Monday, April 2, 2007

Beef Brisket Sausage

This run will be made of Beef Brisket. I prefer either 100% Beef Brisket or a 50-50% of Beef and Pork. If you watch your local grocery store’s sales, you can usually catch Beef Brisket on at a very good sale price, especially around the National Holidays such as July 4th, where people like to smoke brisket for their long week-ends. Select the Packer Trim Brisket rather than the leaner trim. The price is cheaper, and the fat content usually (not always) works out to around 30%. These briskets are always packaged in a heavy food plastic shrink, and they freeze well for a good period of time. I like to make up my sausage run of about 10 pounds at a time. The Beef Brisket is usually packaged around 10 or 15 pounds. So select the weight that you can comfortably work with. Stock up when you find them on sale. Be sure you have freezer room!

Now is a good time to get out your spice recipe and the spices, and prepare the spice mix for the amount of meat that you will be grinding. Tip: My favorite spice mix is calibrated for 50 pounds of meat. I find it hard to mentally break up all the measurements by 20% for 10 pounds of meat, so I usually make up the full spice recipe, then split it 5 ways and make up small Food Saver packages of the spices, ready for 10 pound batches. The vacuum packs keep the spices fresh between batch runs, and I always make sure I have a spice pack ready to go before I start a run.
Speaking of Food Saver Packaging, this would be a good time to cut the bags from the Food Saver roll, and seal the bottom end with the Food Saver machine.

I have a Friskars rotary cutter for my photography work, and I find that it works very well to get straight 90 degree cuts of the bag material.

This is also a good time to get out the casings and wash them and start them soaking in fresh water. Clean and soak them as per the directions on the packaging. I use hog casings for the size sausage that I prefer. They come packaged in salt brine. I use a plastic container with a tight fitting lid to store the casings and brine solution. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to store them in the refrigerator, but I adhere to my caution of Cold, so they are always in the refrigerator at my house.

-=- Jerry -=-

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