6.18.2008

In which I become a sausagemaker (so the mrs won't be embarrassed by my former title even though my masculinity was never threatened) - updated

saucisson sec, day 1
Day 1
Finally, I have joined my brethren sausage makers. I have hunted (in Giant Eagle), cut, ground, spiced, stuffed, tied and pricked the casings. All went well until the last frigging step.

I needed to pierce the casings to let these dehydrate during their dry curing. I pierced using a knife tip. I didn't realize how much pressure these things were under, but they oozed meat in some places. I was supposed to use a pin. When I did - on some of them - things were fine. No oozing. Oh well. Only a few bucks invested. We'll see how they come out.

Now, the tough part. Waiting. Temps in the basement are a tad high, ca. 65°F and ca. 65-73%RH. They are supposed to be finished when very firm and have lost 30% of their weight from dehydration. I will be testing one several days before unleashing them on friends. A coworker told me to have him on speed dial the day I try it so I can call for help if I need it. Thanks Larry.

It's supposed to take 3-4 weeks. I'll be updating this post with progress.

Updates
saucisson sec, day 8
Day 8. Drying may be going well. The sausage is getting much more dense (losing moisture). The greenish spots on the exterior are worrying me. Although, I've never watched the intermediate steps of a dry cure before. The outer skin is getting whitish which looks consistent with other dry cured sausages I've seen. Anyone have any thoughts on the green spots? Like mold on cheese? Still have a couple more weeks and, despite the weather, we've maintained low 60's temperature and 70%RH +/-. Stay posted.

6 comments:

Big Momma said...

They look gorgeous. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

Dave said...

Hey CBM! I'll save you some (if I don't die).

Anonymous said...

Great, thanks!!!

Bear said...

Wow... I've been thinking about investing in some home sausage-making equipment to complement my new second love (a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker)... but your post makes the process look more than a little bit daunting!!

Dave said...

Hey Bear, I always play things up so I look like a hero. These things came out pretty damn good looking with just a little bit of care. Reading a few pages of Charcuterie is really all you need. Just cool the meat and grind it cold.

The more I learned about the process the more I wanted to do it myself instead of a big meatpacker plant.

Good luck!

Big Momma said...

Just cut off the green parts. My hubby does that on bread all the time. And, he's live 41 years....so far!