Hot Italian and and Cougar's Hot Links

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by worktogthr, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well the sausage bug is alive and well in my house. I can't stop. Besides the sausages in this post, I currently have Vaccuum packed in the freezer:
    Richie's Italian chicken sausage
    Jamaican jerk chicken sausage
    Kielbasa with cheddar
    Pop's breakfast sausage
    Italian sausage with cheese and parsley
    Len Poli's Bratwurst

    And probably something I'm forgetting..

    So I saw some pork rib end loins on sale for 99 cents per pound and figured why not try to make some leaner sausage with that. So I decided to try the spicy sausage's website for hot italian. From my research, rib end loin is between 8 and 10 percent fat.

    Cubed up the loin and stick it in the freezer for a few hours:

    Ground it up and mixed with the seasonings that included:
    Red pepper flake
    Cayenne pepper
    Fresh parsley
    Red wine
    Added a 1/2 cup of NFDM

    Put in the fridge overnight and stuffed the next day

    For the hot links I used Cougar78's recipe with 2.5 lbs of the loin meat and 2.5 lbs of 80/20 ground beef that I had in the freezer.

    All stuffed up:

    An hour in the smoker with no smoke to dry and 2.5 hours of heavy hickory smoke. I microwaved the pellets for my AMNPS and pulled the chip tube out pretty far. This set up gives me a little more smoke than normal.

    When I pulled them out of the smoker hey we're temping between 115-130.

    so I finished them in a hot water bath until they got to 152. A couple for a little higher but I'm sure they'll be fine!

    Now they are hanging to bloom on a clothes drying rack that rarely sees clothes hung on it haha.

    Sorry for the bad hanging pictures.

    The flavor of these are both great. Had the remains from the stuffer and a blowout for dinner last night as patties over some blue cheese grits:

    I'll be back the first time I cook them up as links. Thanks for looking!

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    1967robg, crazymoon, disco and 3 others like this.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great! My oldest Cheffie Daughter has my grinder so I have been out of the game awhile. I need a new one...JJ
  3. ez2b

    ez2b Newbie

    Nicely done. They looked great I just made some spicy Italian from the spicy sausage site also
  4. ragnar

    ragnar Smoke Blower

    Son of a... the RAW photo looked good enough to eat. Points from me, man...

    As to the fridge/freezer, the items are not the same, but the number of options is similar in mine. Heck of a deal making GOOD stuff you can take pride in, and having it available when you want it.

    You have me thinking about that Jamaican Jerk! My wife said no more sausage for a while (until we make some room), but I'll work on softening her up on this one while we eat on what we've got.
  5. ez2b

    ez2b Newbie

    ^^^^ I know what you mean on the slowing down of sausage making it was hard today I went to the grocery store 98 cents a pound for butt. I walked away but I'm sure we'll be there til at least Wednesday they usually run a ad on Wednesday I'll probably sleep on it and be there early in the morning lol
  6. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hahaha exactly what I go through. I see meat that's cheap and I automatically start thinking about sausage and I am forced to buy it. Then I start rationalizing that it will take up less space in the freezer as individual packs of sausage rather than a whole big chunk of meat haha it's a sickness
  7. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    WT, another excellent job sir ![​IMG]
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Awesome job, Chris!

    Your turning into the sausage meister!

    Points for another great thread!

  9. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much for the points! I can't control myself. When you open the freezer vaccuum bags of sausage literally fall out. Good thing is I am going to give some away to friends and family this weekend so I have an excuse to make more haha
  10. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much Al! I still have a lot to learn before I can be put in the class of the great sausage makers on this site. Not sure if it's stubbornness or laziness but I still never prick any of the casings and especially in the smoked sausages I have some serious air pockets.

    Way back when when all I did was grill with my gasser I used to have an annual "Sausage Party" where everyone would bring various styles of sausage and we would eat all day. Haven't done that in maybe ten years but I may have to revamp that idea and provide all the sausage myself . Maybe fry them up on the Blackstone!
  11. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I know the feeling, work. When it's too nasty outside to tend a smoker, what's a guy to do? Make sausage!
    I have two butts in the community fridge/freezer at work because the price was too good to pass up and no room in the freezer at home 😉
    The Mrs. has been complaining about all the sausage in the freezer, but when I said I was going to try snak stix this weekend all she said was "hmm, I could eat those".

  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    These look terrific, particularly the colour.

    Points for super sausage, sir.

  13. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I agree! Sausage projects usually take a few days doing little by little because I don't have enough time to cook outside or the weather is really bad. Hahah that is great that you store meat at work. It's pretty bad... I have two full fridges with freezers, a small chest freezer and another small freezer haha I am a meat hoarder. Haven't tried snack sticks yet haha I will get there!
  14. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much Disco! Both recipes had a good amount of paprika and other red spices which I think really makes them deep red in color. The hot Italian also has some red wine in the mix. Now all they need is some grill marks! Still haven't had a chance.... Too many other things to cook haha
  15. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Chris Sorry I missed this post the other day,all your sausage is a work of art now.Points

  16. Nice sausage. Love some red hots! Points
  17. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much Richie.  I've been making it like a fiend.  Have so much in the freezer I don't have the chance to eat it nearly as fast as I make it haha
    Thanks for the points!  This hot links recipe is great. Check out Cougar78's recipe.  You won't regret it!
  18. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

  19. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Finally got a chance to grill up some of the hot Italian sausage I made. I was seasoning my new akorn and it seemed like a waste of fire to not throw something on. Here they are on the Akorn running about 375-400:

    Took them to about 150 IT and they carried over a bit:

    And here's the money shot:

    I was really happy with the juiciness and texture considering I used only rib end loin meat which is about 8-10% fat.

    Made penne a la vodka with sausage for dinner:

    Thanks for looking!

  20. Looks great man! I made some Italian sausages a couple weeks ago and haven't cooked any yet

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