1 in a million garlics. Thanks again, I assumed the poaching was like that, but didn't want to miss something because I didn't understand. I will look harder for recipes but again, I am thinking sausage stuffer is a necessity before I move on with sausages.
    Thats another good question. Somewhere I read its best to be below 40 degrees to smoke sausages. A cool front has blown in, its raining and down to 80 degrees. LOL. I am thinking the next time.

    What is the preferred casing for smoking? I have natural but I have seen a lot of flavors out there, is there a simple break down, use A for this, B for that etc?? Maybe a rule of thumb?

    Maybe I should go look thru search.

    And guys thanks for checkin in on me...... Always appreciate it.
  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking good!
  10. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like good sausage to me but I have been learning that less is best when making sausage every batch I have been cutting back a bit and stop when I get where I like it, particularly with aromatics like garlic and onion.

    You have to try andouille. I know you have eaten lots of it and it is way better home made than the crud they call andouille up here.

  11. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  12. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice job with the sausage Foamheart......... They look great.......Your making me hungry for some chicken sausage with scrambled eggs this morning.......[​IMG]

    Glad to see the old 333 still pumping out some good sausage...... Its now a family heirloom

    Below 40 degrees is for cold smoking fresh sausage like you made.... The other option would be to hot smoke at 180 degrees for smoke flavor
  13. kathrynn

    kathrynn Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I still have Mama's old universal grinder.  Its work...but if that is what you have....use it!

    Looks good...cant wait to see them "cooked".

  14. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Foam, an xlnt first run of sausage. Yep, I chuckled at your post...especially the needing more hands quote. We have all been there, making our first batch and wondering WTH did I get myself into?...LOL, seems like never enough room or bowls or cooperation from the casings. That is a very good tasting sausage from Kevin & I have made a batch myself to good reviews from those that matter to me. I have not used anything but hog casings so far and one run of stix with collagen. I've heard sheep casings are more delicate and I would have to order them on-line so have stuck with the more readily available hog gut. Andouille is on my list of sausage to make very soon. Must crank out another bunch or Brats for Oktoberfest season and then will give it a go. Again, nice job and I loved the old grinder pic....I wish I had my Grandmothers grinder. Sadly, Grandpa probably pitched it in the trash with a lot of other treasures when Grandma went to Heaven. Looking forward to more sausage adventures ala Foam.......Willie
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Todd, compliments are always appreciated
    When I get a good andoille I will share, problem is not even us coonass can agree on what the best andouille is, although the andouille capitol of the world is the next town down the road from here. I do have my favorite, not just have to learn how to make it. Shame those guys don't just sell their seasonings. Now I think it has to do more with non-competition agreements than with secrecy. What an age we live in.
    I used the same casings the butcher uses to make his weekly sausages at the grocery store. I know, they were his...LOL Natural casing, and they no holes and went on the stuffing tube fairly easy, (I understand thats a problem sometimes). Damn shame though to waste all that length when I am only going to do 5 lbs at a time. BTW these were brined and not just salted. No sticker or printing on the package either, I am assuming she probably buys boxes of thes packages. Pop used to freeze his leftovers for later use, I am wondering if that couldn't cause holes from cellular expansion/contraction?

    Thanks for the answers and the help Dave, you guys around here are great! BTW I wouldn't waste your garlic learning how to make sausages or they would have been better I know!
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its still 80 degrees in the shade, thats right a cool front blew in. I just don't feel comfortible with raw chicken attempting to cold smoke. But I may try some tomorrow for supper though. Thats the nice thing about electronics, just two or three sausages, no problem.

    I never would have done it without your help. I have tried using the Ol'No.333 before to stuff boudin the way intended and knew that was sometyhing I wanted no part of again! I am sure they must have manufactured a small sausage stuffer to accompany the grinder. LOL Make 'em work for a year with this grinder stuffing, next year they will buy our designated stuffer!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The hindu God Kali, now there is no doubt a sausage maker, if not, sure missed a good chance at it!

    (I hope I did it right that time)
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  18. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good, nice job.
  19. Your sausage is looking good Foamheart, it can be intimidating the first time out, but you did a great job ! 
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you very much. I looked at this weekend's sales today hoping for something else to make....LOL

    I have to get a press though.
    Thanks alot, think I am going to try some smoked tomorrow night, first try I poached. Poaching adds so much flavor (that was sarcasm)....... I can now see where least is best in the sausage racket. from now own I think its going to be the meat, no veggies and a small amount of spices. Not even sure about herbs at this point.

    Thanks guys I really appreciate everyones help. Its why it's such a good site, good people.