Juniper Sausage

Juniper sausage is a semi-dry sausage with a very characteristic look and flavor. Freshly crushed juniper berries are added to meat and then juniper twigs and branches are added to fire during smoking. This imparts to the sausage a more pronounced juniper flavor and darker color when finished. It is always sold in the shape of a ring. The manufacturing process is the same as for Polish Mysliwska Sausage (Hunter's), but much more juniper is added.

MeatsMetricUS
Lean pork200 g7.0 oz
Pork with fat (butt)500 g1.1 lb
Pork with connective tissue100 g3.5 oz
Beef100 g3.5 oz
Hard fat pieces100 g3.5 oz
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt20 g3 tsp
Cure #12.5 g1/2 tsp
Pepper1.5 g3/4 tsp
Crushed juniper berries1 g1/2 tsp
Instructions
  1. Curing. Cut meat into 5-6 cm (2”) pieces, mix with salt and Cure #1. Place in a container, cover with a cloth and leave for 48 hours in a refrigerator.
  2. Grind lean pork through 20 mm plate, semi-fat pork and fat through 10 mm. Grind pork with connective tissue and beef through 2 mm plate and then emulsify.
  3. Beef and pork with connective tissue are emulsified in a bowl cutter (or in food processor) adding 20-30% of crushed ice or cold water. Add remaining salt and spices at this stage.
  4. Mix lean pork with semi-fat pork until sticky, then add ground fat and emulsified mixture of beef, pork with connective tissue, and spices. Mix everything well together.
  5. Casings: beef rounds 40 mm or more. Stuff casings firmly and form rings. Tie the ends with butcher's twine. Prick any visible air pockets with a needle.
  6. Condition sausages for 12 hours at 2-6° C (35-43° F). Drying is also allowed at room temperature but for only 30-60 minutes.
  7. Smoke with a hot smoke for 90-100 min, then bake for 30 min. Total time 120-130 min until the internal meat temperature is 68-70° C (154-158° F) and casings are brown. During last stage of smoking “juniper” twigs or berries are added to wood chips for an extra flavor.
  8. Hold sausages at 18°C (64° F) or lower temperature for 12 hours.
  9. Apply cold smoke for about 24 hours or warm smoke (24-32° C, 75-90° F) for 12 hours until dark brown color is obtained.
  10. Dry sausages for 5-8 days at 12-18° C (53-64° F) and 75-80% humidity until sample sausages achieve 71% yield. If mold develops on casings wipe it off with a cloth. Then place sausages in a warm smokehouse and smoke with warm smoke (24-32° C, 75-90° F) for 2-3 hours. This re-freshes looks of the sausages.
  11. Lower internal sausage temperature below 18°C (64°F).
Notes
The original manufacturing process was necessarily long in order to produce a semi-dry sausage that would be stable at room temperatures. To make a regular hot smoked sausage you may end the process with step # 8 cooling sausages).

Steps # 9, 10 and 11 were needed to make a dry version of the sausage that would last long time at room temperature.

Some recipes call for hard fat pieces. Cuts that supply those hard fats are: back fat, butt fat, kidney fat, jowl fat.

 

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