Monday, March 30, 2015

Texas Hot Links


Sorry for the extended absence, I was on vacation for couple weeks and successfully killed my computer. It took a while for the replacement to arrive and for me to get back to cooking. I have a few back logged posts but hope to get things up to date sooner rather than later. 
I am not sure if this was a cooking fail or if I just have high expectations but this was a deflating process that I am still coming to grips with.
I have only been to Texas once and didn't have any sausage when I was there but sometimes you fall in love with the ingredients in something more than the final product, and end up readjusting those expectations when reality sets in.
I prefer thin sausages that fit easily into a bun and give you room to add whatever toppings you want without the whole thing falling apart. With this in mind, I decided to get the smallest (lamb) sausage casings to make a "frankfurter" sized sausage. This ended up being a huge pain because they were terrible to work with and the poor little beast's guts were just a little smaller than my stuffing tube making the processes painful, and resulting in three sausages with different lengths before I gave up and filled a big coil of my synthetic casing.
I think next time I will add some more cayenne to the sausage to elevate the spice because these ended up being fairly tame smokies that hardly registered on the heat scale.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef chuck
  • 1.5 lbs ground pork shoulder/butt
  •  0.5 can/bottle beer (lager)
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes


Directions:
  1. Prepare your sausage casings for stuffing according to the suppliers instructions.
  2. Mix the meat and spices thoroughly and refrigerate for a couple hours to have them blend.
  3. Soak your wood chips in water or beer for 30 min then get your smoker ready to go (I smoked mine on a natural gas bbq).
  4. Smoke your sausage at 170 F to 250 F until the internal temp of the sausages reads 165 F. My sausage took about 3-4hrs.


I have since made a few sausages using a small hog casing and am going to keep using them. The natural casings are much easier to work with and produce a sausage with a nice snap



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