We are making beef mortadella. This gourmet charcuterie is a show stopper and incredibly fun to make.
This emulsified sausage will challenge even the most experienced sausage maker but when made correctly this sausage really stands alone. I’ll share with you my tips and secrets in todays recipe so that you can have the best chance of success. The first thing we need to know about this sausage is the relationship that myosin has with fat and water.
Myosin is a salt soluble protein that acts as an emulsifier between fat and water. It’s the glue that holds it all together, so in order to make a proper emulsified sausage we need to extract as much myosin as we possibly can. For this reason we don’t want our fat content to be too high. For this recipe we’ll be adding 20% fat, you can go down to 15% if you want to. By keeping the fat content on the lower side we ensure that we will have enough extracted myosin to bind everything together.
How do we extract the myosin?
Salt plays a large role in protein extraction. 2% – 3% added salt will allow for maximum myosin extraction. With this in mind we also need to consider the saltiness of our end product. I have personally found that 3% salt is a little on the salty side for my tastes so for this recipe we will be going with a 2% salt content.
Temperature is another key factor in protein extraction. The optimal temperature for maximum protein extraction is between 35F – 38F. For this reason we will be salting our ground meat and placing it in the refrigerator overnight. This will naturally start to pull the myosin out of the meat. The rest of the process will happen in the food processor as we chop our chilled meat.
What’s the best way to make an emulsified sausage
There are a few techniques that you can use make an emulsified sausage. The first (which happens to be the easiest) is to use a kitchen aid stand mixer. This is the preferred method for home producers of charcuterie because it’s a little more forgiving and although it’s technically not an emulsified sausage it’s about the closest thing to it (without all the fuss). If you plan on using this method then you will grind your meat and fat together 4 times. Start with a 10mm plate, next 4.5mm, then twice on a 3mm plate. Add the salt and the cure to your ground beef and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place your very cold (32F – 34F) ground meat along with your seasonings and ice cold water into your kitchen aid. Turn it on a medium speed and begin to mix. You’ll want to check the temperature along the way. We use a Thermapen by Thermaworks as it’s fast and accurate. As you mix you’ll want to keep the mince between 35F – 44F. After a few minutes of mixing your meat batter should look smooth. Turn off your stand mixer off and proceed with your recipe.
The other way you can make this happen at home is by using a food processor. This is the method I prefer because it actually produces a finer texture with a better emulsion. The problem is that this method carries with it several challenges. The first challenge is the condition of your blades. They need to be sharp!! If they are dull you will “whip” your batter creating a fluffy mousse type product with a very pillowy texture. The other challenge is temperature. If you use this method you’ll have to really keep an eye on the temperature. The friction of the blades will raise the temperature of your batter very fast and the final challenge is the food processor itself. If you don’t have a commercial grade unit I would most likely advise against this method. Chopping cold meat and fat in a food processor is very hard on the motor and can easily and quickly burn it out. With that in mind let me explain how to do this technique.
Start by grinding your meat and fat. I grind mine twice. Once on a 10mm and then on a 3mm plate. Add the salt and the cure to your ground meat and refrigerate overnight. The next morning rechill your meat so that the temperature is between 32f and 34f. Add the chilled ground meat and half the crushed ice to your food processor and begin to chop. Be sure to keep the temperature below 44F during this step. You will be chopping for a few minutes. Once you have a smooth batter add your seasonings and the rest of the crushed ice. Chop for a minute more. Finally add your binder and finish chopping. The final temperature should not exceed 55F.
Should you use a binder in your recipe?
The use of a binder is completely optional but highly recommended (especially in emulsified sausages). Binders serve several purpose when making emulsified sausages. Primarily they can help stabilize the emulsion. They have great water holding capacity allowing you to add more water to your sausage meat. This really helps to keep your sausage juicy. Finally they improve the overall texture of your sausage. I personally like to use potato starch but if you can’t get potato starch you can also use Non flavored gelatin, Non Fat Dry Powder Milk, Soy Protein Concentrate, or even Carrot fiber. I generally add between 2% and 5% to my recipe.
Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage
- High Quality Natural Casings (AA Grade)
- Iodophor Sanitizer
- MK4 Thermapen (Accurate Thermometer)
- Chef Knife – KOTAI
- Boning Knife
- Sausage Pricker
- InkBird Immersion Circulator
- Iwatani Professional Chef Torch
- Insta Cure #1
- Potato Starch
- Meat Grinders
- Meat Mixers
- Sausage Stuffers
Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!
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