Author Topic: Home made sausage, drying/curing  (Read 26515 times)

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Offline apizza

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Home made sausage, drying/curing
« on: February 02, 2009, 11:42:32 AM »
After staring at my parents Universal Food Chopper for years I decided to start making Italian sausage. So far I'm very happy with the results. So now a couple of questions.

  I remember the family drying sausage in a unheated room in the winter. No salting that I remember. Just hung on a wooden pole. No one died from it but there has to be some rules to keep the product safe to eat. Any help on how to dry sausage?

  I have heard it is possible to place cut lengths of sausage in a jar and cover them with olive oil. They would oil cure. Any help with this process?

I do enjoy dried sausage but I'm sure things can go very wrong if it isn't done right.  Any info would be appreciated.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 12:54:54 PM »
No salting?  :o

I wouldn't think of exposing my family to something that stands for any amount of time in such temperatures that hasn't been properly treated with curing salts. Dry/cured sausages are the most challenging of all sausages to make. I've been using the book "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" by Kutas for many years with great results.

Bill/SFNM

Offline November

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 01:06:32 PM »
unheated room in the winter

any amount of time in such temperatures

Bill,

apizza didn't mention what those temperatures were, but I would imagine that they would be near refrigerator temperatures, maybe even freezer temperatures.  Although I can't image a sausage without salt either, I don't think there's anything dangerous about drying meat in a refrigerator-temperature environment.  Microbes are getting the double-whammy with both low temperature and lack of moisture, making it difficult to thrive.

- red.november
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 01:08:24 PM by November »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 01:34:31 PM »
True, November. IIRC, the official danger zone for botulin formation and food-borne microbes is 40F-140F (later revised in some sources to 130F). The unheated rooms in my house range from 40F-60F in the winter. I use a converted wine cooler to maintain the desired curing temps and humidity levels.




Offline November

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 01:48:10 PM »
Yeah, because if it was dangerous to keep uncured meat at refrigerator temperatures, we'd all be in trouble.  I have seen uncured meats dried at room temperatures (68-77°F) too, but I wouldn't recommend it unless the meat was especially dry to begin with and you don't mind the putrid byproducts (bacteria will eventually die in their own waste products).  In fact, I just wouldn't recommend it.  It would be useful in this case to know more precisely the temperatures apizza intends to dry his sausage.  For extra flavor and an extra margin of safety, I would recommend cold-smoking the meat if not using some other curing method.

Offline apizza

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 04:39:09 PM »
I don't plan to dry any sausage without more info.
I can say that the room we used years ago was very cool, but not below freezing. Old house, no insulation, two outside walls, second floor with attic above etc.. I'll guess the room was also very dry. I don't remember everything, such as how long it was hanging.
Thanks for the replies so far.


Offline jeff v

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 05:25:32 PM »
apizza,

If you have never been there check egullet.org for a detailed list and discussion on home charcuterie based on the book of the same name. Here is the index-  http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116763&view=findpost&p=1583688

Jeff

Offline apizza

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 02:22:26 PM »
Thanks Jeff. It appears I'm going to set aside a block of time to explore that thread and site. It's loaded!

Offline samiam

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 08:25:01 PM »
Ok.....Me and my grandfather have been doing this for many years...he has done it every year since the 1920's..By the way...he's 99 and still making it !

Mix the coarse pork butt with alot of fennel seed,alot of crushed hot pepper and very little or no salt....mix well and stuff into casing. In about 2 foot lenghts, drape over a hanger without the ends touching and hang in the attic or a very cool/dry space. He has been telling me to hang it on the NORTHWEST side of the house in the months of mid January to mid February. Leave it up there for 3 (three) weeks. If for any reason you get a nasty odor....just get rid of that piece....sometimes it just works out that way and it does not cure right ! As of now...I have 2 more weeks till mine is done....Can't wait !!

Good luck !
Sam

Offline tdeane

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 12:26:52 AM »
You can't dry cure meat with little or no salt, that's ridiculous. And why would you want to? I don't think I want to eat a sausage or salami made with no salt(no flavor).


Offline samiam

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2010, 08:55:48 AM »
Whatever....it's worked for him/us and his parents in the 1800's for years !!!

Offline Randy

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2010, 09:07:20 AM »
i remember as a boy breakfast sausage hanging in the basement in one pound cloth bags.  Mom would open the bag, scrape off the mold and then fry.  How good it was I just don't remember.

Offline apizza

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 09:08:03 AM »
Thank you samian. It appears you do exactly what I remember. I'll be interested in how things turn out.

tdeane I agree about the salt. Gotta have it. When I said no salt in my original post I meant on the outside, such as salt curing.

Offline samiam

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 09:15:42 AM »
I remember him saying adding too much salt adds moisture, which makes it harder to dry in the time needed. Thats why little if any is used. And, with the amount of hot pepper we use...you would not even notice no salt.....Ooooooo, it so good !!

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2010, 09:44:44 AM »
If for any reason you get a nasty odor....just get rid of that piece....sometimes it just works out that way and it does not cure right

Pretty bad idea getting food safety advice from strangers on the Internet. Some of the deadliest food-borne illnesses in sausage are tasteless and odorless. The old-timers knew what they were doing. For example they used pristine, just-butchered animals rather than supermarket meat of questionable origin. Dabbling in meat preservation can be hazardous to your health and that of your family.


Offline Jackitup

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2010, 10:06:16 AM »
Sausage making is a great hobby. Whatever is made should be eaten or frozen as soon as possible. I grew up in the restaurant/food industry and my uncle taught me how to make preserved meats and sausage, smoked meats, he had a sausage/meat market. Under "NO CIRCUMSTANCES" should anyone be getting into preserved products without the proper tool, ingredients, and education. This includes the use of salt and cures. I now work in critical care at Children's Hospital and see the effects of illnesses like ecoli and HUS on kids....NASTY STUFF. And that little toxin called botulism.....A speck smaller than a grain of fine sand will kill a man, a spoonful a city!! That may be over emphasizing the whole sausage thing but not much. Making sausage is fun and makes great eats, but like anything, educate yourself to strange territory, unfamiliar ground, it only makes sense to keep you and yours safe.
Jon
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Offline shango

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2010, 01:11:07 PM »
You would be foolish to cure meat without first knowing how to properly adjust the pH levels and Water Activity.  Salt, and Nitrates, nitrites, and bacterial cultures are what will make the necessary adjustments for you.  Temperature and humidity also have a huge role. 

Research would serve you well before you attempt any sort of dry curing.  You could make someone very ill, or even kill them!
pizza, pizza, pizza

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2010, 07:19:08 PM »
You would be foolish to cure meat without first knowing how to properly adjust the pH levels and Water Activity.  Salt, and Nitrates, nitrites, and bacterial cultures are what will make the necessary adjustments for you.  Temperature and humidity also have a huge role. 

Research would serve you well before you attempt any sort of dry curing.  You could make someone very ill, or even kill them!


I am in full agreement with what Shango has said. Curing meat is a tricky business to do safely. There are very exact PH levels, temperatures and humidity and internal water activity (AW) that needs to be maintained for several weeks, or even as long as a year when it comes to prosciutto. Also you are dealing with a very toxic substance to cure meats (Sodium nitrites/nitrates) Cure#1 & Cure#2 require only 4 ounces to cure 100 pounds of meat, the active ingredient in these curing compounds are only 6.25% of the total make-up of the cure. you use too much and it is poisonous, you use too little and you have a god chance of growing botulism in that meat.

Remember, if you screw up you wont get sick, You'll get dead!!
C. Botulinum is deadly, the Latin word for botulism is derived from "Sausage" for a reason.

I cure meats at home, But I have studied the art/science of it for months and months before attempting it. and it is still a little scary at times.

read through this website; http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/ see what is all entailed, learn what needs to be done, what can go wrong, and what will happen of something does go wrong before hanging a salted meat in an uncontrolled environment and planning to eat it.

You will also want to read the book "Charcuterie" by Polcyn/Ruhlman, and "great sausage recipes & meat curing" by the late Rytek Kutas before venturing any farther into the aged-sausage /meat curing procedures.

It is not something you will want to mess with until you know what can go wrong, and the 3-million things that will make it go horribly wrong.

I do not mean to come off like some "Holier than thou" person, I am just trying to keep someone from making a deadly mistake.

A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline Mo

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2010, 10:29:00 PM »
or even as long as a year when it comes to prosciutto. Also you are dealing with a very toxic substance to cure meats (Sodium nitrites/nitrates) Cure#1 & Cure#2 require only 4 ounces to cure 100 pounds of meat, the active ingredient in these curing compounds are only 6.25% of the total make-up of the cure. you use too much and it is poisonous, you use too little and you have a god chance of growing botulism in that meat.

Prosciutto is cured only with salt and air...no nitrites or nitrates. Ground sausages are sometimes fermented to help control unwanted bacterial growth; also, the promotion of harmless molds (creamy and white) on the exterior of dry cured sausages can act as a protection against undesirable strains of mold, etc...


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Home made sausage, drying/curing
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2010, 05:02:13 PM »
I saw an article today at FoodBusinessNews.net in which it was reported that Daniel International, a well-known producer of dried sausage, has expanded an earlier recall of dried sausage because of salmonella contamination:

Daniele expands recall
FoodBusinessNews.net, February 18, 2010
by Keith Nunes
 
WASHINGTON — For a second time Rhode Island-based Daniele International, Inc. has expanded its recall of Italian-style dry sausage products. The latest recall expansion occurs as the Food and Drug Administration continues to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo that has sickened 230 in at least 44 states.

The recall now includes an additional 115,000 lbs of sausage that may be contaminated. The recall expansion was initiated after a confirmed finding of Salmonella in an unopened sausage product tested by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and by ingredient testing performed by the company. The product was sampled during the course of the ongoing investigation.

The products were not subject to recall previously because they are not sausage products that contain black pepper on the external surface, or packaged with such products. Based on preliminary testing results, the company believes that crushed red pepper may be a possible source of Salmonella contamination.

The F.D.A. said it is continuing to investigate the possibility that pepper might be responsible for the outbreak and has not yet reached any conclusion. In an abundance of caution, both of Daniele International’s immediate suppliers of pepper temporarily have placed the remaining supply of black pepper in potentially affected lots on hold while the F.D.A. continues the investigation.

Since Jan. 23, Daniele International has recalled more than 1 million lbs of sausage.


Peter
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

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