4 – Project “B” – 2015 – Choosing the Right Meat for your Sausages

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Reading Unit #6

Choosing The Meat For Your Sausages

Very often, we consumers don’t have all that much choice of just what goes into our sausage. Many folks live in rural areas and are somewhat limited to using wild game meats, while others might raise animals such as sheep or cattle. For those folks in a city, the local grocery usually provides a pretty good assortment of pork and beef, with fowls such as chicken, turkey, and ducks, for making very good sausages, but with very limited wild game if any. Whatever you, as a home hobbyist, decide to stuff into casings, you may be assured you can always craft a better sausage than any available commercially, simply by being a little fussy about what goes into the hopper and following time-tested procedures.

Be a little selective when choosing meats for your sausages. If you were raised to believe that sausages were just a place for all the “leftover” cuts and odd n’ ends, you were deceived. Good sausage is made of quality cuts of usually one or two animals. If you are using wild game, it is most prudent to include pork with pork fat to “temper” the mixture. You will simply achieve better texture and flavor. For example, I grew up eating a lot of venison sausage even on a cattle ranch. It was tasty and just fine as long as we made it with a certain percentage of pork and pork fat. Venison has very little fat to begin with, but we eliminated any found (venison fat tastes “gamey”), while we were busy cutting chunks of meat ready for the grinder. We replaced any deer or elk fat using 25% (by volume) pork back-fat. We used pork fat in all sausages, including beef sausages.

 

 

Choosing Pork

It is a good idea to select pork by always shopping at a trusted retail facility. Have you ever heard of “PSE pork” and wondered what it meant? PSE stands for “pale, soft, exudative”, and characterizes meat which shows poor water-binding capacity due to a non-normal fast drop of the pH after slaughter. (See pH at this link: http://sausageswest.com/5-microbiology-technology-the-science-of-meat-cultures/comment-page-6/#comment-1886).

On the other hand, the term DFD refers to “dark, firm, dry”. Meat showing DFD properties can be identified by a pH-value above 6.2.

Meat cuts are characterized as being either “noble” or “less noble”. Noble cuts are made up of mostly highly suitable lean meat along with some bone (to keep the meat juicy as it cooks). Further, they have little connective tissue and contain “easy to remove” outside” fat. They come from the parts of an animal that exercise less frequently such as pork loin, ham, and belly, or beef round sirloin, and rump. These cuts are easy to cook and are very tasty. Can you think of a “less noble” cut? Consider the brisket on a steer – the muscular chest between the front legs. It gets regular exercise “on the hoof” and requires real cooking skill to prepare properly. This cut is not really suitable for making sausage, but just marinate and then barbecue it for eight hours at only 200 degrees F and see what happens! On the other hand, there are sausages that specify a particular cut of meat for its unique flavor. For instance, there is a type of mortadella called “lyoner” that requires pork jowls. Others specify the rear-leg ham, pork belly, or even the skin. Less noble cuts include parts of an animal that exercise more frequently and include pork shoulder, picnic (front upper leg), and hocks. On a steer, less noble cuts include the neck and shoulder. There are also innumerable smaller parts of an animal, both noble and less noble, used for making sausage. These are the “trimmings” from the kidneys and liver, the heart and even the tongue.

Unlike beef, having three primary cuts along it’s back, the hog has but one – the loin. The fore-end of the loin is called the “shoulder cut” or “shoulder chops”, while the center cut has “rib chops”. The south end of the loin on a northbound pig contains the tenderloin and the “sirloin chops”. Shoulder cuts have a lot of fat and connective tissue and are good for roasting or braising but not especially pan-frying. Center cuts have two types of connective muscle while loin chops have one.

In the United States pork is graded either acceptableor utility. Supermarkets stock only “acceptable” grade fresh pork. Meat graded “utility” pork goes into processed products and is not available as “fresh” pork.

A piggy has five principal cuts and include the (a.) shoulder (butt), the upper front leg below the butt called the (b.) “picnic”, the (c.) loin, the (d.) side, and the rear leg called the (e.) ham. These five parts contain all the specialty cuts and parts we use. To see how they are divided, click on the following interactive link from the University Of Nebraska. http://porcine.unl.edu/porcine2005/pages/index.jsp?

Pork and beef mix very well and many sausages are made using the combination. The pork butt (shoulder) and the beef chuck are all-around great choices. They have an ideal fat-to-lean meat ratio, making sausage tender and juicy. Without the fat, the sausage will be dry and difficult to chew.

Did you know that pork fat is unsaturated fat (good cholesterol), and pork lard (melted fatback) is much healthier than butter – which is saturated fat (bad cholesterol). Younger animals have less fat and veal is the leanest, although our ranch outfit never made or used veal products, protesting the inhumane treatment of the calves from which it is made. (Nor did we eat foie gras (force-fed duck liver), disputing the conditions to which these animals are subjected.)

Did you know that meat is up to 75% water and that the age of the animal is the most important factor in choosing a cut for its fat content? Quite simply, the older a hog is, the fatter it is. Is man able to control the flavor of pork? Partially, yes – by controlling their diets. For instance the Smithfield Hams were produced by feeding hogs peanuts. In Spain, home of the famous Serrano Ham, the hogs have been raised on acorns, and the Italian “Parma Hams” are from hogs having eaten chestnuts and whey from the parmesan cheese-making process.

Sausages made entirely from beef will have a harder texture and will be drier than those made of either all or partial pork. Polish sausages are made mostly of pork only, as are Hungarian, Italian and Spanish sausages. On the other hand, German sausages are often made from equal amounts of pork and beef.

 

 

Pork Classifications
When you go shopping, forget someone else’s “description” of the pork contained in a package. Study the classifications below and then inspect the pork at the counter yourself.

Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean with no more than 15% fat. It contains no tendons. Pork loin is the leanest cut of all and is certainly Class I. Some Class I pork is located in the ham (rear leg), although meat grades of all classes may be found in the leg. Fat between muscles is less than 2 mm.

Pork Class II has no bone, but has some medium fat and some tendons. Fat between muscles may be up to 10 mm. Class II has no more than 30 % fat. Pork butt, also known as Boston butt is a great source of Class II although all meat grades may be obtained from the shoulder. Note that Class II (B) contains no more than 45 % fat.

Pork Class III, is lean or medium lean, with no bone, but much sinew and no more than 25 % fat. Class III is found in picnics, legs, and other cuts.

Pork Class IV, has no bone, but contains traces of blood, tendons, and glands. It has no more than 36 % fat.

 

 

Choosing Beef

Beef, especially finely comminuted, has excellent binding properties. As some sausages are made entirely of beef, finely ground it can hold up to 30% water; excellent for making sausage. However, most recipes require some amount of added pork for enhanced flavor. Beef, being a little tougher with a dark-colored blood, may not be the best choice for certain sausages. Beef liver, for instance, is not well-suited for making liver sausages unless it contains at least half pork liver. Those folks making blood sausages, consistently prefer hog blood to beef blood because of its lighter color. And sausages made using lamb, (having a very strong flavor), are usually made with a much higher percentage of pork.

The Three Basic Grades Of Beef

The Meat Inspection Division of the United States Department of Agriculture grades beef quality by estimating the age of the animal, the amount of fat marbling (determined by looking at the rib eye at the 12th rib), and by the texture, color, and appearance of the rib eye. U.S.D.A. “quality grading” is optional and according to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association only about 2% of all the beef carcasses produced in this country, submitted for grading, are quality-graded as “Prime”.

Prime beef cuts are generally the most tender, flavorful, and delicious steaks and roasts and contain less meat due to a higher fat content (marbling). This grade is the most expensive beef and usually only found in meat markets – as opposed to supermarkets. Unless you butcher your own, the best cuts of beef will come from meat markets supplying restaurants and are always Prime or Choice cuts of meat.

Choice beef is juicy and tender, producing excellent steaks and roasts. About 44% of the beef submitted for quality grading is “Choice” grade, (the next grade down from Prime), and is usually available to and selected by, shoppers in retail markets. There is nothing wrong with cuts of this grade and they will save careful shoppers money.

Select beef is generally the most popular grade of beef containing the “average cuts” needing tenderizing occasionally. They are mostly used for grilling or in slow-cooking recipes. Usually marinated, these cuts are found in the supermarket and save the consumer even more money than by purchasing choice grade.

When beef is purchased in vacuum packages, it appears dark reddish-purple. When the package is opened, exposure to oxygen causes the meat to turn bright red, and after a few days, the surface will change to brown. Other grades of beef, sometimes found in supermarkets, are referred to as:

Standard
• Natural,
• Commercial
• Utility
• Non-Graded

These are usually tough cuts and require a little talent to “render tender”, but that’s not to say they can’t be made into very tasty meals. There is no clearly cut definition of these categories and some care should be exercised when making selections. Many people don’t realize that the very best cuts of beef are not available in supermarkets, as they are sold only to restaurants and retailers. Fine restaurants often utilize a process called “aging”, a term used to describe the holding of various meats at a temperature of 34 to 36 degrees F. (1 to 2 degrees C.) for a specified period of time while tough connective tissues break down through the action of enzymes, increasing tenderness. Often, mold will develop upon a carcass (a sure sign of aging), and will simply be washed away with vinegar or cut away before the tenderized meat lying beneath, is cut, cooked, and served. And what about cuts from older steers? Quite often they end up in discount stores.

 

 

Beef Classifications

Class I, is very lean with no bone, no tendons and no fat between mucsles. Overall it contains no more than 7% fat.
Class II, is very lean with no bone but some tendons. Fat between muscles measures up to 2 mm thick. Overall it contains no more than 16% fat.
Class III, is called fat beef and the fat between muscles measures up to 10 mm thick. Overall it contains no more than 45% fat.
Class IV, has no bone but has traces of blood, tendons, and glands. Contains no more than 40 % fat.

 

 

Check Yourself Up – Unit 6 (Selecting Meat)

1. T F Making sinew, gristle, and crushed bone into “home sausages” is what SausagesWest is all about because when it is comminuted, it contains a lot of calcium!
2. T F If you use quality lean meat of any acceptable animal and you add 25% pork fat to the mixture, you should have a pretty good sausage as long as you add ascorbic acid to “cure it”.
3. T F If you are using wild game, it is most prudent to include pork with pork fat to “temper” the mixture.
4. T F Venison means “deer” only.
5. T F PSE stands for “pale, soft, excellent”, and it is the first choice for sausage makers.
6. T F PSE meat has poor water-binding capacity due to an abnormally rapid drop of the pH following slaughter.
7. T F PSE meat has poor water-binding capacity due to an abnormally rapid rise of the pH following slaughter.
8. T F PSE meat has poor water-binding capacity due to an abnormally stability of the pH following slaughter.
9. T T DFD means “danged fake duck” and El DuckO is DFD because he is actually a cuckoo bird.
10. T F DFD is identified easily because its pH value is above 6.2.
11. T F “Noble” cuts contain highly suitable lean meat along with some bone (to keep the meat juicy as it cooks).
12. T F “Noble” cuts contain very little connective tissue.
13. T F “Less Noble” cuts include the loin, hams, and belly.
14. T F The brisket on a steer is naturally tough because it gets exercise regularly.
15. T F The brisket is a “less noble” cut.
16. T F “Trimmings” include less noble neck and shoulder, kidneys and liver, and jowel meat.
17. T F Unlike beef, having three primary cuts along its back, the hog has but one – the butt.
18. T F Shoulder cuts have a lot of fat and connective tissue and are best for pan-frying.
19. T F Meat graded “utility” pork is never sold in processed pork products.
20. T F Supermarkets stock only “acceptable” grade fresh pork.
21. T F A piggy has five principal cuts and include the shoulder, picnic, loin, side, and the front leg called the ham.
22. T F Pork and beef should never be mixed together in sausage.
23. T F Without fat, sausage would be dry and difficult to chew, even with a beak like El DuckO has.
24. T F Pork fat is unsaturated fat (good cholesterol).
25. T F Pork lard (melted fatback) is unsaturated and is much healthier than butter.
26. T F Butter contains saturated fat (bad cholesterol).
27. T F Younger animals have more fat than older animals.
28. T F Meat is about 93% water.
29. T F Meat is about 23% water.
30. T F A hog’s diet largely influences the pork’s flavor.
31. T F Sausages made entirely from beef have a softer texture and will be more moist than those made of either all or partial pork.
32. T F Polish sausages are made mostly of pork only, as are Hungarian, Italian and Spanish sausages.
33. T F Pork loin is the leanest cut of all and is certainly Class IV.
34. T F Pork loin is the leanest cut of all and contains no fat so it isn’t graded.
35. T F Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean with no more than 15% fat.
36. T F Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean with no less than 15% fat.
37. T F Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean, but it always come from a cut with more than 56% fat.
38. T F Pork Class IV, has no bone, but contains traces of blood, tendons, and glands. It has no more than 36 % fat.
39. T F Pork Class IV contains traces of blood and has tendons and glands. Large meat companies don’t even put this stuff in hot dogs.
40. T F Finely comminuted beef has excellent binding properties.
41. T F Dark-colored beef blood is the best for making blood sausages.
42. T F Beef liver is perfectly suited for making liver sausages as long as it contains nothing else.
43. T F It is illegal for commercial suppliers to sell pork blood to the public in the United States.
44. T F Beef with high fat “marbling” is the first choice of meats purchased at a butcher shop.
45. T F Prime beef always has more fat marbling than “choice” beef and is only sold in meat markets.
46. T F Choice beef can be purchased in a supermarket.
47. T F Prime beef can be purchased in a supermarket.
48. T F Select beef is only available in a butcher shop or meat market.
49. T F Class I beef contains no more than 7% fat.
50. T T El DuckO invented “aging” and was born during the 1700’s.

1.F 2.F 3.T 4.F 5.F 6.T 7.F 8.F 9.F 10.T 11.T 12.T 13.F 14.T 15.T 16.T 17.F 18.F 19.F 20.T 21.F 22.F 23.T 24.T 25.T 26.T
27.F 28.F 29.F 30.T 31.F 32.T 33.F 34.F 35.T 36.F 37.F 38.T 39.F 40.T 41.F 42.F 43.T 44.T 45.T 46.T 47.F 48.F 49.T 50

6 thoughts on “4 – Project “B” – 2015 – Choosing the Right Meat for your Sausages

  1. Reading Unit #6

    Choosing The Meat For Your Sausages

    The following comment is a duplicate of material posted on the 4 – Project B – 2015 – Choosing the Right Meat for your Sausages page. It will be left in the Comments section until it scrolls off the page, at which time we’ll put a note here which refers readers to the main page. …good stuff. …enjoy!

    Very often, we consumers don’t have all that much choice of just what goes into our sausage. Many folks live in rural areas and are somewhat limited to using wild game meats, while others might raise animals such as sheep or cattle. For those folks in a city, the local grocery usually provides a pretty good assortment of pork and beef, with fowls such as chicken, turkey, and ducks, for making very good sausages, but with very limited wild game if any. Whatever you, as a home hobbyist, decide to stuff into casings, you may be assured you can always craft a better sausage than any available commercially, simply by being a little fussy about what goes into the hopper and following time-tested procedures.

    Be a little selective when choosing meats for your sausages. If you were raised to believe that sausages were just a place for all the “leftover” cuts and odd n’ ends, you were deceived. Good sausage is made of quality cuts of usually one or two animals. If you are using wild game, it is most prudent to include pork with pork fat to “temper” the mixture. You will simply achieve better texture and flavor. For example, I grew up eating a lot of venison sausage even on a cattle ranch. It was tasty and just fine as long as we made it with a certain percentage of pork and pork fat. Venison has very little fat to begin with, but we eliminated any found (venison fat tastes “gamey”), while we were busy cutting chunks of meat ready for the grinder. We replaced any deer or elk fat using 25% (by volume) pork back-fat. We used pork fat in all sausages, including beef sausages.

    Choosing Pork

    It is a good idea to select pork by always shopping at a trusted retail facility. Have you ever heard of “PSE pork” and wondered what it meant? PSE stands for “pale, soft, exudative”, and characterizes meat which shows poor water-binding capacity due to a non-normal fast drop of the pH after slaughter. (See pH at this link: http://sausageswest.com/5-microbiology-technology-the-science-of-meat-cultures/comment-page-6/#comment-1886).

    On the other hand, the term DFD refers to “dark, firm, dry”. Meat showing DFD properties can be identified by a pH-value above 6.2.

    Meat cuts are characterized as being either “noble” or “less noble”. Noble cuts are made up of mostly highly suitable lean meat along with some bone (to keep the meat juicy as it cooks). Further, they have little connective tissue and contain “easy to remove” outside” fat. They come from the parts of an animal that exercise less frequently such as pork loin, ham, and belly, or beef round sirloin, and rump. These cuts are easy to cook and are very tasty. Can you think of a “less noble” cut? Consider the brisket on a steer – the muscular chest between the front legs. It gets regular exercise “on the hoof” and requires real cooking skill to prepare properly. This cut is not really suitable for making sausage, but just marinate and then barbecue it for eight hours at only 200 degrees F and see what happens! On the other hand, there are sausages that specify a particular cut of meat for its unique flavor. For instance, there is a type of mortadella called “lyoner” that requires pork jowls. Others specify the rear-leg ham, pork belly, or even the skin. Less noble cuts include parts of an animal that exercise more frequently and include pork shoulder, picnic (front upper leg), and hocks. On a steer, less noble cuts include the neck and shoulder. There are also innumerable smaller parts of an animal, both noble and less noble, used for making sausage. These are the “trimmings” from the kidneys and liver, the heart and even the tongue.

    Unlike beef, having three primary cuts along it’s back, the hog has but one – the loin. The fore-end of the loin is called the “shoulder cut” or “shoulder chops”, while the center cut has “rib chops”. The south end of the loin on a northbound pig contains the tenderloin and the “sirloin chops”. Shoulder cuts have a lot of fat and connective tissue and are good for roasting or braising but not especially pan-frying. Center cuts have two types of connective muscle while loin chops have one.

    In the United States pork is graded either acceptableor utility. Supermarkets stock only “acceptable” grade fresh pork. Meat graded “utility” pork goes into processed products and is not available as “fresh” pork.

    A piggy has five principal cuts and include the (a.) shoulder (butt), the upper front leg below the butt called the (b.) “picnic”, the (c.) loin, the (d.) side, and the rear leg called the (e.) ham. These five parts contain all the specialty cuts and parts we use. To see how they are divided, click on the following interactive link from the University Of Nebraska. http://porcine.unl.edu/porcine2005/pages/index.jsp?

    Pork and beef mix very well and many sausages are made using the combination. The pork butt (shoulder) and the beef chuck are all-around great choices. They have an ideal fat-to-lean meat ratio, making sausage tender and juicy. Without the fat, the sausage will be dry and difficult to chew.

    Did you know that pork fat is unsaturated fat (good cholesterol), and pork lard (melted fatback) is much healthier than butter – which is saturated fat (bad cholesterol). Younger animals have less fat and veal is the leanest, although our ranch outfit never made or used veal products, protesting the inhumane treatment of the calves from which it is made. (Nor did we eat foie gras (force-fed duck liver), disputing the conditions to which these animals are subjected.)

    Did you know that meat is up to 75% water and that the age of the animal is the most important factor in choosing a cut for its fat content? Quite simply, the older a hog is, the fatter it is. Is man able to control the flavor of pork? Partially, yes – by controlling their diets. For instance the Smithfield Hams were produced by feeding hogs peanuts. In Spain, home of the famous Serrano Ham, the hogs have been raised on acorns, and the Italian “Parma Hams” are from hogs having eaten chestnuts and whey from the parmesan cheese-making process.

    Sausages made entirely from beef will have a harder texture and will be drier than those made of either all or partial pork. Polish sausages are made mostly of pork only, as are Hungarian, Italian and Spanish sausages. On the other hand, German sausages are often made from equal amounts of pork and beef.

    Pork “Classifications”

    When you go shopping, forget someone else’s “description” of the pork contained in a package. Study the classifications below and then inspect the pork at the counter yourself.

    Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean with no more than 15% fat. It contains no tendons. Pork loin is the leanest cut of all and is certainly Class I. Some Class I pork is located in the ham (rear leg), although meat grades of all classes may be found in the leg. Fat between muscles is less than 2 mm.

    Pork Class II has no bone, but has some medium fat and some tendons. Fat between muscles may be up to 10 mm. Class II has no more than 30 % fat. Pork butt, also known as Boston butt is a great source of Class II although all meat grades may be obtained from the shoulder. Note that Class II (B) contains no more than 45 % fat.

    Pork Class III, is lean or medium lean, with no bone, but much sinew and no more than 25 % fat. Class III is found in picnics, legs, and other cuts.

    Pork Class IV, has no bone, but contains traces of blood, tendons, and glands. It has no more than 36 % fat.

    Choosing Beef

    Beef, especially finely comminuted, has excellent binding properties. As some sausages are made entirely of beef, finely ground it can hold up to 30% water; excellent for making sausage. However, most recipes require some amount of added pork for enhanced flavor. Beef, being a little tougher with a dark-colored blood, may not be the best choice for certain sausages. Beef liver, for instance, is not well-suited for making liver sausages unless it contains at least half pork liver. Those folks making blood sausages, consistently prefer hog blood to beef blood because of its lighter color. And sausages made using lamb, (having a very strong flavor), are usually made with a much higher percentage of pork.

    The Three Basic Grades Of Beef

    The Meat Inspection Division of the United States Department of Agriculture grades beef quality by estimating the age of the animal, the amount of fat marbling (determined by looking at the rib eye at the 12th rib), and by the texture, color, and appearance of the rib eye. U.S.D.A. “quality grading” is optional and according to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association only about 2% of all the beef carcasses produced in this country, submitted for grading, are quality-graded as “Prime”.

    Prime beef cuts are generally the most tender, flavorful, and delicious steaks and roasts and contain less meat due to a higher fat content (marbling). This grade is the most expensive beef and usually only found in meat markets – as opposed to supermarkets. Unless you butcher your own, the best cuts of beef will come from meat markets supplying restaurants and are always Prime or Choice cuts of meat.

    Choice beef is juicy and tender, producing excellent steaks and roasts. About 44% of the beef submitted for quality grading is “Choice” grade, (the next grade down from Prime), and is usually available to and selected by, shoppers in retail markets. There is nothing wrong with cuts of this grade and they will save careful shoppers money.

    Select beef is generally the most popular grade of beef containing the “average cuts” needing tenderizing occasionally. They are mostly used for grilling or in slow-cooking recipes. Usually marinated, these cuts are found in the supermarket and save the consumer even more money than by purchasing choice grade.

    When beef is purchased in vacuum packages, it appears dark reddish-purple. When the package is opened, exposure to oxygen causes the meat to turn bright red, and after a few days, the surface will change to brown. Other grades of beef, sometimes found in supermarkets, are referred to as:

    Standard
    • Natural,
    • Commercial
    • Utility
    • Non-Graded

    These are usually tough cuts and require a little talent to “render tender”, but that’s not to say they can’t be made into very tasty meals. There is no clearly cut definition of these categories and some care should be exercised when making selections. Many people don’t realize that the very best cuts of beef are not available in supermarkets, as they are sold only to restaurants and retailers. Fine restaurants often utilize a process called “aging”, a term used to describe the holding of various meats at a temperature of 34 to 36 degrees F. (1 to 2 degrees C.) for a specified period of time while tough connective tissues break down through the action of enzymes, increasing tenderness. Often, mold will develop upon a carcass (a sure sign of aging), and will simply be washed away with vinegar or cut away before the tenderized meat lying beneath, is cut, cooked, and served. And what about cuts from older steers? Quite often they end up in discount stores.

    Beef Classifications:

    Class I, is very lean with no bone, no tendons and no fat between mucsles. Overall it contains no more than 7% fat.
    Class II, is very lean with no bone but some tendons. Fat between muscles measures up to 2 mm thick. Overall it contains no more than 16% fat.
    Class III, is called fat beef and the fat between muscles measures up to 10 mm thick. Overall it contains no more than 45% fat.
    Class IV, has no bone but has traces of blood, tendons, and glands. Contains no more than 40 % fat.

  2. Check Yourselt UP – Unit 6 (Selecting Meat)

    Ed.Note: The following comment is a duplicate of material posted on the 4 – Project B – 2015 – Choosing the Right Meat for your Sausages page. It will be left in the Comments section until it scrolls off the page, at which time we’ll put a note here which refers readers to the main page. …good stuff. …enjoy!

    1. T F Making sinew, grisle, and crushed bone into “home sausages” is what SausagesWest is all about because when it is comminuted, it contains a lot of calcium!
    2. T F If you use quality lean meat of any acceptable animal and you add 25% pork fat to the mixture, you should have a pretty good sausage as long as you add ascorbic acid to “cure it”.
    3. T F If you are using wild game, it is most prudent to include pork with pork fat to “temper” the mixture.
    4. T F Venison means “deer” only.
    5. T F PSE stands for “pale, soft, excellent”, and it is the first choice for sausage makers.
    6. T F PSE meat has poor water-binding capacity due to an abnormally rapid drop of the pH following slaughter.
    7. T F PSE meat has poor water-binding capacity due to an abnormally rapid rise of the pH following slaughter.
    8. T F PSE meat has poor water-binding capacity due to an abnormally stability of the pH following slaughter.
    9. T T DFD means “danged fake duck” and El DuckO is DFD because he is actually a cuckoo bird.
    10. T F DFD is identified easily because its pH value is above 6.2.
    11. T F “Noble” cuts contain highly suitable lean meat along with some bone (to keep the meat juicy as it cooks).
    12. T F “Noble” cuts contain very little connective tissue.
    13. T F “Less Noble” cuts include the loin, hams, and belly.
    14. T F The brisket on a steer is naturally tough because it gets exercise regularly.
    15. T F The brisket is a “less noble” cut.
    16. T F “Trimmings” include less noble neck and shoulder, kidneys and liver, and jowel meat.
    17. T F Unlike beef, having three primary cuts along its back, the hog has but one – the butt.
    18. T F Shoulder cuts have a lot of fat and connective tissue and are best for pan-frying.
    19. T F Meat graded “utility” pork is never sold in processed pork products.
    20. T F Supermarkets stock only “acceptable” grade fresh pork.
    21. T F A piggy has five principal cuts and include the shoulder, picnic, loin, side, and the front leg called the ham.
    22. T F Pork and beef should never be mixed together in sausage.
    23. T F Without fat, sausage would be dry and difficult to chew, even with a beak like El DuckO has.
    24. T F Pork fat is unsaturated fat (good cholesterol).
    25. T F Pork lard (melted fatback) is unsaturated and is much healthier than butter.
    26. T F Butter contains saturated fat (bad cholesterol).
    27. T F Younger animals have more fat than older animals.
    28. T F Meat is about 93% water.
    29. T F Meat is about 23% water.
    30. T F A hog’s diet largely influences the pork’s flavor.
    31. T F Sausages made entirely from beef have a softer texture and will be more moist than those made of either all or partial pork.
    32. T F Polish sausages are made mostly of pork only, as are Hungarian, Italian and Spanish sausages.
    33. T F Pork loin is the leanest cut of all and is certainly Class IV.
    34. T F Pork loin is the leanest cut of all and contains no fat so it isn’t graded.
    35. T F Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean with no more than 15% fat.
    36. T F Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean with no less than 15% fat.
    37. T F Pork Class I has no bone and is very lean, but it always come from a cut with more than 56% fat.
    38. T F Pork Class IV, has no bone, but contains traces of blood, tendons, and glands. It has no more than 36 % fat.
    39. T F Pork Class IV contains traces of blood and has tendons and glands. Large meat companies don’t even put this stuff in hot dogs.
    40. T F Finely comminuted beef has excellent binding properties.
    41. T F Dark-colored beef blood is the best for making blood sausages.
    42. T F Beef liver is perfectly suited for making liver sausages as long as it contains nothing else.
    43. T F It is illegal for commercial suppliers to sell pork blood to the public in the United States.
    44. T F Beef with high fat “marbling” is the first choice of meats purchased at a butcher shop.
    45. T F Prime beef always has more fat marbling than “choice” beef and is only sold in meat markets.
    46. T F Choice beef can be purchased in a supermarket.
    47. T F Prime beef can be purchased in a supermarket.
    48. T F Select beef is only available in a butcher shop or meat market.
    49. T F Class I beef contains no more than 7% fat.
    50. T T El DuckO invented “aging” and was born during the 1700’s.

    1.F 2.F 3.T 4.F 5.F 6.T 7.F 8.F 9.F 10.T 11.T 12.T 13.F 14.T 15.T 16.T 17.F 18.F 19.F 20.T 21.F 22.F 23.T 24.T 25.T 26.T
    27.F 28.F 29.F 30.T 31.F 32.T 33.F 34.F 35.T 36.F 37.F 38.T 39.F 40.T 41.F 42.F 43.T 44.T 45.T 46.T 47.F 48.F 49.T 50

  3. More Self – Checkup Questions About Casings In Unit 5

    Ed.Note: The following comment is a duplicate of material posted on the 3 – Project B – 2015 – Reading page. It will be left in the Comments section, here in 4 – Project B – 2015, even after it scrolls off the page, so as to remain in sequence. …good stuff. …enjoy!

    1. T F Very little water, if any, should be added to comminuted sausage.
    2. T F Stuffing casings as it leaves the grinder is poor practice.
    3. T F Today, most sausage is still stuffed into natural casings by commercial companies.
    4. T F Ground sausage mixed with 2% carrot juice is the best way to make it “set up” for stuffing.
    5. T F Ground sausage mixed with salt and soy protein concentrate, will set up the meat almost immediately, making the stuffing step more difficult if you wait too long to get it into the casings.
    6. T F If you wait long enough for the meat proteins to “set up” the meat, the stuffing process will be much easier.
    7. T F Natural casings are made from the novascotia casanova collagen layers inside the intestines of sheep, hogs, and cattle.
    8. T F You should never rinse the inside of a sheep casing as it will cause it to shrink.
    9. T F Never rinse out or soak collagen casings. They are already sterile and water will turn them into a disgusting slop which will drop onto the floor in a splatting mess and your wife will possibly yell at you.
    10. T F Salt helps proteins develop.
    11. T F At a commercial casing plant, sausage casing are flushed, cleaned, and turned inside out and scraped with knives, before they are finally salted and shipped in a saturated salt solution.
    12. T F Today, there are just not enough natural casings to keep up with demand, and commercial companies depend heavily on plastic, rubber, cellulose, and collagen.
    13. T F Natural casing are all slightly different, making volume, shape, and uniformity a problem for commercial sausage companies.
    14. T F Hog casings are made from upper intestines and are sold in 21-meter lengths cut into “hanks” That are 12 meters long.
    15. T F The average diameter of a hog casing is about 53 millimeters and may be used for cooked sausages, pepperoni, Italian sausage, Kielbasa, and a host of other stuffed sausages.
    16. T F A “hank” is a collagen casing that has been quartered.
    17. T F A “hog bung” is a “middle” and technically a chitterling.
    18. T F Hog bungs are also called “fat ends” and are commonly used for a sausage called “Braunschiessen”.
    19. T F Beef middles may be sold in “sets” of 9 and are 30 feet in length.
    20. T F Never attempt to lubricate the stuffer horn with anything other than water or mineral oil.
    21. T F Tiny holes made by a needle in natural casings, will seal themselves almost immediately. They are pierced to eliminate any trapped liquid.
    22. T F Natural casings will shrink equally with the meat while being cooked or dried.
    23. T F Castor oil is a great lubricant for sausage and a couple of tablespoons in a 10-pound batch will prevent “smearking”.
    24. T F Cod liver oil and Cheyenne cayenne are the real secrets of the best kielbasa.
    25. T T El DuckO is living proof that evolution can indeed go in reverse!

    1.T 2.T 3.F 4.F 5.T 6.F 7.F 8.F 9.T 10.T 11.T 12.F 13.T 14.F 15.F 16.F 17.F 18.F 19.T 20.F 21.F 22.T 23.F 24.F 25.

  4. Unit 7 The Power Of Soy Protein Concentrate And Other Additives

    Hi Sausage Makers! You folks are looking fine. Let us press on, but before we jump into stuffing casings, let’s learn a few tips and secrets.
    Our next project is:

    5 lbs. (2.25 kg.) “Hip Shot” Hamburger Sausage (with soy protein concentrate) is at this link: http://sausageswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Hipshot-Hamburgers-Chuckwagon.pdf

    Let’s talk about meat color and flavor as we mix two different meats together. More importantly, let’s discuss “binding” and the reasons we use soy protein concentrate. No more shrinking, dry, hamburgers! Yeeee Hawww! This burger will knock yer’ Justin boots….. err…. uhhh…. yer’ socks off! But before you grind up an expensive shoulder, please review a little information listed below and read a bit more about pork fat and garlic. Getting’ tired of reading? Well shucks, just look at it this way: If you read and understand why you are doing what you are doing, it just might keep you from making a mistake on your next batch of sausage and having to throw out expensive meat. Stick with it wranglers! Reading builds knowledge… and knowledge is power!

    If you haven’t done so already, please click on the following links and read the information.

    Grinders & Stuffing
    http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-making/stuffing

    Casings
    http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-making/stuffing/casings

    Stuffing Casings:
    http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-making/stuffing/sausages

    SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE

    Today, soy protein is used in sausage making as a binder – not to be confused as a filler. As comminuted meat and fat particles are covered with the fine powder (having the consistency of corn starch), soy protein prevents fats from amalgamating and its water-holding ability only increases the firmness of a meat product. The amount added should not exceed 2-1/2% as the flavor of sausage becomes altered, most people calling it “beany” tasting.

    Soy protein has been around longer than most people think. In 1936 it was developed for use in fire extinguishers by the company that eventually became Kidde. The U.S. Navy called the foam product “bean soup” and used it to fight fires aboard ships throughout WWII as it was ideal for putting out gas and oil fires on aircraft carriers. In 1958, the Glidden Paint Company further tested the product and was the first to produce edible soy protein isolate in 1959. However, it wasn’t until 1987 that the product became a leading food additive as defatted soy flour was developed by a corporation named PTI. Later, DuPont Chemical (who owned Ralston-Purina), joined with General Mills creating the first marketed food-grade soy protein isolate. Not to be confused with soy protein concentrate or soy protein flour, the product known as soy protein isolate contains more than 90% protein and no other added ingredients. It is much stronger and more expensive than other soy protein powders. It binds 5 parts of water and is used in the food industry in other applications than in sausage making.

    Soy protein concentrate is produced by immobilizing soy globulin proteins while allowing soluble carbohydrates to be leached from the defatted flakes along with whey and salts. With these removed, only soy protein flour remains. Now, there is a lot of technical saddle-bum science going on to further create edible soy protein concentrate. It involves the removal of specific aqueous acids in something called the isoelectric zone of minimum protein solubility. And no kidding… it is achieved by the use of… (ta da)… alcohol! When the science settles down, the consumer winds up with soy protein concentrate at about 70% protein… with other additives, including ash and fiber. Shucks, there’s even 1% oil in the stuff. It binds 4 part of water and it takes one ton of defatted soybean flour to make 1653 pounds of soy protein concentrate. The list for the uses for soy protein concentrate in every industry you can imagine today, is as long as El DuckO’s beak!

    In 1984, three years before “defatted soy flour” was developed by PTI, Rytek Kutas (referring to non-fat dry milk) wrote on page 159 of his “revised edition” book, “If you are going to use a non-fat dry milk for a binder, your local dairy is usually the only place you can buy it today. The milk has to be a very fine powder and not the granules used for making milk at home. Better still, it should have the consistency of corn starch.”

    Although it does not have quite the binding power of soy protein, non-fat dry milk powder is half lactose (sugar) and is often used in making fermented type “dry-cured” sausages such as salami and pepperoni. Why? It is ideal in supplying essential sugar to the lactic acid producing bacteria pediococcus acidilactici and lactobacillus curvatus. Although it is 35% protein, it is also known for improving the taste of low-fat sausages.

    I have heard of people buying grocery-store dry milk powder granules and pulverizing them inside a blender or food processor for use in prep-cooked-type sausages and semi-dry cured sausages. Many folks say they are not able to tell the difference. Personally, I’m not able to assess it because I am terribly allergic to lactose. However, you may choose it over soy protein. I just count myself lucky to be living in a time when modern science has developed a refined soy protein concentrate.

    Crumbling Hamburgers?

    Have you ever wondered why the burgers down at “Al’s Malt Shop”, always keep their shape as well as their juices? And just where does that special flavor come from? Whenever many people make a burger at home, the meat crumbles and shrinks and the juices remain upon the griddle as the burger is removed from the heat. The secret for making the best burgers is the addition of a natural “binding” product called soy protein concentrate! Soy protein binds the meat together, helps retain its natural juices and prevents shrinking. It has one shortcoming only – the meat becomes a little more difficult to “sear” or brown while cooking. However, adding a little powdered dextrose or corn syrup solids, adding their own flavors as well, easily solves this problem. Please note these products are natural and used in most commercial sausage kitchens today. Don’t be hesitant to use these products in your cooking as they are completely safe and contain no additives, preservatives, or foreign chemicals. Powdered dextrose is only 70% sweet as sugar and its weight forces itself into the cells of the meat for complete distribution.

    Years ago, the best burgers were charred outside and barely pink inside. People would then (and still do), judge the “doneness” of a burger by its color. That “technology” is old stuff and went out with Betty Boop and running-boards! Today, we must protect our guests against possible solmanellae, listeria, and other pathogenic bacteria by cooking the burgers until their inside temperatures registers 150 F. or just above. Burgers are “medium” at this point. Here’s a good recipe for a tasty non-shrinkin’ burger that won’t fall apart on you.

    Crumbling, Dry, Hamburgers? Try “Hip Shot” Burgers
    By Chuckwagon

    “Hip Shot” Hamburgers

    • 2 lbs. pork shoulder
    • 3 lbs beef chuck
    • 1 tblspn. powdered dextrose
    • 3 tblspns. soy protein concentrate
    • 1-½ tblspns. un-iodized salt
    • 1 tblspn. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tspn. coriander
    • 1/2 tspn. nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup ice cold whole milk

    Trim the shoulder and chuck and cut it into inch squares. Grind the nearly-frozen meat with its fat through a 3/8″ plate. Mix all the other ingredients into the meat and distribute them thoroughly as you develop the actin and myocin. When pulled apart, the meat should be slightly sticky with soft peaks. Be careful not to over-mix the meat. Form 1/2 pound patties, flattening them evenly with a rolling pin. If you prefer burgers “griddle-fried in smoke”, simply place your portable griddle (or cast iron black skillet) on top of the grilling bars of your gas or charcoal grill using plenty of dampened hickory or other hardwood to provide the smudge. Try apple, mesquite, alder, and oak. Don’t even think about pressing the patties down while they’re cooking! Put them on the griddle and allow them to sear before turning them over. You should only have to turn them once.

    Grind the meat through a 3/8″ plate. Mix all the other ingredients with just enough ice water to dissolve the dextrose, soy, and salt. Mix all the ingredients well into the meat, and then make 1/2 pound patties, flattening them while they are raw. The less you handle the meat with your hands, the better. Don’t even think about pressing patties down while they’re cooking! If you prefer burgers “griddle-fried in smoke”, simply place your portable griddle on top of the grilling bars of your gas or charcoal grill using plenty of dampened hickory or other hardwood to provide the smudge. Try apple, mesquite, alder, and oak. Again, if you are worried about the dextrose and soy additives in this recipe, don’t be! Soy protein and powdered dextrose are all-natural products may be purchased from any reputable sausage-making supply company.

    Natural Ingredients Used for Making Sausages
    Water Binders

    Soy protein powders are added at around 2% as the larger amounts will affect the taste and flavor of the product. They bind water extremely well and cover fat particles with fine emulsion. This prevents fats from lumping together. Their ability to produce gel contributes to the increased firmness of the product. The sausage will be juicier, plumper and with less shriveling but the amount of added soy protein concentrate should not exceed 3% otherwise it may impart a “beany” flavor to the product.

    Soy protein isolate is a natural product that contains at least 90% protein and no other ingredients. Soy protein isolate is stronger and more costly than concentrate, and can bind 5 parts of water. SP Isolate is not usually used as a binder in sausage due to its strength. It does however, serve a purpose in emulsifying fat, but we’ll learn about that later.

    Soy protein concentrate, available from most online distributors of sausage making supplies is a natural product that contains 70% protein plus other ingredients, for example, ash and some fibers. It binds 4 parts of water and it improves the texture of the sausage. This is the soy protein to use for your sausages, as long as you don’t exceed 3%.

    Non fat dry milk powder can bind water and is often used in making sausages, including fermented types. Dry milk powder contains 50% lactose (sugar) and is used in fermented sausages as a source of food for lactic acid producing bacteria. It also contains around 35% of protein, about 0.6 – 1% fat and may be considered a healthy high energy product. Dry milk powder greatly improves the texture of low fat sausages. Nonfat dry milk powder is considered to be a good natural product and when used in recommended amounts, it does not affect the flavor of your projects. It is added at about 3% and effectively binds water and emulsifies fats. Its action is very similar to that of soy protein concentrate.

    Carrageenan is a natural extract from red seaweeds used in processed foods for stabilization, thickening, and gelation. Carrageenan can bind plenty of water and about 0.01% (1 g per kg of meat) can increase the yield of the finished product up to 8%. Carrageenan forms a solid gel during cooling.

    Extenders and General Binders

    Starch is often added to sausages with low meat content. Starch is added when making sauces, to trap moisture and to make the sauce heavy. In sausages starch is used for its properties to bind water and to improve texture of the product. The most common sources are potato, wheat, corn, rice and tapioca. You can add as much as you like but around 10% (100 g per kilogram of total mass) should be the upper limit. Starch is a common additive in extended injected products like a ham. It is usually applied at 10 – 50 g/kg (1-5%) of finished product. Many Russian sausages were made with 2% potato starch.

    Rusk is a popular baked and ground product, made from wheat flour. It can be ground to different diameters and there is a coarse, medium or fine rusk. Rusk can absorb water at 3 – 4 times its weight.

    Other popular binders are: oatmeal, bread crumbs, general flour, cornflour, potatoes, rice, farina, and semolina. Rusk and oatmeal are especially popular in England. Popular extenders are: rice, potatoes, and barley or buckwheat groats.

    Caseinate is made from defatted milk end exhibits wonderful capacity to emulsify fats. Caseinate is about 90% protein and is added at 1-2% per kg of meat.

    Egg white (1-3% or 10 – 30 g per kilogram of total mass) is often added to frankfurters with low meat content. It increases protein content, forms stable gel and contributes to a firm texture of the sausage. Powdered egg whites are also available and you generally mix 2 teaspoons of powder with 2 tablespoons of water for each white.

    Powdered gelatin (1%) helps to bind de-boned meat together or stuffing individual cuts of meat which are not perfectly lean. The strength of gelatin is measured in Bloom numbers (after inventor of the system Oscar T. Bloom). The higher the Bloom number the stiffer the gelatin will be. Gelatin used in food usually runs from 125 Bloom to 250 Bloom; the unflavored gelatin sold in supermarkets is at the higher end of this range.

    Flavor Enhancers

    MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a very effective flavor enhancer which is produced by the fermentation of starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. Although once stereotypically associated with foods in Chinese restaurants, it is now found in many common food items, particularly processed foods. MSG is commonly available in food stores.

    Ribonucleotide is a much stronger flavor enhancer than MSG and is carried by commercial producers.

    The following binders are shown with their most commonly used amount, followed by their maximum allowed amount:

    Soy protein concentrate….. 1-3%….. (10-30 g/kg)
    Soy protein isolate….. 1-3%….. (10-30 g/kg)
    Non fat dry milk….. 1-3%….. (10-30 g/kg)
    Starch….. 1-5%….. (10-50 g/kg)
    Carrageenan….. 0.2-0.7%….. (2-7 g/kg)
    Caseinate….. 1-2%….. (10-20 g/kg)
    Egg white….. 10-30 g/kg,….. 1-2 eggs
    Monosodium glutamate….. (MSG) 0.05-0.2%….. (0.5-2 g/kg)

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