Kosher Sausages

Kosher sausages conform to the same manufacturing rules as other sausages, the difference lies in meat selection.

The meat selection is pretty much defined by the Jewish Bible:

  • You may eat any animal that has a split hoof and chews the cud: the cow, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the antelope. The camel, rabbit and the coney can not be eaten.
  • Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales. That means no eels, oysters or lobsters.
  • You may eat all clean birds: chicken, poultry. Eating birds of prey such as eagle falcon or nighthawk is not permitted.
  • Pork is not permitted and that includes pork fat which is normally added to venison, poultry or fish sausages. This puts certain limitations on the recipe as pork back fat is a superior ingredient that is added to most high quality products.

This forces you to improvise and there are a few choices:

  • Beef or lamb fat (suet).
  • An emulsified olive oil at about 10%. Flax oil, sunflower oil or mixture of both can also be used at 6% or less otherwise there will be noticeable change in flavor. Adding oils will lighten up the sausage.

Try to avoid adding lamb or venison fat as they don’t taste right. Chicken fat tastes good, the only problem is that it melts at room temperature and you may end up with pockets of melted fat inside your sausage. An old remedy is to occasionally massage sausage with your fingers during cooling.

Adding vegetable or olive oil is a good choice and as long as you don’t add more than 25%, the sausage will be of acceptable quality. Emulsifying olive oil with soy protein isolate is a great idea as it helps to hold the sausage together and increases its protein content. Sausages made with oil are lighter in color than those made with solid fat. Vegetable fats melt at lower temperatures than meat fats and they are liquid at processing temperatures. This may cause fat separation during processing and cooking with fat pockets as a result. Adding an emulsifier such as soy protein or caseinate will reduce the problem.

Kosher head cheese and meat jelly can easily be made. Chicken and fish look extremely attractive and taste wonderful when added to the natural clarified stock. It is easier to produce a natural chicken only gelatin when chicken claws are added to meat broth. Concentrated chicken broth takes the first place in nutritional value compared with broths from other meats. It is also distinguished by a pleasant flavor.

To produce fish stock with enough gelatin fish parts that contain collagen (skin, bone and fins) must be used in making broth. This implies that after filleting the fish, the rest of the body with the head included is added to the pot.

You should be able to take any recipe and modify it so it will conform to the requirements of Jewish rules and tradition. The manufacturing process will basically remain the same. In most cases beef will be the material of choice and more water can be added due to beef’s excellent water holding properties. Sausages will also be darker during to the higher content of myoglobin in beef meat.

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