Sack Sausage

Sack Sausages

Sack Sausage – fully cured

 This fully cured sausage is completely dependent on nature for its characteristic aged flavor and tantalizing aroma. An old-time favorite among many families of the Southern States, sack sausages are easily made at home.

 Make sacks from clean cotton material cut in 6” x 12” (15 cm x 30 cm) panels, folded and sew to form a package 2 ½” x 12” (6 ½ cm x 30 cm) approximately. Sterilize the sacks by boiling them in a pot of water before using.

 To insure successful meat curing;

  • Select only clean, well chilled fresh meat cuts. For the best dried sausage the ratio between lean meat and fat should be 70% lean cut to 30% fat cut.
  • For aging sausages, you must have an environment with a temperature as constant as possible between 50 to 55 degree Fahrenheit (10 to 14 degree Celsius), with humidity of 70%. An unheated cellar is ideal, but in winter a box placed outdoors in a shady area would do, provided that the temperature should not decline or rise too much. It is also possible to use a refrigerator, thermostatically controlled so that it maintains a suitable temperature. If it is not possible to identify a suitable site for aging then it is better not to begin.

 

For 1 kg of mixture: This quantity will fill 3 sacks

 25 oz (700 g) lean pork shoulder

11 oz (300 g) fresh pork belly

4 teaspoon (27 g) salt

1 ½ teaspoon (3 g) black ground pepper

1 ½ teaspoon (1 g) each of cloves,

½ (1 g) ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon (1 g) rosemary dried finely crushed

¼ clove of garlic, pressed

½ teaspoon (3 g) hot chilli peppers

4 teaspoon (3 g) crushed sage

½ teaspoon (1.5 g) sugar

1 cup (25 cl) dry wine

A pinch of Potassium Nitrate or Sodium Nitrate (optional but recommended)

 The lean meat and fat must be ground through a meat grinder with a blade and 6–7 mm hole plate. For small batches a hand-operated grinder is sufficient. The fat and lean will blend better if alternately fed into the grinder. If possible work in a cool environment of 40-42 degree Fahrenheit (5-6 degrees Celsius). Once the meat is ground combine all other ingredients; thoroughly knead mixture with your hand until well blended.

 Spoon a small amount of sausage mix unto a piece of parchment paper. Roll the paper around the mix and press to form a stick about 1 ½ inch (4 cm) in diameter and 10” (25 cm)long. Compress to avoid air pockets inside. Insert the rolled stick into sack (seam outside) Shake sack to force mix to the bottom then spin sack in a circular movement to compact mixture. Add more mixture until sack is full up to an inch from top. Now twist the top of the sack until firm. Place sack on surface of table and roll with your hand to remove any air bubbles from the sack. Tighten the sack again by twisting the top then tie top securely with heavy cotton string about 10” (25 cm) long. The string should be long enough to make a loop for hanging. Tie the two ends of the string together to make a loop. Roll once more to firm the package.

 At this point the sausages are hung at room, temperature 68 to 77 degree Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degree Celsius) for about 12 hours, then transferred to maturing room at 36 to 40 degree Fahrenheit (10 to 14 degree Celsius) and left hanging to mature for a couple of months. The humidity is as important as the temperature. The humidity should be around 70%. An underground cellar is ideal for aging sausages. If you would like smoked sausages. Hang the sacks in a maturing room for 4 or 5 weeks then cold smoke the sausages for 1 to 3 days, using smoldering hardwood chips or sawdust. Keep temperature below 85 degree Fahrenheit (29 degree Celsius). Return to the maturing room for 3 to 4 weeks after smoking until fully cured. This sausage can be sliced and eaten without cooking.

 

 Tennessee Sack Sausage – Semi-Cured

 Make sacks from clean cotton material cut in 9” x 12” (23 cm x 30 cm) panels, folded and sew to form a package 4” x 12” (10 cm x 30 cm) approximately. Sterilize the sacks by boiling them in a pot of water before using. Each sack will hold 1 ½ to 2 pounds (½ to 1 kg).

 For 10 lbs. Meat mixture (65 percent lean to 45 percent fat) use:

 6 tablespoons (108 g) salt

5 tablespoons sage (10 g)

2 tablespoons (12 g) black pepper

1 teaspoon (2 g) red hot pepper

A pinch of Potassium Nitrate or Sodium Nitrate (optional but recommended)

 Grind the lean and fat together. Mix seasoning well into meat mixture. Remember to keep the meat very cold. This mixture can be cooked as fresh sausage or made into sack sausage.

 For sack sausage: Spoon a small amount of sausage mix unto a piece of parchment paper. Roll the paper around the mix and press into a stick about 2” – 3” (5 cm – 8 cm) in diameter and 10” (25 cm) long. Compress to avoid air pockets inside. Insert the rolled stick into sack (seam outside) Shake sack to force mix to the bottom then spin sack in a circular movement to compact mixture. Add more mixture until sack is filled up to 1 inch (2 cm) from top. Now twist the top of the sack until firm. Place sack on surface of table and roll with your hand to remove any air bubbles from the sack. Tighten the sack again by twisting the top then tie top securely with heavy cotton string about 10” (25 cm) long. The string should be long enough to make a loop for hanging. Tie the two ends of the string together to make a loop. Roll once more to firm the package.

 At this point the sausages are hung at room, temperature 68 to 77 degree Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degree Celsius) for about 12 hours, then transferred to maturing room at 36 to 40 degree Fahrenheit (10 to 14 degree Celsius) and left hanging to mature for 2 to 3 weeks then smoke if preferred. To serve, cut top of bag and expose needed amount of aged sausage. Cut sausage in strips crosswise ½ inch (1 ½ cm) thick and pan-fry slowly until slightly brown. The remainder can be stored in refrigerator and used as needed. Will keep up to a month in refrigerator.

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