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Probably more that you wanted to know. ;-)

Posted By: Joe Ames
Date: Friday, January 11, 2002 at 8:56 a.m.

In Response To: Dry Curing Sausage using Mortons (Patrick)

Hi Patrick,

Here's a simple recipe from one of the Morton books.

Summer Sausage is a hard, dry sausage that is highly seasoned and will keep for a long time if stored in a dry place where it does not mold. A good Summer Sausage is made as follows;

20 lbs. lean beet
10 lbs. lean pork

Cut the meat into small pieces and thoroughly mix pork with the beef. Then grind it once, using a plate with 3/16 " holes. After the grinding, spread out the meat and add the following seasonings uniformly;

1 lb. Tender Quick
2 1/2 oz. finely ground black pepper
2 1/2 oz. sage
1 oz cane sugar
1/2 oz. whole white pepper
Garlic finely ground if desired.

Thoroughly mix the seasoning by kneading it into the meat, and regrind, using a plate with
1/8" holes, until the meat has been ground very fine.
After the meat is seasoned and ground, spread it on wax paper in a cool, dry place for 3 or 4 days. Then stuff into casings and tie into 15 or 20 lengths. Rub the casings liberally with Sugar-Cure, Hang up and allow to dry and age for some time before using.
Summer Sausage may be smoked in a cool smoke if desired.

I suggest that you also use a "Starter Culture" you can get some at the Butcher Packer Store Use at 2 oz per 100 pounds of meat. (Mixed with a little water for better distribution.)


Here are some pointers from one of my text books..

Dry and Semidry Sausages

The Sausage Making Procedure
Dry and semidry sausage can be made successfully with a grinder and either a high speed (3000 rpm) or a regular low speed (400-600 rpm) meat chopper. It is best to use only 2 or 3 knives with the meat chopper. However, sausages can be made using only a grinder and a mixer. But the most efficient method with best results is obtained by using a combination of first grinding then chopping in a high speed chopper.

Curing Materials and Seasonings
Federal regulations specify that meat mixture for dry and semidry sausages contain not less than 3 1/3 lb of salt and not over 2 3/4 oz of sodium nitrate per 100 lb of meat mixture.
Also, to avoid contamination of the mixture, only purified and sterilized spices should be used.

After the meat mixture has been prepared, it is tightly packed to eliminate air pockets in meat pans not deeper than 6 in. This depth of the meat mixture in pans should be reduced with the finer granulated meat particles so as to facilitate rapid chilling of the mixture in the chill room. Cover with parchment or wax paper to avoid oxidation of the top layer of mixture in the pans.
Curing room temperature should be kept at 3638F and the meat mixture held there for 2-3 days depending upon the granulation of the mixture. Curing room must have proper air circulation to keep walls and ceilings dry.

Preparatory to stuffing, the sausage mixture is removed from the curing room and placed in a vacuum mixer and mixed under 25 in. of vacuum just long enough to make it pliable for stuffing. This takes approximately 1 2 minutes. Do not start the mixer until the air has been evacuated.
When mixture is pliable, it is packed tightly in the stuffer so as to avoid air pockets. After stuffing, casings are punctured to allow entrapped air to escape.

Green Sausage Room.
Sausages are held in a green room for 3-4 days to lose some of their moisture and to develop further cure and flavor before transferring them either to the drying room or to the smokehouse if they are to be smoked. The green room should be maintained at a temperature of 70 - 75F with a relative humidity of 75-80%. Under these conditions, the pores of the casings are kept open so sausages can lose moisture. Hang sausages on sticks 4-6 in. apart for good air circulation.

Smoking is usually more necessary for sausages stuffed in beef casings than in hog casings. Beef casings are hard to dry without development of slime unless they are smoked.
Successful smoking is dependent upon proper temperature, proper humidity control, and proper air movement in the smokehouse. Under no circumstances should the smokehouse temperature be higher than 90F as this might sour the sausages. The recommended temperature is between 75 and 76 F with relative humidity of 70%.

Case hardening of the sausages results from rapid lowering of the humidity; this causes a gray ring in the mixture just under the casing and slows moisture removal from the interior of the sausage.
Too high humidity causes condensation of moisture on the casings resulting in poor color of the sausages and loss of the desired firm texture.
The length of smoking depends upon the type and size of the sausages. They should be smoked until the desired color is obtained.

If the sausages are smoked, they are transferred to the drying room without any delay.
Drying room temperature should range from 52 to 56F with relative humidity from 65 to 75% depending upon the character of the product. Circulation of the air conditioned to the above temperature and relative humidity is most important.
Improperly designed air-conditioning can be the source of many troubles. Different grades of sausages require different rates of air circulation. Sausages stuffed in hog casings need more air movement than sausages in beef casings. Finely chopped sausage mixtures dry slower than coarsely chopped mixtures. So temperature, humidity, and air circulation should he closely controlled during drying.

Since the sausage mixture must dry from the inside out, any attempt to speed up the drying procedure results in case hardening. This closes the pores of the casings and stops the escape of moisture from the interior of the sausage. On the other hand, if sausages dry too slowly molding may occur. But sausages should dry slowly, under proper conditions in the drying room
When transferring sausages from the green room to the drying room, they should not be hung too closely to sausages already in the room that are partially dried. Plenty of space should be left between different lots of sausages for proper air circulation. It is even better to place them in a different room.
Sausages will dry too slowly if fat accumulates on the surface of the casings. If this happens, wash sausages with warm water to remove grease and facilitate drying..
The drying time under proper drying conditions depends upon the type of sausages being produced. Semidry sausages require from 10 to 25 days with an approximate shrinkage of 20% from green weight. Medium dry sausages require from 30 to 60 days with approximately 32% shrinkage. Fully dried sausages require from 60 to 90 dayswith approximately 40% shrinkage after smoking.


Messages In This Thread

Dry Curing Sausage using Mortons
Patrick -- Friday, January 11, 2002 at 4:03 a.m.
Probably more that you wanted to know. ;-)
Joe Ames -- Friday, January 11, 2002 at 8:56 a.m.
Joe Ames -- Friday, January 11, 2002 at 9:42 a.m.

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