Visual Guide To Stuffing Sausage

Here are some step by step instructions on how to prep, fill, and cook your first sausage.  A visual guide is always easier to follow, so we hope this better illustrates the process.

 


1. Soak your casings


2. Prep your ingredients


3. Coarse grind your meat (first pass)

4. It should have an even look to it when done. Add your cure, and mix in


5. Remove fat from pork belly and grind only fat into your meat.


6. Mix fat into meat. You want about a 75% meat to 25% fat ratio.


7. Add seasoning and water to your mixture and hand mix everything together. Load your soaked casings onto the meat stuffer attachment and place your mixture a little at a time into the tray on top.


8. Slowly push the meat mixture down with a plunger and let it fill the casings. Twist off to form links at desired length. If a finer texture is desired, push through a smaller plate.


9. Cook links to 156°F internal temperature and a nice reddish brown color. Cool down, reheat on a grill for the best flavor.

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Test Your Sausage With Newly Weds Foods

Developing the perfect sausage can be an exciting and fun journey as seasonings, binders, casings, and meat choices come together as one. Here at Newly Weds Foods, we hold ourselves to a culinary gold standard in helping our customers create products that balance taste with texture, bite, and value. We also have a deep understanding of the manufacturing process and operate several pilot plants at select Newly Weds Foods locations around the world, which house processing equipment consistent with what our customers use. This enables us to translate a winning chef driven recipe to a formula that works on a large scale processing line.

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Fun Facts About British Bangers

  • Sausages are thought to have been first introduced to Great Britain by the Romans circa 400 A.D.
  • Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1876, was very fond of sausages but made the tedious request that the meat used be hand chopped rather than minced.
  • There is a society in England dedicated entirely to sausages – the British Sausage Appreciation Society, which hosts British Sausage Week every year!
  • The most popular sausages in the UK are made with pork. Some popular varieties include Cumberland (which are never separated into links), Lincolnshire (flavored with fresh sage), Pork and Apple, Pork and Leek, and Pork and Herb.
  • In the year 2014, Britons spent an estimated 780 million British Pounds, or just over 1.1 billion US dollars, on sausages alone!

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The Science of Sausage

While most good sausage makers and “Wurstmachers” are referred to as artisans, there is just as much science in making good sausage as there is art, and they know this. While crafting 5 or 10 pounds for a backyard BBQ may be a lot of fun, how can that product be manufactured to those same quality standards on a much larger scale?

The first key consideration is fat. It carries flavor and provides an entirely different texture and juiciness than the meat itself. The percentage of fat used is based on the type of sausage made, but typically ranges from 24% to 42%. The next consideration is the handling of the meat. The use of fresh meat is preferred over frozen meat because thawed meat tends to release a lot of moisture and lead to an overly dry and firm sausage. The meat should not be overmixed as that breaks down fat and leads to an unpleasant texture. Finally, meat temperature must be controlled in storage and in processing to meat food safety and quality standards. Too much heat can lead to bacterial growth and unwanted melting of fat. Finally, salt is essential. It opens up the muscle fibers in the meat to want and accept fat, water, seasoning, and other ingredients as well as envelop them to get the full impact in every bite. Salt also enables the fat to blend perfectly with the meat, which gives sausage that great snap people enjoy.

Two additives often found in manufactured sausages are antioxidants and high pH additives, which help to maintain the integrity of the sausages. Antioxidants such as BHA, BHT, citric acid, and more natural compounds such as rosemary extract, prevent the fat from going rancid. High pH additives such as phosphates and sodium bicarbonate help to improve moisture retention keeping sausages juicy and delicious.

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Rusk

Rusk is a kind of biscuit or light bread dough baked twice until it is hard. One key use for rusk is as the cereal ingredient utilized in manufacturing ground meat products especially the great British “banger” sausage. Rusk’s unique characteristics impart the yielding texture and subtle flavor profiles expected of this British staple. There are two types of rusk: yeastless and bread rusk, though the former is more widely used with about 80% market share.

Rusk used in sausage production started in southwest Britain in the 1920’s. Until that point, sausages were often made with stale bread crumbs obtained from the local baker. However, stale bread, though cheap, did have its shortcomings. The variability of the bread led to differences in water absorption as well as uncontrolled bacterial count, leading to accelerated sausage souring and problems with color and shelf life. Rusk solved the issues through its manufacturing process, with its consistency delivering predictable outcomes. It greatly contributes to a desirable finished product texture (without being too meaty or mealy), extended shelf life, an enhanced appearance and overall value.

The Big Bang Theory

Despite the recent surge in popularity, nose to tail eating has actually been around for a long time. The phrase “everything except the squeal” was coined many years earlier at a time when two world wars and the Depression drove consumers to grapple with limited resources.

There are stories of very unscrupulous butchers using sawdust and other nefarious materials from the floors of their shops to “pad out” the meat and make what little there was go even further. More commonly however, butchers would use whatever regional grains were in abundance and a considerable amount of water to extend the product.

Sausages that were made in this way had a tendency to pop when cooked. During World War II British soldiers would put them on shovels over an open fire, and the bursting of their casing in the trenches of northern Europe were rumored to sound like cracks of gunfire. Thus, the British “banger” was born. While this tale may be more fiction than fact, it highlights one unique aspect that defines the banger, although maybe slightly exaggerated.

Once refined, rusk became an essential part of sausage processing. It not only eliminated the exploding sausage by controlling the moisture and fat migration but also helped deliver a more rounded and desirable flavor and texture.

The rusk element doesn’t technically have a protected status, but a sausage without a certain amount of “filler” is not a British banger. Heston Blumenthal seems to agree. In his book and TV show “In Search of Perfection,” Blumenthal sets out to create the perfect banger. At first he hypothesized that a perfect banger would have very high meat content mixed with some seasonings, essentially being a filler-less sausage. However, the initial result was missing the right snap and was strangely “too meaty.” Blumenthal eventually concedes and acknowledges the necessity and importance of incorporating fillers for the perfect banger.

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Blueberry Sausage Brunch Cake With Blueberry Sauce

The blueberry sauce on this sausage cake provides the right acidity to brighten an otherwise traditionally heavy dish. The chefs here at Newly Weds Foods have fully explored sausage and ALL the ways to use it, as this recipe demonstrates.

Cake
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 lb pork sausage crumbles, browned
1 cup blueberries
¾ cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F convection.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add both sugars and mix to combine on medium speed.
4. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
5. Add flour and sour cream in alternating batches.
6. Fold in Sausage crumbles and blueberries with a rubber spatula.
7. Pour batter into a greased 9”x13” pan. Sprinkle nuts on top.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.
9. Serve with warm blueberry sauce

Sauce
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
2 cups blueberries
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sea salt

Directions:
1. Make slurry by combining 2 Tablespoons of water and 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix until smooth
2. Combine remaining five ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.
3. Give slurry another stir until smooth, then add to the pot constantly stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
5. Serve on top the Blueberry sausage brunch cake.

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Stop Playing “Ketchup” With Your Dog!

The next series of blog posts will highlight sausages and the many forms of this ever popular tube-like treat. From Hot Dogs to Brats to the British Banger and beyond, the versatile encased meat mainstay has something to offer everyone. Starting with the simple and straight forward hot dog, our chefs created a few special ways to \ elevate the experience.

Let’s “relish the thought” of eating a simple hot dog at the old ballpark or during a backyard party this summer. Now, combine the love of hot dogs with the knowledge of cooking and fun ingredients. That takes one of America’s greatest comfort foods off the kid’s side of the menu and moves it to the adult side: “Haute Dogs.”

In order to make this happen, a few changes need to take place. First, the size of the dog. No longer will a small 10 to 1 kid dog (10 hot dogs to a pound) do the trick. Start cooking with a larger wiener, either a ¼
pound or jumbo ½ pounder. Second, change the bread. Hold the buns, and search out fresh baked artisan breads like ciabatta, sourdough, Italian panini, sun-dried tomato tortillas, or crispy-crusty French bread. Third, change the cooking method from steaming or heaven forbid, boiling. The grill is the place to be. Grilling helps bring out the natural smoky flavors.

A panini press would also work wonders. If the hot dog was butterflied (split dog ¾ deep right down the middle and open sandwich style), there could be even better grill marks and a shortened cook time. Last and certainly not least, the “haute dog” toppings must be fresh and creative. Fruits, vegetables, seasonal favorites, and much much more. Keep in mind there are no rules to making it right and making it taste great.

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A Middle Eastern Presentation…Just For You

Now that you have learned about the Middle Eastern food trend in the past blog posts from the highlights about the cuisine to the flavors that enliven the meals and even seen some insight into our culinary team’s adventures, what could be next? An opportunity for Newly Weds Foods to help your company bring these flavors to life with your new product development initiatives.

Allow Newly Weds Foods to be your guide. Coming soon, Newly Weds Foods will have a deep dive presentation on Middle Eastern cuisine, which contains:

  • An overview of the region
  • Signature dishes from several countries
  • Commonly used ingredients and examples of how these are being used in foodservice and retail products
  • Recipes developed by Newly Weds Foods chefs that highlight the flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine

Contact your sales representative for more details or to schedule a presentation and tasting of these flavors. Let Newly Weds Foods help you deliver that authenticity your customers are looking for.

 

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Z’hug Sauce

This is the Yemenite version of hot sauce.  It’s typically served with crackers as an appetizer but it’s also served on falafel or shawarma or even in soups!

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups parsley, rough chop with some stems
1 ¼ cups cilantro, rough chop with some stems
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup and 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons jalapeño, rough chop
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons NWF harissa seasoning
1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.

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The Vibrant Flavors Of A Colorful Cuisine

What makes Middle Eastern cuisine so celebrated are some of the unique preparation methods and ingredients native to the Fertile Crescent area. Some representative tastes of the cuisine include cooling, tangy, slightly spicy, and herbal. These flavors are derived from ingredients such as yogurt, garlic, red pepper, and oregano that tantalize the taste buds with each bite. With the variety of flavors that Middle Eastern foods have to offer, it’s no wonder they are starting to gain popularity in retail and foodservice channels. They are poised for even further success when seen as a “better for you” option.

From a preparation method perspective, Middle Eastern foods, especially meats, are traditionally grilled, braised, or roasted. Roasting meat on a vertical spit is one of the more unique cooking methods that originated from the region. Grains, legumes, spices, and vegetables are typically blended, puréed or fermented to enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients, which create unusual yet delicious condiments for proteins, vegetables and breads.

One such condiment that is growing in prominence in the western hemisphere is harissa. This chili paste is made from a blend of smoked Tunisian baklouti and serrano peppers, garlic, coriander, and tomatoes. Another notable item is tahini, which is a paste of sesame seeds often used in falafel wraps. Both of these have seen growth on menus over the last four years, harissa (+78.8%) while tahini went up (+53.3%). A few emerging condiments from the region include muhammara and Yemeni green z’hug. Muhammara is a mixture of puréed roasted red peppers, walnuts, garlic, and lemon juice blended with the tangy sweetness of pomegranate molasses. Yemeni green z’hug has been described as the Arabic version of pesto, only spicier. Z’hug is typically made with green hot peppers, cilantro, coriander, garlic, parsley and various other spices such as caraway seeds. Both muhammara and Yemeni green z’hug are relatively new to American menus and grocery shelves, but as consumers with adventurous palates continue seeking new flavors, these interesting, bright, bold and tangy offerings just might be what they are craving.

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