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Bowling for Hogs and Sausage

Chop-Rite #12 ready to go

Almost a year ago I decided I needed to know how to make homemade  sausage – just because.  You know back in the day sausage was a way to make use of less desirable cuts of meats and the trimmings.  Plus, if it was properly  cured and smoked the  shelf life was substantially increased.  Products like summer sausage are shelf stable with no refrigeration but be advised,  old time ways use simple equipment and plenty of knuckle busting hard labor.

The equipment I decided on was a Chop-Rite #12 grinder which is a Made in the USA product and an exact copy of the Enterprise 2 3/4″ grinder which was first produced in the 1800’s.  Since it has been a standard model in production for so long plates, knives and accessories from a number of vendors are readily available.  If you do not opt for stainless steel, the parts will stain and rust after use.  A light coat of PAM as soon as I completed cleanup took care of that.  The grinder has to be mounted securely because you are generating more torque than you can imagine when you are grinding.  I mounted it on a 1″ thick quality plastic cutting board and used a 3″ C clamp to attach it to the kitchen counter.

I said labor intensive right??  I started out with a 9lb Boston Butt, some wild hog tenderloin and  a wild hog ham; all of which weighed about 5lbs.  I boned it all out and cut the meat into 2″ cubes.  The Boston Butt fat was held separate and frozen.  The wild hog fat was discarded.  I mixed the correct amount of Cure #1 and salt for 10lbs of meat in water and poured it over the 70/30 mixture of Boston Butt and wild hog.  Remember, I am producing a smoked and cured product.  The meat was in a Winco steam table pan and let me tell you  when you are handling large quantities of meat like this these trays are indispensable.  I put the meat in the fridge for two hours to firm it up and then coarse ground it.  Back into the Winco tray and into the fridge at 40 degrees for THREE days for the cure to work.

Sausage ready to go on the Church Smoker

At 9am,  I put a small plate in the grinder, attached the stuffing tube and rinsed my casings.  2.5 hours later I was done and to me it seemed like it was alot longer let me tell ya.  This was my first attempt and  I struggled with what size stuffing tube to use, how to feed the casing and meat that did not play nice.  It was exhausting.  With all that done,  the stuffed sausage went back in the fridge for two hours to dry out and make ’em more smokable.

 

Loaf pan baby smoke box

The next problem was how to keep an 8′ offset smoker that is almost a ton of oilfield pipe at at a temp of 100 degrees for  hours and still make smoke.  I built a small conventional fire in the box to get all that steel up to temp.   I knew I would need something teeny tiny to hold a very small fire.  Somewhere along the way I acquired a half size steel loaf pan with a Salvation Army sticker on it for 50 cents.  I had never used it.  I drilled a series of air holes in the sides and the bottom and then transferred some coals from the starter fire and loaded hickory chunks on the top.  We were in business.

Low low temp is bueno!

I arranged the links on the grate as far from the firebox as possible and started tweaking my fire.  I wanted 100 degrees for the first two hours to further dry out the casings with the idea of gradually increasing to 165 -cooked and done- by the end of the process.

About 4 hours in and at 145 degrees internal temp I removed two sets of links and put them in my Excalibur Food Dehydrator.  These links were randomly chosen and no different in recipe  than any of the others.  I set the machine for 14 hours at 125 degrees and finished them off at 145 degrees for two hours.  BTW, using this top shelf dehydrator is effortless.

Finished product from the Church Smoker

The sausage on the Church Smoker came off at the 7 hour mark at 165 degrees which qualifies it as fully cooked.  The links exhibited a rich mahogany color from the smoke and even after 48 hours in the fridge show little evidence of shriveling.  When warmed and sliced they are very moist and show the red color typical of cured meat.  Anyone who has attempted to cook sausage on a smoker or grill knows how hard it is to NOT end up with a dried, shriveled stick that looks like a bull pizzle.  The sticks outta the Dehydrator are somewhat shriveled and bend with the consistency of leather.  They have about half the smoke and a totally different consistency from the sausage that went full course on the smoker.  I am enjoying them as a snack and they are ready to eat at 145 degree end temp because I cured the meat.

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MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

I may be getting the upper hand in the Hog War.  I deployed 2 lower end Moultrie Game Cameras and 2 knockoffs.  So far no sounder of many destructive  hogs – just two lone boars.  If these two boars are solely responsible for all the destruction it would shock me.  I am using every option available to dispatch these vermin including wire snares and hunting over a bait pile most evenings until 2100 hours or so.  I added a Game Light to my scoped  M1A  and the green LED lights up the entire area around the bait pile — it looks like night vision through the scope.  I guess spending the last 6 years around a variety of skilled hunters and professional trappers rubbed off on me a little.  These hogs are either moving on or leaving feet first dead.  That is my nuclear option.

End Note:  For What Its’ Worth cover by Del McCoury and Friends.  I rarely do covers in my End Note unless they are unbelievably good….

50 years ago – Buffalo Springfield inc. a young Stephen Stills and Neil Young released one of the definitive rock and roll protest songs of all time.  These folks cover it and I do not know how many times I have viewed it.  It is that good! You got some real musicians here folks running micced acoustics and we get treated to solos from chin fiddle, mandolin, bass fiddle, banjo and dobro.  Then the camera focuses on a guy sitting sorta in the back and to the side that looks like a Youth Minister for the Good Baptists and I am like WTF!!! Is that an electric mandolin? For the next two minutes this guy wails that mandolin and the whole ensemble is grinnin’ ear to ear because he is killin’ it!

I know Del is old enough to remember this song and maybe two other of the guys were even born back then.  The rest are millennials and first rate musicians all.

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Bowling for Hogs and Sausage, 9.8 out of 10 based on 23 ratings
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7 comments to Bowling for Hogs and Sausage

  • Tom & Ann Ford

    Can you add your Amazon link to say the menu button? We use our phones 99% for internet/Amazon buying and can cannot find the link unless on the laptop.
    Thanks!

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    • Andy

      Does the Amazon link on the right menu column not work?

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      • David

        Andy,

        On my iPhone there is only one column with a menu button on the top left. I will email you a screen shot.

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  • Paul Dahl

    I’m seeing you in a new career instead of gate guarding. At least you’ll really enjoy the taste of your labors this way! ;c)

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    • Andy

      Good to hear from you Paul. The gate guarding game is changing and I am not the only veteran moving on. Running solo on a gate was just making an old man age faster.

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  • Vince Emery

    GawdDamn Andy, 50 years ago!! Just got out of high school. Seems like last week. Very appropriate song for today.

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  • CM

    Wow, I can’t believe they’re allowed to employ people in a shack for 12 hours without a toilet. I thought there were labor laws? Everybody has had a situation in life where they need a toilet, and quick. What a despicable situation. This country has gone to hell in a handbasket.

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