Author Topic: Spicy italian sausage  (Read 2497 times)

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Online Johnny the Gent

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Spicy italian sausage
« on: May 18, 2013, 04:46:22 PM »
Every now and then I crave for this stuff. To complicate matters, it's not an available product on store shelves and ground pork isn't easy to find in supermarkets in Brazil - which leaves one two options: invest in a meat grinder (I had one years ago - a hand cranked contraption that didn't work too well) or some type of processor OR get buddy -buddy with your local butcher. I opted for the latter  :-D

I weighed most ingredients - but a couple were measured by volume. Only the fennel seed was eyeballed. Here's the recipe for any interested:

1 kilo ground pork shoulder, (with some fat on it, of course 8)
30 gms oil (I used grapeseed, it was within a couple of paces)
30 gms balsamic vinegar
10 gms spicy paprika
10 gms salt
2-4 tablespoons of fennel  (I actually eyeballed this ingredient. I like fennel, so I used upwards of 4 tbsp)
1-3 tablespoons of finely chopped chilli peppers, seeds and all. More if you like the heat.
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 gms freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder

After mixing all ingredients in a bowl, form a small patty and cook in a pan/griddle to evaluate the flavor. Make necessary adjustments and place the meat mixture into the fridge. Let rest overnight to let the flavors mix and mingle. I like to bag the sausage up air-tight in clingfilm, in +/- 500 gm portions.

1st pic: SPICY sausage on the left, not so spicy on the right
2nd pic: close-up of the hot stuff
3rd pic: sausage patty taste test prior to bagging and placing in the fridge overnight. It was very good - but I added a spash more of balsamic vinegar for sweetness and "zip".
4th pic: bagged, and into the fridge it goes.

Thanks for letting me share,
J

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Offline wheelman

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 07:51:37 PM »
that looks awesome Johnny.  We make our sausage often too with a similar blend except I've never tried adding oil.  what does that do for you? 
bill

Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 08:44:55 PM »
Thanks Bill. I like to think the oil helps the dry ingredients infuse and penetrate the meat a little better. 
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Offline wheelman

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 10:42:50 PM »
i'll try that. thanks,
bill 

Offline dhorst

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 01:31:26 AM »
I do like a bit of olive oil in the mix and a fair amount of garlic with spicy Italian style pork sausage.  Love fennel seed too!  I've been playing around with a chicken thigh sausage mixture that I've been using olive oil, wine and asiago in, along with herbs, fennel seeds, garlic and aleppo chile.  It has been really great.  Just tweaking.  Yeah, yeah, it's chicken and not pork, but hey, it has olive oil!  I also have some duck fat on hand and was thinking about playing around with that in the mixture too.

Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 06:06:33 AM »
I do like a bit of olive oil in the mix and a fair amount of garlic with spicy Italian style pork sausage.  Love fennel seed too!  I've been playing around with a chicken thigh sausage mixture that I've been using olive oil, wine and asiago in, along with herbs, fennel seeds, garlic and aleppo chile.  It has been really great.  Just tweaking.  Yeah, yeah, it's chicken and not pork, but hey, it has olive oil!  I also have some duck fat on hand and was thinking about playing around with that in the mixture too.

dhorst, I've tried some pretty good store bought chicken sausage. I'm imagining your homemade sausage with those ingredients would turn both juicy and delicious. Post a pic of your chicken sausage if you can. I'd like to see how the meat looks prior to casing.  Now, when you mention duck fat, that would just elevate the sausage up to a whole new level!!  :chef:
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Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 06:07:43 AM »
i'll try that. thanks,
bill

You're welcome. Let us know if you think it makes a difference.
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Offline Mmmph

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 03:35:13 PM »
Looks great.

One percent salt?
I'd double that.
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Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 03:52:10 PM »
Looks great.

One percent salt?
I'd double that.

That would have made it a little saltier  :-D
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Offline wheelman

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 06:49:00 PM »
I usually go about 1.8% salt.  Ruhlman recommends 10g/lb or slightly over 2%.   


Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 06:54:46 PM »
The sausage seemed balanced for my taste - with the seasonings and salt, but I tend to prefer less salt. What other seasonings/ingredients do you use in your recipe? Thanks!
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 07:11:46 PM »
The sausage seemed balanced for my taste - with the seasonings and salt, but I tend to prefer less salt. What other seasonings/ingredients do you use in your recipe? Thanks!

Yours looks much leaner than I'm used to seeing, and I don't think vinegar and mustard powder are commonly found if Italian sausage - not that that makes it wrong - just commenting. Have you tried cayenne pepper? If it was me, I would replace some/all of the paprika with cayenne. I'd add some red pepper flakes as well.
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Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 07:24:40 PM »
In general, pork seems to be leaner here than in the US. Next time around I may add some ground/diced fatty pork belly  :drool: to kick the fat content up some.

I haven't tried cayenne pepper - yet. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 11:49:50 PM »
Even if pork is generally fattier here, most sausage is going to be made with a large amount of trimming (as opposed to lean meat) that will be ~50% fat or more.
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Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 05:52:08 AM »
I'd go as high as 25-30%, 50% or more fat is too high for me.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 09:47:00 AM »
I wasn't suggesting that you 50% fat in the final product. I was simply noting that the real fat in sausage does not come from the "lean" pork used; the relative fattiness of the lean pork itself is all but irrelevant. Rather the fat comes from the trimmings that are added which are much higher in fat. Manufacturers will keep several stores of trimmings with different fat levels - say 50%, 70%, 90% or something like that and use them as needed to arrive at meat blends with the desired fat content.
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Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 07:28:15 PM »
I wasn't suggesting that you 50% fat in the final product. I was simply noting that the real fat in sausage does not come from the "lean" pork used; the relative fattiness of the lean pork itself is all but irrelevant. Rather the fat comes from the trimmings that are added which are much higher in fat. Manufacturers will keep several stores of trimmings with different fat levels - say 50%, 70%, 90% or something like that and use them as needed to arrive at meat blends with the desired fat content.

Which brings me back to what I previously stated - the pork is leaner here. I witnessed the butcher remove cuts of pork shoulder, and I specifically requested to include more of the fat that englobes the shoulder.  There wasn't much. Next time around, like I mentioned, I'll probably add some pork belly (probably around 180-200 grams for each kilo of pork shoulder - considering it's low fat content (despite me requesting more of the surrounding fat to be included.) Thanks for the info regarding manufacturers and the different fat level trimmings they have at their disposal, but quite frankly, this info is of little use to me. I've never seen ground beef labeled with the fat content here, much less ground pork - which is all the rarer to come across.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 09:32:20 PM »
Which brings me back to what I previously stated - the pork is leaner here. I witnessed the butcher remove cuts of pork shoulder, and I specifically requested to include more of the fat that englobes the shoulder.  There wasn't much. Next time around, like I mentioned, I'll probably add some pork belly (probably around 180-200 grams for each kilo of pork shoulder - considering it's low fat content (despite me requesting more of the surrounding fat to be included.) Thanks for the info regarding manufacturers and the different fat level trimmings they have at their disposal, but quite frankly, this info is of little use to me. I've never seen ground beef labeled with the fat content here, much less ground pork - which is all the rarer to come across.

We seem to be talking around each other. Let me try again. It makes no difference how lean or fatty your pork is when it comes to making sausage because sausage doesn't have to be made with the natural lean-to-fat ratio of the animal and probably shouldn't be made that way. I'm sorry I confused things by bringing up commercial production methods. For you and me, if we simply have lean meat and fat (or something like belly), we can blend any percentage we want - fat pigs or lean pigs. That's all I was trying to say.  We are not at the mercy of how much fat our butcher does or does not leave on the shoulder or even how much comes naturally on the animal in the first place.

Have you asked your butcher if he can sell you back fat or some other pork fat trimmings? It might be a lot less expensive than belly fat and even work better in sausage. Depending on what the pigs are fed, belly fat can be pretty soft and doesn't always work very well in sausage making - even when it's very cold.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 10:49:50 PM »
We seem to be talking around each other. Let me try again. It makes no difference how lean or fatty your pork is when it comes to making sausage because sausage doesn't have to be made with the natural lean-to-fat ratio of the animal and probably shouldn't be made that way. I'm sorry I confused things by bringing up commercial production methods. For you and me, if we simply have lean meat and fat (or something like belly), we can blend any percentage we want - fat pigs or lean pigs. That's all I was trying to say.  We are not at the mercy of how much fat our butcher does or does not leave on the shoulder or even how much comes naturally on the animal in the first place.

Have you asked your butcher if he can sell you back fat or some other pork fat trimmings? It might be a lot less expensive than belly fat and even work better in sausage. Depending on what the pigs are fed, belly fat can be pretty soft and doesn't always work very well in sausage making - even when it's very cold.
Great info right there... ^^^  you don't want sausage that looks like a crab cake.  ;)
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Online Johnny the Gent

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Re: Spicy italian sausage
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2013, 10:45:35 PM »
Thanks for the info Craig.

Chicago Bob - sausage that looks like a crab cake? Kinda tough to conjure up that image!  :-D
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