March 11, 2012

mexican green chile sausage

In Garde Manger my team rotated to sausage station, we split off to make different sausages. John, Julius and I decided on Mexican green chile sausage from the CIA Garde Manger book. While Julius cubed pork butt and John gathered spices, I roasted jalepeños and chopped canned green chiles (since we didn't have any fresh ones):

chile & jalapeño

Besides the regular salt, oregano, basil, cumin, garlic - we also added tinted curing mix (salt and sodium nitrite) since we wanted the smoked version and that was the recipe modification listed in the book. TCM is used as a preservative in sausage-making, presumably this sausage only need it because smoking means keeping it in the temperature danger zone for a prolonged period of time and the nitrites would keep bacteria from developing.

casing & spices

Once the three of us had all of our ingredients together, we put everything through the grinder.

grinding meat

The sausage casing had to be soaked in water to soften, and so we could unwind all the knots.

unwinding casing

Then the casing was put onto the thin nozzle of the sausage machine:

prepping casing

Once all the ground meat was pushed through the nozzle into the casing, we got to tying the sausage into sections. Some of the sections burst because of the pressure.

tying sausage

Then we hung the sausage up in the walk-in. Chef said he would smoke it for us.

hanging sausage

But we cooked off some of the burst parts to taste and the sausage came out way too salty. I double checked the recipe to make sure I didn't fudge any measurements, but I did do it right. It's the combination of salt AND tinted curing mix that put the saltiness level way over the edge, so maybe it should be one or the other (and the recipe should be changed). We'll see after the sausage is smoked, maybe the ensuing smokiness will detract/distract from the over-salty taste...

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