Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our First Cured Sausages

Cured Spanish Sausages

Our new meat curing fridge has now officially borne fruit, and I'm happy to report that our first cured sausage is a success!

It is an improvised "Spanish-style" sausage that we first did as a "regular" sausage and later as a smoked sausage. We figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try as a cured sausage.

I'm glad we did.

Cured Spanish Sausages

I find it amazing how the sausages change during the dry curing process - shrinking and darkening, flavors getting concentrated within. They lost over a third of their weight during the 3 weeks of curing, firming up into dense, solid links.

So far we've just been eating it straight-up, sliced thinly. The taste is wonderfully rich, complex and meaty.

Cured Spanish Sausages

We are very pleased with our first cured sausage. It certainly won't be our last - especially since we have some Saucisson Sec that is almost ready...

10 comments:

  1. Looks fantastic! Glad you got your fridge back up and running.. :)

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  2. Thanks, Dennis. Everything has been fine with the fridge since the repairs, so we're hoping those issues are behind us now.

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  3. It's beautiful...chop it up in a dish or fry it up as a tapas or grill it with shrimp....endless possiblities. Recipe?

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  4. These look *amazing*. You guys have helped me gradually get over my fear of making sausages. This is definitely something worth learning as once you get the basics down, there's no limit as to what flavor combinations you can dream up.
    Thanks. :) I want a meat fridge now. Don't think I can wait for Santa to give me one.

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  5. Thanks everyone!

    Peter - we're thinking about doing a post comparing this sausage fresh, smoked and cured. If we do, we'll pull the recipe together.

    SheSimmers - yep, being able to make whatever kind of sausage you like is definitely cool.

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  6. very beautiful sausage. I can't wait until I am brave enough to try curing meats

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  7. Hi Shayne - no bravery required, just a controlled curing chamber. If you have that, the rest is pretty easy.

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  8. Mike -

    I am curious to know what kind of cure you used for these sausages. I am trying to see if only using salt (with no nitrates added) would suffice.

    Thanks!
    Gabi @ Mamaliga.com

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  9. Hi Gabi, We used kosher salt and curing salt #2 (sodium nitrate). Sausages can be cured without adding nitrates/nitrites, but it's a lot riskier - I wouldn't do it myself. The nitrites promote a rosy pink color and add a distinctive cured flavor to the meat, but more importantly, they kill harmful bacteria, especially botulism.

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