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berkshire pork sausage


whifflechef
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So I am partnering with a local pork producer who specializes in amazing berkshire pork but also raises lamb and some grassfed beef (DWFarms). I have offered to make them some sausage recipes to sell at the farmers market. The sausage they have made so far has some texture issues. I assumed that being a leaner pork and a very small farm they were using mostly scrap and did not follow the proper ratios for sausage.

My first batch with a proper lean meat to fat ratio as well as a batch with an increased fat ratio also had this texture issue, dry and crumbly. Obviously it is a fat emulsification issue.

I tried a mousseline route with heavy cream but no panada.

Besides the next step of adding a panada does anyone have any suggestions? Adding any pork besides theirs is not a possibility.

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So I am partnering with a local pork producer who specializes in amazing berkshire pork but also raises lamb and some grassfed beef (DWFarms).  I have offered to make them some sausage recipes to sell at the farmers market.  The sausage they have made so far has some texture issues.  I assumed that being a leaner pork and a very small farm they were using mostly scrap and did not follow the proper ratios for sausage. 

My first batch with a proper lean meat to fat ratio as well as a batch with an increased fat ratio also had this texture issue, dry and crumbly. Obviously it is a fat emulsification issue.

I tried a mousseline route with heavy cream but no panada.

Besides the next step of adding a panada does anyone have any suggestions? Adding any pork besides theirs is not a possibility.

I would think that they have backfat or suet that you could use..Gotta be fat, it a hog...

Bud

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So I am partnering with a local pork producer who specializes in amazing berkshire pork but also raises lamb and some grassfed beef (DWFarms).  I have offered to make them some sausage recipes to sell at the farmers market.  The sausage they have made so far has some texture issues.  I assumed that being a leaner pork and a very small farm they were using mostly scrap and did not follow the proper ratios for sausage. 

My first batch with a proper lean meat to fat ratio as well as a batch with an increased fat ratio also had this texture issue, dry and crumbly. Obviously it is a fat emulsification issue.

I tried a mousseline route with heavy cream but no panada.

Besides the next step of adding a panada does anyone have any suggestions? Adding any pork besides theirs is not a possibility.

I would think that they have backfat or suet that you could use..Gotta be fat, it a hog...

Bud

Used fatback in the mix already, suet is beef fat and it doesn't make a good sausage because of its low melting point.

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So I am partnering with a local pork producer who specializes in amazing berkshire pork but also raises lamb and some grassfed beef (DWFarms).  I have offered to make them some sausage recipes to sell at the farmers market.  The sausage they have made so far has some texture issues.  I assumed that being a leaner pork and a very small farm they were using mostly scrap and did not follow the proper ratios for sausage. 

My first batch with a proper lean meat to fat ratio as well as a batch with an increased fat ratio also had this texture issue, dry and crumbly. Obviously it is a fat emulsification issue.

I tried a mousseline route with heavy cream but no panada.

Besides the next step of adding a panada does anyone have any suggestions? Adding any pork besides theirs is not a possibility.

I would think that they have backfat or suet that you could use..Gotta be fat, it a hog...

Bud

Used fatback in the mix already, suet is beef fat and it doesn't make a good sausage because of its low melting point.

You are correct about the suet.Sorry.

There must be cuts of the hog that have some fat marble.

Have you tried grinding the fatback finer than the rest of the meat? That is a strange problem..You might post this on the charcutrie thread, as there are folks there that will probably have better answers than I do..

Good luck Bud

.

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I did a batch of fresh sausage with Berkshire earlier this year, using shoulder supplemented with additional fat to hit 33% fat, and it turned out fine. If you're getting emulsification issues, they're probably more related to the grinding and stuffing process than the fact that it's Berkshire. You shouldn't need to go to panadas and the like to make a pork sausage.

- Are you using firm fat?

- Are you keeping everything very cold through the whole stuffing and grinding process?

- Are you grinding too fine?

- Are you mixing seasonings into the ground meat, or grinding the seasonings and meat together?

- What equipment are you using for stuffing?

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I did a batch of fresh sausage with Berkshire earlier this year, using shoulder supplemented with additional fat to hit 33% fat, and it turned out fine. If you're getting emulsification issues, they're probably more related to the grinding and stuffing process than the fact that it's Berkshire. You shouldn't need to go to panadas and the like to make a pork sausage.

- Are you using firm fat?

- Are you keeping everything very cold through the whole stuffing and grinding process?

- Are you grinding too fine?

- Are you mixing seasonings into the ground meat, or grinding the seasonings and meat together?

- What equipment are you using for stuffing?

would grinding the seasonings with the meat have any effect on if the meat would become crumbly or not?

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A key to texture is temperature.

You need to keep the meat, and the grinding process cold at all times, below 40F/4C or the emulsion will break, and you get the dry crumbly texture as you describe.

Put the meat in the freezer for an hour before grinding, but not completely frozen, as you can't grind frozen fat. Set the bowl in ice, and maybe add some to the grind. Monitor the temperature and don't grind too long-Keep it cold!

Remove as much sinew as possible so it does not clog the blade,

Overcooking can also make sausages grainy and dry.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Whifflechef, there's a real risk on here of trying "to teach Granny to suck eggs".

Hence this advice is offered... with some temerity!

I'd go further than Jackal10, and say that most sausage texture issues seem to be down to temperature.

As he points out, meat minces ("grinds") more easily and 'cleanly' if its really cold. And it's texture can be spoiled if it gets too warm. Hence attention to mincer blade sharpness, plate flatness, sinew removal, etc all importantly help to reduce the heating during mincing - especially with a small mincer, like mine.

IMHO 'quenching' the mince in a cold bowl shouldn't be necessary, and can't undo any damage that might have been caused by overheating as the meat goes through the grinder.

However, you do need to have the mince back to chill temperature before mixing it to sausage forcemeat with a tiny quantity of (yes, cold) liquid. It needs to be quite cold for the fats to seemingly form the emulsion - and I'm not talking about an 'emulsified sausage' - that sticky paste after mixing has to hold the fat when the sausage cooks. The way it is mixed *does* seem to make a difference.

Do it nice and cold and you shouldn't need emulsifiers or binders - or our British banger's "rusk".

It helps (well, it certainly doesn't harm) the texture to let the sausage stabilise for a few (12, 24?) hours before cooking.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't apply in this case, but its not a good idea to try and mince (or even second pass re-mince), and mix and stuff in one process - by putting a stuffer horn onto the end of the mincer, still fitted with its blade and screen. I'm sure there are folk somewhere who can make this work, but it seems to me to take away any control that one would hope to have over the mixing - and its temperature!

I hope you'll report back on your progress - *especially* if it turns out that you discover a completely different cause and solution!

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Thanks for all of the thoughts. The temperature was kept under forty and the equipment was chilled. Stuffing was done after all items were rechilled. I will try the let it rest technique.

The mix was shoulder, belly, and jowl plus a little fatback. It was cleaned, diced and marinated with the spices for twenty four hours, ground on a large die, chilled, small die, chilled, stuffed.

I will continue and try to figure out what happened and see if I can fix it.

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- Are you mixing seasonings into the ground meat, or grinding the seasonings and meat together?

would grinding the seasonings with the meat have any effect on if the meat would become crumbly or not?

Not directly. But when seasonings are added after grinding, you've got to mix them into the ground meat, and I've had problems with emulsification from this step. Now I always season before grinding. Not sure if the benefit comes from less handling of the ground meat, or from less exposure of ground meat to room temperature, but it works for me.

whiffle, are you using an spiral-feed stuffer (like a KitchenAid or Porkert) or a piston stuffer (like a Grizzly or Northern Tool)? The latter are more forgiving than the former for avoiding emulsification. If you do have a spiral-feed stuffer, maybe try hand-stuffing a couple of test sausages and see if they have a better texture than the ones that go through the machine.

Edited by HKDave (log)

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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...

The mix was shoulder, belly, and jowl plus a little fatback. It was cleaned, diced and marinated with the spices for twenty four hours, ground on a large die, chilled, small die, chilled, stuffed.

...

The dog that didn't bark there is the mixing stage.

In his book "Charcuterie" Michael Ruhlman calls it "paddling" to achieve a "bind" - gentle chilled mixing with a tiny quantity of additional cold liquid to make a slightly sticky forcemeat paste, as an important stage before stuffing. (IMHO this can be described as forming an emulsion of sorts, even though its not for what would be called an "emulsified sausage".)

The Charcuterie thread is massive, but if you search *within* the thread (bottom left of each page) you'll find various references such as this one:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1169389

'Bind' would be a good search term! (3 pages of results!)

Mixing/paddling will make the sausage less "crumbly", less "loose" and more cohesive - and somehow seemingly retaining more juiciness on cooking.

Cohesiveness is a matter of personal preference, but I think *the* way of increasing it is to increase the amount of (machine or hand) mixing or 'paddling" - rather than relying on the mincing process to somehow achieve this.

The result of overheating during mincing/grinding, by way of contrast, is usually described as "grittiness" - and pretty universally disliked.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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If the meat is crumbling apart, and you have the correct fat ratio, i think the problem is you haven't formed the primary bind properly.

I haven't used Ruhlman's method with a KA mixer, but when i mix my meats for salami and sausages i mix and fold using my hands until you form a white-ish layer on the bowl and the meat is sticky.

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