3 – FERMENTED-SAUSAGE … naturally-fermented (like Summer Sausage) plus the Air-Dried variety

3 – FERMENTED-SAUSAGE … naturally-fermented (like Summer Sausage) plus the Air-Dried variety


…techniques often require a temperature-controlled, humidity-controlled environment for months on end, but lately something called a Umai semi-permeable membrane bag is coming into use. Fermented sausage comments are welcomed- – read all about it, here.  …please! This exciting new development in an exciting old-developed field promises to enable more of us to enjoy such things.
As for me, I’m dying to try to duplicate some of the incredible chorizos that we recently enjoyed on a trip to Spain and Portugal. I’ll (sigh) never be able to obtain, let alone afford, an Iberian ham, but a guy can dream…

There are lots of traditional Central European items that need to be written about. …looking forward to reading about (and trying!) them.
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147 thoughts on “3 – FERMENTED-SAUSAGE … naturally-fermented (like Summer Sausage) plus the Air-Dried variety

  1. Here’s a shot of some recently-finished summer sausage. The cut piece is a 50 gm test chunk stored in parchment paper, so hopefully isn’t typical of the bulk item. The dark ring around the outside of the test piece is probably due to case hardening, since this batch was prepared along with a batch of landjaeger. …but it’s dried well, and doesn’t seem to matter as far as taste goes. (How embarrassing, though!)

  2. What did I learn today?
    Here are two chubs, a Salami d’Allessandra (Genoa) on the right and a Spanish Salchichón on the left. Both are Marianski recipes, have T-SPX bacteria and cure #2 in them, and are ready to go into my home-built cure chamber. What I learned is to always mark on the package containing the casings how much mince a casing can typically store. I did this for a smaller (1-1/2 x 12 inch) casing when I made summer sausage, earlier, but used a larger (3 x 24 inch) casing for these two beauties. The Genoa has 1.1 kg, so I boosted the Salchichón to 1.7 kg. There was still a little bit of room to spare. As the old saying goes, “Now ya know.”

    Note that both are pre-tied on top, secured with a hog ring backed up by a clip on the bottom. I put little tags on each stating product name, date, and green weight. I recorded the information in my log book, too. There’s a little bundle suspended from the top tie, which is a small amount of mince to be used to test the pH after about 3 days of fermenting at 20 degC and 90% humidity. Both recipes have sugar and dextrose in them to feed the bacteria. Hopefully both will ferment well, dropping the pH into the 5 range with lactic acid.

    (The dark area on the bottom of the Salchichón is shadow from the kitchen counter.)

  3. Remember those fermenting sausages that I showed you about two months ago, the Salami d’Allessandra (Genoa) and Spanish Salchichón ? The long wait in the curing cabinet is over. (It’s been about as exciting as watching paint dry.) The weight loss is about right, so I have scrubbed the mold off the protein-lined fibrous casing, and they’re ready to be vacuum packed in Foodsaver bags and allowed to mellow in the refrigerator.

    Tasty! …and well worth the wait. The Genoa is shown below. The Salchichón looks similar.

  4. …just got back from a trip on which we researched sausages, of course. Seems like the cost ought to be amortizable as an R&D expense, but our accountant says no (the bum) because we had too good a time.
    Anyway, I’ll post an interesting new recipe shortly, for Pirot Ironed Sausage. This interesting recipe from Pirot, Serbia, “belongs to the sudzuk type, more or less hot sausages made of fermented meat of older animals – cattle, sheep, donkeys, goats, etc. The weight ratio of different types of meat has never been strictly defined, but pork meat is never used.”
    Intrigued? Stay tuned. Donkey meat is hard to come by, here in the States, but can be ordered off Chinese site Alibaba.com by the metric ton if you are really, really interested. Oh, well.

  5. One of the thrills of traveling is meeting fascinating people and sharing their recipes. My wife and I were aboard a small ship, the M/S Arethusa, cruising the Italian Riviera. A native of Serbia, Miroslav Milisavljevic, was hotel manager. In discussing sausage making, he provided me with a recipe interesting from both a culinary standpoint and a view into life in eastern Serbia. What follows is his translation of a recipe, followed by a recipe edited from several internet posts. http://sausageswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Pirot-Ironed-Sausage.pdf

    The meat description should draw your attention immediately. Have you ever wondered what happens to animals which have lived their full lives and are ready for… what? Well, here’s a recipe from what obviously is a poor area of the world, for efficient disposal of such animals to the benefit of their masters. Bear that in mind as you acquire ingredients for this recipe. In the USA, it is difficult to find the meat of any sheep older than lamb, probably because those of us who ate mutton in the 1950’s have such bad memories of the taste and smell. Aside from those who live close to the Mexican border, it is difficult to find cabrito and even harder to find mature (cabra) goat meat. Tougher beef, such as steer meat, is hard to find. As for donkey, forget it. I found donkey meat avail on Chinese website AliBaba.com, but in minimum quantities of one metric ton. So, this recipe may not accurately represent what is available in rural eastern Serbia, but it should give you an idea of what the authentic sausage tastes like.

    This sausage is “of the sudzuk type,” meaning that it a fermented, air-dried sausage with no preservatives. Please have a look at the sujuk recipes elsewhere on SausagesWest.com. The method uses fermenting and air drying in cool weather, and is commonly found in Armenia and Turkey. Those recipes use readily available beef rather than the animals called for here, but the processing is similar. For fermenting/drying instructions, review one of the summer sausage recipes.

    Note the lack of nitrite/nitrate. This is probably due to scarcity. I have added instructions on how to use nitrite/nitrate (cure #2) so as to minimize the chance of botulism poisoning. This curing will alter the flavor somewhat, probably to good advantage.

    This sausage is of type fermented/cured/semi-dry, similar to a summer sausage. Natural fermentation hopefully lowers the pH, but its main stability comes from lower water content. As no moisture level is specified, I recommend keeping the sausage refrigerated (vacuum packed) until consumed.

  6. …cold smoking in Texas? …this time of year? That’s impossible, right?

    Not so fast, Bubbie! I’ve been dying to try that Hungarian sausage recipe that Badjak put me onto. It’s been a cool spring, with temperatures dipping into the 50’s F overnight about once a week. Beloved Spouse was out of town and the coast was clear. So, I made up a batch, Hungarian paprika and bacteria and all, installed it under a plastic bag on a rack in the breakfast room where I could keep it misted, and had it happily fermenting (5.0 pH) and ready to go for the arrival of the next cold front.

    Sure enough, the front blew through about 2:30 AM. A few raindrops rattled on the skylight. I pulled on my tennies and superhero cape, went out to the garage and loaded my trusty A-MAZE-N smoke generator with alder pellets, hung the sausages and a thermometer in the smoker, and had it smokin’ by quarter of three.

    Ah, the excitement. I kept waking up every hour or so, sniffing for woodsmoke at the window, occasionally going out and checking the temperature. It never got above 63 degF, which is good because anything above 80 is bad. One re-load of the smoke pellets and we were good until about 9:30 AM. I brought the sausages in and loaded ‘em into my cure cabinet, running at 13 degC and 85% humidity, and went back to bed.

    The curing cabinet is working its slow magic on the sausages. The weight was down by 20% when I checked this morning. The little beauties are a nice brown color, and there’s no mold coating even though I sprayed with Mold-600. …should be tasty in about a month. …can’t wait.

    Hey! If you can’t get to Budapest for a meal, drop by where I live, just north of Buda, Texas. It’s not nearly as grand, but we occasionally turn out great sausages here, too.

  7. Sounds real good, el Ducko 😉

    I am trying my hands on fuet snack sticks.
    Using sheep casing is a real pain though (in my humble opinion).
    Hope it all works out OK

  8. June 30, 2019 el Ducko
    Coming soon- – a new fermented sausage recipe for a sausage from the former Yugoslavia which is very popular in Croatia and Vojvodina, called Kulen. We’ve recently returned from a trip there, and found the area full of delightful people, good food, and spectacular scenery. …more just as soon as I can work up the recipe. This is a sausage which requires cold weather for extended smoking, so is best done in winter months. We’ll probably try it with UMAi bags, seeing as how it requires drying such as you would do by hanging it in smokehouse rafters. …or barns!
    More, later.

  9. July 12, 2019 at 01:46 Badjak
    Sounds good Duk.
    I never got around to buying umai bags. Too much beer making stuff to take with.
    I’ll probably be struggling with the temperature, but who knows….
    Maybe I can make it work with some adjustments

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