You need great homemade soup in the winter. She Who Must Be Obeyed disagrees with me. When she was growing up, home made soup was thin and insipid boiled leftovers. Oh well, more for me. Continue reading Sausage Soup, Great Winter Comfort Food
I have been a member of Smoking Meat Forums for some time now and I have learned a lot and have found many great ideas. One of the most creative members is Bearcarver. He came up with a method for making a spicy beef loaf to cut up into snacks. It is wonderful and the link to his post making them is:
I have tweaked his recipe to my tastes and added a bit of pork as I like the taste and texture it gives.
- 1.5 kg/3 pounds lean ground beef
- 0.5 kg/1 pound pork shoulder, ground
- 8 ml/1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 8 ml/1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 8 ml/1/2 tablespoon cayenne
- 8 ml/1/2 tablespoon mustard seed
- 8 ml/1/2 tablespoon fennel seed, slightly crushed
- 5 ml/1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 26 grams/1 ounces (2 tablespoons) Morton’s Tenderquick (a curing salt available in most super markets)
- 40 ml/1.5 ounces soy sauce
- 50 ml/2 ounces ice water
I ground a pound of pork shoulder steak and added it to the ground beef. I mixed the pepper, pepper flakes, cayenne, mustard seed, fennel seed and Italian seasonings in a bowl. I mixed the Tenderquick, soysauce and ice water in a separate bowl until the Tenderquick dissovled.
I mixed the spices and liquid mixture into the meat by hand, folding the meat into the centre for 3 minutes. Then I put the mixture in a bowl on my Kitchenaid and put the paddle on and mixed for 1 minute at medium speed.
I lined a 9 by 11 pyrex pan with plastic wrap leaving enough wrap to fold over the top. I pressed the meat mixture into the pan and pressed out as much air as possible. Then I folded the wrap over to cover the meat mix. I put the meat in the fridge for four hours.
Then I took the plastic wrap off the top of the meat and turned it over on to a smoking rack and removed the plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge for four hours to overnight to dry.
If you do not have a smoker, put the loaf in a 200 F oven forabout5 hours.Do not rely on time, test the internal temperature of the meat until it is an internal temperature of 165F. This will vary depending on the density of the meat and the thickness you packed it.
If you have a smoker, put it in the smoker at 140 F for three hours. Increase the smoker to 160 F for2 hours. Then, increase the temperature to 180 F for 2 hours. Turn the smokerup to 200F until the internal temperature of the meat is 165F.
Take the meat out and pat it with paper towel to remove any surface fat
Put the meat in the fridge, covered, overnight. Slice it to a thickness you like and then wrap it in plastic wrap in packages that you will likely use at one time. Place the packages in a large Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer until ready to use.
This is a wonderful meat snack. Bear’s technique gives a great result and there is just enough heat to make it tasty! I will be making these regularly. Thank you, Bearcarver!
The Old Fat Guy
I made Maple Pepper Bacon Sausage in a previous post. Here, I tried a slightly different method and made breakfast strips out of the sausage meat.
Here is a video showing how I did it:
The Old Fat Guy
I make my own bacon. It is very good and I have fun making it. The problem is that I like maple and pepper bacons. The stuff they sell in the stores mostly has artificial flavours in them. Continue reading Maple Pepper Breakfast Sausage
I love smoked cured sausage but it is so high in fat. At least the stuff I make myself is a little lower in salt and fat.
Andouille is made in different ways in countries around the world. My recipe is based on a Cajun style adjusted for my mild Canadian taste buds. It is moderately spicy with a nice onion, garlic finish.
If you would like to see more details on how I made it, you can seem my post on the Smoking Meat Forums. The link is:
It looks complicated but all you really do is cube some pork, season it, grind it, stuff it and smoke it. If you don’t have a smoker, you can make it by putting it in a 180 F oven instead of the smoker. It will be good but that smoke flavour really adds to it.
The Old Fat Guy
I am rapidly learning that something you make yourself tastes better and has the advantage of you controlling the ingredients. I made bratwurst but I used chicken and pork to lighten it up a bit. You need a grinder and something to stuff the sausage casings to make this.
I do have a KitchenAid mixer with a grinder attachment and stuffing tubes. In my early attempt to make sausage, I found the KitchenAid does a decent job of grinding meat. However, trying to use it to stuff casings is like getting a root canal from a proctologist. If you are going to make sausage, get a dedicated sausage stuffer.
I posted the details of making the sausage on Smoking Meat Forums. The link is:
Because of the nature of the forum, I didn’t go into the use of casings. If you are going to make bratwurst, get some hog casings. You may be able to buy some from your local butcher or you can order them on line. They usually come packed in salt and can be kept for months in the refrigerator.
When you want to use them, rinse them inside and out with water and then put them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse them again and then force them over the medium stuffing tube. Tie the end off and start forcing the meat through. Don’t overstuff the casings and let them come off the stuffing tube naturally. Then poke any air bubble with a needle. To cook the bratwurst, poach it in water or beer for 10 to 15 minutes. Brown on a grill or in a frying pan. Serve in a hoagie or hot dog bun with sautéed onions and peppers.
The Old Fat Guy
I love homemade soup. I make it with ingredients I have on hand and it always makes canned soup seem like seawater. Most commercial soups rely on salt to bump the flavour. I found I was out of soup so I started making a batch. This is what turned out.
I started by blanching some tomatoes in hot water for one minute and then rinsing them in cold water. Then, I cut the stem core out and chopped them in large chunks. I ended up with about 500 ml (2 cups) of chopped tomatoes.
I chopped up about 250 ml (1 cup) of onions, 1 clove of garlic and about 175 ml (3/4 cup) of trimmings from my homemade back bacon. You could use regular bacon I guess, if you must.
I microwaved some homemade fresh garlic sausage. If you haven’t made your own garlic sausage (poor devil), you can substitute polish or garlic sausage and you won’t have to precook it. Cut it in bite size slices. You want about 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of sausage.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter or margarine. When it starts to foam, throw in the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
I added the diced bacon and sauteed until the bacon started to colour the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.
I added the sausage and sauteed for 2 more minutes. You’ll note the pot starts to get brown stuff stuck to the bottom. That is just what you want!
At this point you need to add 3 liters (6 cups) chicken stock. Now, my chicken stock was homemade (whose isn’t) but it was in the freezer. I microwaved one container to get it liquid and threw the others in frozen. I added the tomatoes. You can use canned or packaged stock if you are underprivileged and don’t have homemade.
I increased the heat to high to bring it to a boil. While it was getting up to temperature, I chopped up 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of green and yellow beans that I had grown (you do grow your own vegetables, don’t you?). You can use carrots, peas, broccoli, or whatever vegetables or you like.
When the soup came to the boil, I lowered the heat to low to simmer. I added the beans, 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) each of dried thyme, rosemary and oregano. I also added 3 ml (3/4 teaspoon) of extra hot Cajun spice. You can use any spice blend you like, just add it a little at a time until you like the flavour.
I let it simmer for 45 minutes and then added 1/2 cup of orzo pasta and let it simmer 20 minutes more.