This is the second part of my first attempt at making sausage on my Louisiana Grills Pellet Smoker. In the prior post I showed the way I made Smokehouse Summer Sausage. I made this bologna at the same time using a mix from LEM products called Backwoods Trail Bologna. I bought the kit version that includes the sausage casings.
I had some moose in the freezer so I used 2 pounds of moose and 3 pounds of pork shoulder. You want to use at least 1/3 fatty pork or the sausage would be too lean and dry.
I made sure the meat was cold. It is important to keep the meat cold throughout the process. It grinds better and gives a superior texture to your sausage. I cut the moose and pork up and ran it through my KitchenAid grinder attachment with a small plate. I put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
This kit has the seasonings, cure and casings. I was worried that the cure was missing but it was in a small envelope inside the envelope containing the seasonings.
You mix the seasonings and the cure with cold water. Then I put the meat on a baking tray and pushed the end of my fingers into the meat to make lots of small holes. I poured the seasoning mixture over the meat and mixed it for 4 minutes by folding one half over to the middle and pressing the meat out. Then I would turn the tray 1/4 of a turn and repeat.
The meat should be a little sticky when you are done.
I put the meat in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
The kit came with nonedible fibrous casings that allow smoke to permeate. They have to be soaked in hot water before using.
I put them on my LEM stuffer with the largest horn and filled them with the meat mixture.
tied off the open end. and put them in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, I took them out of the fridge and dried any condensation off them with a paper towel. Then, I put them on a rack for an hour to make sure they were dry. Smoke takes better if they are dry.
I put the sausages in my pellet smoker but did not turn it on. I put an A-MAZE-N pellet cold smoker in the pellet smoker and propped the door open a bit. This allowed me to cold smoke the sausage for 2 hours. This is totally optional but gives a stronger smoke flavour if you like that.
I took the sausage out and turned the pellet grill on to 180 F and put the sausage back in. It took about 4 hours for the internal temperature to reach 157 F. There is some controversy here. The instructions in the package say to get it to 165 F. Some expert sausage makers say 150 F. By experimentation, I have found 157 to give the texture I like while still being food safe.
When the sausage is up to the desired internal temperature, Plunge it in ice water for 10 minutes to stop the cooking. Then put it on a rack to dry and get a better colour for an hour. Put it in the fridge for at least overnight before cutting. I like to let it sit for at least 24 hours.
After it has rested in the fridge, Cut it into pieces that would be convenient to use in a day or two. Of course, I cut a few slices to taste.
I wrap the pieces in plastic wrap and put the pieces in a resealable freezer bag. I freeze the bag of sausage and take out a piece at a time as I need it.
This is not your parents bologna! It has a great texture and a nice smooth heat that builds as you eat eat. There is a great pepper after taste. While it is spicy, it isn’t an uncomfortable burn just a pleasant heat. I love this stuff.
The Old Fat Guy