Sous Vide Celery Juice Powder Cured – Summer Sausage/Salami
My wife and I have recently obtained a sous vide machine and we have been impressed with various recipes we have tried. In the past I have tried to make summer sausage using the oven method for final cooking of the sausage. While producing some good tasting sausage the appearance is more like left over meat loaf. After seeing the color retention using the sous-vide method coupled with the ability to control temperature, I thought this may be a good time to try sous vide style summer sausage. I have not gone into detail here documenting sausage grinding and stuffing since there are numerous Internet sites that describe everything you need to know. Instead this is a simple recipe using ground beef, spices and sous vide. I have decided to use celery juice powder as the curing agent for this recipe.
1 pound of grass fed 85/15 ground beef
1/3 teaspoon of celery juice powder *
2 teaspoon canning salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground corriander
1 teaspoon Braggs Organic Sprinkle 24 Herbs & Spices Seasoning ground to a powder consistency.
* Obtained from www.sausagemaker.com Product Code: 11-1031 Each 1.25 ounce packet will cure 25 pounds of meat. I calculated this to be 1/3 teaspoon per pound of meat. They also supply all kind of casings.
1. Combine the ground beef and all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl until everything is thoroughly blended together.
2. Place the meat mixture in a zip-loc bag for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
3. On cooking day: Place non-edible fibrous casing in warm water for 30 minutes as per the manufactures instruction to soften.
4. Tightly pack the sausage into the casing by rolling the now flexible casing over itself and pressing small amounts into the casing as you roll it forward. This method works for a one pound batch but might prove tedious for any large amounts. Pin prick any air pockets as you go to try to get the sausage packed as tight as possible. When the casing is filled, tie off the casing with a knot that can be release, like a bow knot.
5. Seal the sausage in a food saver bag or use the water displacement method using a zip-loc bag for the sous vide cooking process.
6. Cook the sausage in Sous Vide water bath at 160 degrees F. or 3.5 hours. **
7. Remove the cooked sausage from the sous vide. Untie the knot at the end of the stick of sausage. Drain out all excess liquid that has accumulated in the casing. Retie the sausage stick.
8. Cool the sausage in the freezer to rapidly drop the interior temperature to 34-40 degrees for later storage in the refrigerator. Don’t give bacteria a chance.
** Sous vide temperature observation: I inserted a temperature probe into the center of the sausage stick and found the temperature to be 60 degrees F. before I started cooking. The water bath temperature was set to 160 degrees F. After being in the water bath for 1.5 hours the interior temperature of the sausage had reached 160 degrees F. I continued to cook the sausage for 2 hours longer for a total time of 3.5 hours in the sous vide machine.
In summary I feel that I accomplished several things using the sous vide cooking technique and using this sausage recipe.
1. I produced a summer sausage/salami product that not only tastes great but also retains the color of what I expect summer sausage to look like.
2. This method only required a sous vide water bath and no additional special equipment.
3. The cost was $5.69 for grass fed beef, $.45 for celery juice powder, $.75 for the casing and cost of spices for a total of approximately $7.00 a pound for quality sausage.
Now I’m looking forward to trying other types of sausage via sous vide. Sous vide offers lots of options for temperature control and cooking times which I hope to explore in future sausage making recipes.