Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chuckwagon's Soppressata (Dry-Cured Hot Pork Sausage)

8 lbs pork butt
2 lbs pork back fat
7½ Tbsp salt
2 level tsp InstaCure #2
3 Tbsp powdered dextrose
1 Tbsp black pepper (finely ground)
2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
2½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ cup corn syrup solids
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder

Freeze the fat before grinding it. Keep the meat nearly frozen and work with small batches from the refrigerator. Grind the pork through a ½” plate, mix the InstaCure #2 in a little water for even distribution and add it to the sausage. Using a sharp knife, cut the frozen back fat into ½” dice. Place the diced fat back into the freezer. Add the remaining ingredients (except the frozen fat) to the meat mixture and distribute them well. Mix the meat until the myosin develops the primary bind and a sticky meat paste forms. When pulled apart, the meat should show soft peaks.

Pack the meat into a lug, refrigerating it for 60 hours to ferment. Remove the meat and regrind it through a 3/8” plate. Fold the frozen diced fat into the sausage loosely with your hands. Stuff the sausage into 2 3/8” (61 mm) mahogany colored synthetic fibrous casings or medium hog middles about a foot long, drying them 48 hours at 65°F (18°C). Hog middles are sold in sets about seven feet long. Rinse them well before using them. Next, cold-smoke (below 65°F) the sausages 60 hours in 80% relative humidity for great mahogany color and flavor. Finally, place them into a cooler at 50°F (10°C) in 75-80% relative humidity up to ten weeks. Inspect the casings daily and wipe off any colored mold with a little vinegar on a cloth. Mold on sausage must be white in color. When safely lower than .85 Aw, the soppressata will have lost about 30% of its original weight and should now weigh only about 7 lbs.


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