Pork Roll Time...oh boy! Beware....MANY Pix!

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by couger78, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    December is a crazy month for me at the church office, so between work and other obligations around the home (the Christmas Honey-Do list), I’ve had little or no time to make meats of the tubular variety.

    But I had a chance this weekend to do some grinding & stuffing, so I asked the troops in my household what they’d like me to make as Christmas is approaching fast. The popular choice was having me make PORK ROLL — aka “Taylor’s Ham.”

    Many of you know what I’m talking about here. If you’re not familiar with this tangy & porky delight, do a quick internet search & you’ll discover all you need to know about the tasty stuff. It’s big back east (my wife’s family is from New Jersey), and around Christmas, it was a popular treat for her family. My boys & I have enjoyed it as well—even though we’re native Californi-yuns.

    It was a big hit the last time I made it (waaaay back in July of 2011).

    So enough of the blather…on to the fun stuff!

    Start with three pounds of nearly-frozen hickory-smoked bacon

    Also needed is about 7 pounds of fresh pork shoulder, cut up & iced for the grinder…

    Start by grinding the bacon. I’m using a 4.5mm plate for the initial grind…

    Next up is the pork shoulder grind. Same plate size…

    SPICES lined up. Simple & few ingredients.I upped the amount of salt and the ECA I used last time. The pork roll last time just needed a bit more of the saltiness & tang…

    I added the dry ingredients to the meat, with the exception of the ECA

    —which shall be added just prior to stuffing. Before mixing, I add the port

    My Custom Mixers are primed and ready to go. Thickly-insulated gloves make this job easy without the pain of frost-bite…

    After 10-12 minutes of robust mixing, the meat has developed into a nice, sticky paste…

    Before stuffing, however, I want a finer texture and so I run the meat paste through the grinder using a fine plate (3.0mm). This hopefully will ensure a very uniform texture in the final product…

    Comparing the before & after of the single grind (4.5mm) and the meat following a second fine (3mm) grind…

    One last addition & mix— the ECA is added now and I’ll gently incorporate this thoroughly into the meat paste. A quick test-fry of the mix got thumbs up from the lucky tasters…

    While all this mixing & grinding was going on, I had three fibrous casing soaking in warm water. In the past I’ve used muslin or cotton bags for pork roll, but since I was without, I opted to use these 3x20” fibrous from Butcher & Packer…

    My son helped with my little 5lb Grizzly stuffer & in no time we had 3 good-sized chubs hog-ringed & ready to go in the fridge…

    Since I’m booked all day tomorrow, it looks like these chubs will have to wait a day or so before they hit the smoker & poacher.

    More to come…[​IMG]

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Stop it!

    I clicked on a pork roll?

    Now I end up with another of your wonderful fine ground sausages?

    Yeah, you didn't plan on those in the fridge overnight, did you?

    This looks like another winner from you Kevin?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice work as always Kevin. I'm looking forward to the sliced view.
  4. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    those look really good. Cant wait to see the rest.
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Truly impressive. I bow to you sir.
  6. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looking good Kevin!!!
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sticks look awesome Kevin.....    [​IMG]  .....
  9. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Got the pork roll chubs in the smoker early this afternoon—as well as 5-pounds of meat sticks I made in the morning.

    I keep an eye on the temps throughout the day. I anticipate this could be a fairly long smoke. Outside temp is 40°F, cools & damp.

    I'm using the 'Pitmaster's Blend' pellets for smoke-generation.

    One hour in...

  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The texture looks spot on. I am surprised at how few ingredients there are. I assume you had the real deal? How does yours compare? Poli claims Taylor's is not smoked, you like it better smoked?...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Kevin, that is a picture of goodness right there!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Never heard of it before, but it looks great.

    Just googled it and I may have to try this.  Any comparison as to what it tastes like for someone who has no frame of reference? (yeah, I know that's a hard question, sort of like asking what does a chicken taste like).
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Closest I can think of is...Less salty and somewhat more tart, fine ground SPAM. There is not a Diner in NJ, NY or eastern PA that does not feature a Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese on a Hard Roll (Kaiser Roll) Sandwich. I live in Central PA and Pork Roll is either hard to find, expensive or completely unheard of. BTW...They have No Idea what a Hard Roll is within 30 miles of Harrisburg. If I get confirmation that this is close I will definitely make some...JJ

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  14. Looks great Kevin!!!!

    Taylor's tastes like a sour ham patty, too sour for my taste!!!!
    I live with a Joyzee native, those people are insane!!!! LOL

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  15. sam3

    sam3 Smoking Fanatic

    There is no such thing as "Pork Roll" in NJ.

    It's called Taylor Ham. [​IMG]

    The sandwich Jimmy posted is the classic "THEC".
  16. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Indeed. As Sam stated— "Taylor's Ham" is the name it was (and is) called by my wife and her family—and that's how I always refer to it.

    Back to the Smoker: I pulled the meat sticks after 7 hours and let them cool on a rack ( see my other thread if interested in seeing the sticks), and placed the 3 large chubs into a 160° hot water bath. The IT of the chubs was at 128° when I pulled them from the smoker. After 25 minutes, they were ready (154°) to pull from the poacher. From there, into an ice bath and an overnight stay in the refrigerator.

    NEXT DAY: It's sample time! 

    The chubs had firmed up nicely and were ready to slice.

    The roll had an nice sweet, smokey aroma as I sliced it. The appearance was nice & uniform—even a bit more emulsified than the typical store-bought stuff.

    On to the grill: Mmmmmm! The smell of Taylor's Ham cooking is reminiscent of both bacon AND of ham!

    Great way to start the day! Sweet, smokey, tangy (!).....I like a little mustard on mine, but Taylors Ham is pretty darn tasty by itself

    Overall, the flavor in this recipe is REAL close to the Taylor's Ham I had from NJ. My wife concurs.

    One of the great things about making it yourself is tweaking it to your own tastes (more tang, less sweetness, etc.), and I know EXACTLY what is in it.

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  17. Looks great and like JJ, I love the stuff but they don't know what Ham Loaf is here so I know darn well they have no idea what Taylor Ham is!!!!

    Got a recipe?
  18. sam3

    sam3 Smoking Fanatic

    Looks great Kevin!!
  19. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Jimmy, I've had the real deal for years as my wife's family would bring out rolls of Taylors Ham from NJ every Christmas. We'd have it for breakfast, lunch, late night snacks...

    I used to order it direct but the shipping to California was killer ($$$). Cheaper to have the in-laws bring some out.[​IMG]

    If Taylors doesnt smoke it, then either they add liquid smoke or they use some sort of smoked pork product into the mix, because it definitely has a slightly 'smoked' pork taste to it.

    My version—which is a modified version of Poli's take on it—isn't as salty as the original, has a bit more tang—and probably a bit leaner as well.

    I like both, but I'm partial to the home-made variety. [​IMG]

  20. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There was no way I was going to compare that product to Spam!

    That looks great.  Going to bookmark this one.

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