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Some tips for the new sausage maker - FLAVORS

Posted By: Joe Ames
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 8:34 a.m.

Over the centuries classic spice combinations have emerged for some sausages. However, these combinations can vary greatly from region to region for a sausage with the same name. Bratwurst is a good example. There are literally thousands of sausages, so add your creation to the list. ;-)

For the most part, the flavor components of various sausages evolved from what was available locally, or in abundance.

Before we discuss spices, it’s good to note that meat is a “flavor” too, especially the fat content, so different combinations of meats with different fat contents will produce different flavors in your sausage. Generally speaking, the fat content of your raw sausages should contain between 30 and 50% fat by weight, for a tasty product.

Spices.. IMHO, it is best to make up “Spice blends”, then start using this blend as one ingredient, at about a one percent level to start with. This is one pound per 100 pounds of meat. Be careful with the strong spices such as cloves, pepper, etc.

Ideally, you should weigh everything, then convert your blends to a percentage by weight. Then you will know exactly where you are with each spice and can adjust to your personal taste as required.

If you are not going to use weights, then measure ACCURATELY so that you get the same results every time.

The flavors that come from spices are actually the “Oils and Oleoresins” within the spice. When you smell a spice, that aroma is the flavor dissipating. Try to use fresh spices from a reliable supplier.. Spices don’t die, they just fade away. ;-)

A good way for the home sausage maker to insure a good distribution of his spice blend, is to mix it with a little water, wine, etc. first, (about 10% of the meat weight), then mix it into the meat along with your other ingredients.

Once that is done, your sausage meat mix should be allowed to set refrigerated, at least 6 to 8 hours, overnight is better. This will allow the oils and oleoresins that are in the ground spices to get out and into the meat.

I have probably overlooked some points, so if anyone would like to add to this, please do. ;-)

Joe

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