HOW HOW TO MAKE SAUSAGES
FRESH FR FRESH AND FERMENTED Introduction Introduction
A wide variety of sausages are produced in countries throughout the world. Most are produced from meat (especially pork and beef) but in some countries, fish sausages are also popular. Vegetarian and vegan sausages are available in some countries, made from tofu, nuts, pulses, mycoprotein, soya protein, vegetables or combinations of these ingredients. Some are shaped, coloured and flavoured to resemble the taste and texture of meat, whereas others have the flavour of the spices and vegetables and do not attempt to imitate meat. Sausage meat is ground, often spiced, meat usually sold without a casing. It may be formed into patties, stuffed into poultry, sold as slices cut from a block of pressed meat and fried, or used for wrapping foods such as Scotch eggs. It is also encased in puff pastry to make sausage rolls. This technical brief focuses on meat sausages. Sausages are ground seasoned meats, stuffed into casings. They are made from any edible part of a veterinary-inspected animal, together with a variety of non-meat ingredients. Changes to the formulation of ingredients, particle size of the meat, processing methods and processing conditions produce the wide variety of sausages that are found. Different types of sausages may be grouped into fresh and fermented (or ‘cured’) sausages. Fresh sausages have a relatively short shelf life and must be kept under refrigeration (by chilling or freezing) until they are cooked by the consumer by frying, boiling or baking immediately before consumption. Fermented sausages are made from cured meats that are not heat processed, and they are divided into semidry and dry sausages. The use of curing salts, the increased acidity from the fermentation, plus for some types, additional preservation due to drying and/or smoking, enable these sausages to be stored without refrigeration and they may be consumed without cooking.
Production Production of fresh sausages
Examples of fresh sausages include braunschweiger, liver sausage, siskonmakkara, cervelat, blood sausage (or ‘black pudding’), saveloy, wuerstel, jagdwurst, weißwurst and breakfast sausage. ‘Hot dogs’ are very finely ground meat paste that may also be smoked or boiled in brine. Precooked sausages such as Kochwurst, Saumagen and Blutwurst are made with cooked meat but may also include raw organ meat. They have a shelf life of a few days at refrigerator temperatures. There are also sausages that are named after the region in which they have been traditionally produced (e.g. Morteau in France, Cumberland and Lincolnshire in UK, morcilla de Ronda in Spain, toruńska (from Toruń) in Poland, and Sremski kulen (after the region of Srem in Serbia). Some of these areas are seeking Protected Designation of Origin for their sausages so that they can only be made in that region to an attested recipe and quality standards. In Latin and South America there are many types of sausages, with slight regional variations of each recipe: for example, morcilla or relleno (blood sausage) and salchichas (similar to hot dogs). In North Africa, Merguez is made with beef flavoured with a wide range of spices, such as paprika, Cayenne pepper, or hot chilli that gives it a red colour. It is stuffed into lamb casings, and grilled or sun-dried and used to add flavour to other dishes. In South Africa, traditional sausages are known as boerewors (farmer’s sausage), made from game animals and beef, mixed with pork or lamb and with a high fat content. They can be either fresh or dry-cured.
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How to make sausages
Fresh sausages are best produced from warm slaughtered meat, before rigor mortis sets in. This is because pre-rigor meat has a higher water-holding capacity that improves the structure and yield of the sausages. Also pre-rigor meat maintains a red colour in fresh sausages for up to 5 - 6 days of refrigerated storage and several weeks in frozen storage, whereas sausages made from chilled meats can fade to a brown-grey colour during storage. Using pre-rigor meat also gives savings in refrigeration costs. Formulations for fresh sausages include the meat, added fat, iced water and a variety of seasonings, herbs and spices (Table 1). This variety of ingredients is limited only by a processor’s imagination and knowledge, but the formulation is always a compromise between the expected quality of the finished product, the cost of raw materials and the processing techniques that are applied. Common seasonings are salt, dextrose, black or white pepper, mace, sage, chilli, red pepper, garlic, cinnamon, onion powder, cumin, monosodium glutamate or celery salt. Seasoning formulae vary widely depending on particular market preferences, but two common seasoning types are a sweet herb flavour or a hot seasoning. In some countries, breadcrumbs or other binders (e.g. wheat flour and rusk, milk powder or soy protein) and emulsifiers are also permitted to control shrinkage of the sausage during cooking. If binders are used, the amount should not be more than 2-3% of the weight of the meat in a fresh pork sausage formula or 1-2% in a fresh beef sausage formula. Extra dextrose or sugar helps to brown the sausage rapidly during cooking. Pork 1) Using 9 kg fresh pork trimmings (60-70% lean meat) + 1 kg pork back fat: seasoning = 180 g salt 15 g ground white pepper 10 g mace 20 g sage 10 g sugar or 180 g salt 24 g pepper 11 g sage 15 g ginger 0.2 g chilli 2 g monosodium glutamate Beef 1) Using 8.5-9 kg lean beef or beef trimmings (30% beef may be substituted by mutton) + 1-1.5 kg beef or mutton fat: seasoning = 200 g salt 5 - 10 g red pepper 0.1 - 0.2 g chilli 2 - 6 g cardamom 2 g ginger 1 - 5 g fenugreek 2 - 6 g sugar Rusk may be added to improve binding and 20-30 g salted water may be added to facilitate stuffing
2) Using 6 kg pork belly + 4 kg lean pork: 2) Using 8.5 kg beef flank + 1.5 kg beef fat seasoning = (brisket fat, fat trimmings or mutton fat) 180 g salt seasoning = 20 g pepper 180 g salt 10 g mace 2 - 22 g curry powder 10 g ginger 5 g sugar 4 g cardamom 20 g pepper 10 g lemon bark powder 1 g fresh garlic Table 1. Examples of formulations for 10 kg of fresh sausages (Adapted from Savic, 1985) In developing any product, processors should consider these formulations as a basic starting point and spend time to test, modify and adjust them according to local preferences and requirements. Good quality sausages cannot be made from inferior or unsatisfactory raw materials. Fresh meat and other ingredients (especially spices) may contain bacteria that cause spoilage and/or food poisoning. To minimise their growth, iced water is used to keep the temperature of sausagemeat below around 4oC, and it should be processed as quickly as possible. Also, strict attention is required to hygienic handling, sanitation and cleaning procedures to prevent
How to make sausages
bacterial contamination that would reduce the shelf life of the sausages and/or cause a safety hazard. The high risk of food poisoning from fresh sausagemeat is reflected in the legislation in many countries, which may specify maximum levels of food poisoning bacteria, and may also specify the hygiene and sanitation procedures that must be used when preparing sausages. The ratio of lean meat to fat has an important influence on the quality of the product, particularly in controlling shrinkage during cooking. Formulations that have higher proportions of lean to fat show less shrinkage than formulae with more fat. A highly acceptable pork sausage can be produced using a formulation that contains 35% fat. The addition of a small amount of water or milk (3-5%) facilitates stuffing sausagemeat into casings. In many countries, the legislation may also set out specific compositional and labelling requirements, such as minimum meat content for sausages; added water over certain limits; or added ingredients of different animal species that must be declared on the product label. A meat grinder (Figure 1) forces meat under pressure through a cylinder with sharp-edged ribs and then through a series of holes in a perforated plate. As the compressed meat exits through the plate, a revolving four-bladed knife cuts it. The meat should be thoroughly trimmed of fat and connective tissue, sprinkled with the seasoning mixture and then ground twice: once through a coarse plate (8-12 mm holes) followed by mixing in any binder and a second grinding through a finer plate of 2-4 mm diameter holes. Manual or motorised meat grinders are used for most types of sausages, but processors who wish to make emulsion-type sausages or those who can afford higher levels of investment use bowl choppers (Figure 1). These machines have a slowly rotating horizontal bowl that moves the ingredients beneath a set of high-speed rotating blades. Coarsely chopped meat and the other ingredients pass several times beneath the blades until it is chopped and blended to the required extent.
Figure 1: Meat grinder. Photo: W. Weschenfelder and Sons, www.weschenfelder.co.uk
Figure 2: Bowl chopper. Photo: Courtesy of Union Food Machinery Ltd. www.ufmltd.co.uk.
Emulsion-type sausages (e.g. ‘hot dogs’ or frankfurters) are meat emulsions in which tiny fat globules are dispersed in water that contains a complex mixture of meat proteins and gelatine. The structure of the emulsion is set when the sausages are cooked, to produce the characteristic texture of the product. Factors that affect the stability of the meat emulsion, and hence the texture of sausages, include the type and quality of the meat, which affect the water-holding capacity and fat-holding capacity of the meat proteins; the proportions of meat and iced water to fat; and the time, temperature and speed of homogenisation of ingredients in the bowl chopper. Sausage texture is also affected by the use of polyphosphates to bind water into the sausage structure, but these are not routinely used in small-scale production.
After grinding, the sausagemeat is stuffed into casings that have been soaked in clean water or dilute brine. A meat temperature of 2 - 4°C and good fluid properties of the sausagemeat are
How to make sausages
required for stuffing fresh sausages. Traditionally, sausage casings were made of cleaned pig or sheep intestines, but they are now also made from collagen, cellulose, or other plastics. Casings of different diameters include: wide (22 - 24 mm), medium (20 - 22 mm), narrow medium (18 - 22 mm) and narrow (16 - 18 mm). Medium sized casings are preferred for pork sausages, especially if they are formed into links, and narrow casings are more suitable for beef sausages. Manual or motorised sausage stuffers (Fig. 3), have a cylinder that contains the sausage meat and a moveable plunger that forces the meat through an outlet pipe (or ‘horn’) into the sausage casing. The casings are filled to maximum capacity to prevent air becoming trapped, which could discolour the sausages. Linking is carried out by twisting the stuffed casing at regular intervals to give the length of sausage required by the local market. This varies widely but short links of 5 - 7 cm or long links of 10 - 15 cm are common lengths. Linking may be done by hand or using a linking attachment to the sausage stuffer.
Figure 3: Sausage forming equipment, a) manual sausage stuffer (SAP at http://sapbologna.it), b) Motorised sausage stuffer (REX-Technologie GmbH & Co. KG at www.rex-technologie.com) After stuffing and linking, fresh sausages should be chilled rapidly by hanging them in a chiller and they should be kept at refrigeration temperatures of 0 - 4°C to give a storage life of up to 6 days. Good circulation of air in a refrigerated storage room is necessary but if the air circulation is too rapid it will cause excessive drying and shrinkage of the sausages. The correct air humidity is 75 - 80% to prevent excessive loss of moisture and avoid mould growth. Sausages should be kept at refrigeration temperature until they are cooked. This requires a cold distribution chain from the processor to the retailer or food service outlet. In some countries the measures to control the temperature during distribution and sales are controlled by law. Because of the risk from food poisoning bacteria, fresh sausages should be heated sufficiently to destroy any bacteria that are present at the centre of the product. The temperature and time of heating should also be sufficient to produce the required changes to the flavour and colour of the sausages.
Fermented Fermented sausages
Fermented sausages are produced using similar methods to fresh sausages but the ground meat is fermented (or cured) either before or after stuffing. The stuffed sausages are then smoked, dried or aged to make a product that can be consumed without further cooking. Unlike fresh sausages, the long shelf life of fermented sausages is due to their low moisture content (low water activity), acids produced during the fermentation, and smoke compounds if the sausages are smoked. These preservation factors prevent the growth of pathogens and spoilage micro-organisms and allow the sausages to be stored at room temperature and eaten without cooking. The ingredients used in fermented sausages include coarsely or finely chopped meats, fat, lactic acid bacterial starter culture, spices, sugar, salt and curing salts (sodium or potassium nitrite and/or nitrate). Meat used for fermented sausages should be carefully trimmed to remove sinews and soft inter-muscular fat. Methods of grinding and chopping depend on whether the sausage is intended for slicing or spreading: in general, finer grinding produces improved spreading properties. Beef is normally chopped first and then the pork and other ingredients are added. Salt and curing salts are added at the end of chopping. The sugar is added to speed up the growth of lactic acid bacteria and curing salts are used to prevent the
How to make sausages
growth of food poisoning bacteria, especially Clostridium botulinum and production of the toxin ‘botulin’, before the meat is acidified by the lactic acid bacteria and because these products may be consumed without cooking. Examples of meat formulations for fermented sausages are shown in Table 2. Sausage Sausage Beef (%) (%) Pork (%) (%) Pork fat (%) (%) Spices
Large diameter salami: German type 65–75 25–35 Italian type 30 45 25 Hungarian type 70 30 Polish type 10–15 55–60 25–30 Small diameter: Salametti 30 40 30 Garlic sausage 50 20 30 20 Beef garlic sausage 80 (beef fat)
Coriander, garlic Ginger, garlic Chilli pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, garlic Marjoram
Chilli pepper, rosemary, garlic Fenugreek, chilli pepper, ginger, garlic
Ingredients Ingredients for 10 kg of fermented sausage Summer Summer sausages 5.5 kg 2.5 kg 2.0 kg 300 g 5g 30 g 12 g 20 g 4g 4g 55 g 25 g lean beef pork bellies pork fat sodium or potassium nitrite salt sodium nitrate ground black pepper coriander mustard seed garlic allspice dextrose sucrose Chorizos 3.3 kg lean pork or lean beef 3.3 kg pork neck or beef flank 3.4 kg fat pork (jowl, belly, fat trimmings) or beef trimmings 280 g sodium or potassium nitrite salt 4g potassium nitrate 8g sugar 10 g garlic 20 g red pepper 15 g chilli
Pepperoni 5.0 kg pork trimmings 3.0 kg beef chucks, hearts, cheeks 2.0 kg pork jowl 280 g sodium or potassium nitrite 5g sodium or potassium nitrate 5g chilli powder 2.0 g allspice 15 g fenugreek 30 g ground pepper 45 g red pepper 15 g anise 100 g sugar 3g peeled garlic 25 g dextrose
Beef salamis 7.5 kg beef chucks or other beef 2.5 kg beef brisket fat 250 g sodium or potassium nitrite salt 4g potassium nitrate 5g fresh garlic 25 g ground white pepper 20 g dextrose 10 g red pepper 2g ginger
Table 2. a) Formulations of fermented sausages and b) typical ingredients for four types of fermented sausage. (Adapted from Savic, 1985).