Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sopressata Part 2: And now we wait...

Last night I ran the pork through the grinder attachment of a Kitchen Aid mixer. The long stips worked pretty well. There were definitely piece that grabbed and pulled themselves through. Next time, I think I will be able to cut more pieces that do this. Pretty neat trick.
It looked like it had at least 25% fat so I didn't add anymore. The milk powder got added and the paddle attachment went on the mixer for a quick mix. A bigger mixer would have made the job easier. For some reason, I wanted this type of Kitchen Aid 10 years ago (there's a hinge and the bowl is locked in place) instead of the larger one where the bowl moves up and down. Can't remember why though.
I didn't get any pictures of filling the casings. My hands were a little messy and my wife uses the camera too. I started with the collagen casings which stuffed very easily. I moved onto the natural casings and only had one minor glitch - I over stuffed and split the casing. Not a big deal, just pulled out a little more casing and kept going. Here's the setup I used on the kitchen table. The sopressata on the right (darker brown casing) are collagen cased. The sopressata on the left are in natural casing.

The hardest part of doing this, besides cleaning up, is tying the sopressata to hang in the chamber. I'm not the best with knots. In the books I've read on sausage making, they have lovely pictures on how the know should look, but no real instructions. I'm going to have to ask around for pointers. Tying the collagen casings would have been much easier with an extra pair of hands. Since I do this after everyone else has gone to bed, I'm out of luck there. An el-cheapo kitchen dedicated vise grips might help. Maybe next time I'm in Harbor Freight. My fear with the collagen casing is that as the meat shrinks, a void will be created and the knot will slip. Tying the natural casing was easier, but also equally unprofessional. A seasoned butcher would probably get a good laugh. Here's a shot of some sopressata in bondage followed by a picture of the sopressata curing. I weighed each one so I will know what percentage of weight was lost in a few weeks. I'm going for 30%.

1 comment:

  1. "sopressata in bondage"

    Love it - that's what you should name this batch.

    And yeah, knot tying is a LOT easier than it looks. Simple in theory, but really difficult to execute. Can't wait to see how these turn out.