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Charcutepalooza Project #7: Emulsified Sausages

July 15, 2011

First off, I must apologize that I don’t have a picture for this month’s finished Charcutepalooza challenge. Zarna and I always share the camera, but she went on vacation this month (with said camera) and I have also been out of town (I’m currently in Miami!), so unfortunately, you’ll have to use your imagination.

Emulsified sausages – what the hell is that, you may ask? It’s one in which meat and fat are beaten together until they become one solid, sticky mass. ok, that sounds kinda gross. 

Think about emulsification with something you might be more familiar with – like mayonnaise or a salad dressing. Oil and vinegar don’t mix. But, if you use some mustard and slowly drizzle oil into vinegar, it becomes this lovely creamy vinaigrette where the fat and acid components are suspended together.

That’s essentially what you are trying to do when making an emulsified sausage. Ever had a hot dog? Notice the difference between a hot dog and say, an italian sausage? (take a look at the inside!). That’s the difference between an emulsified sausage and a fresh sausage. In fresh sausage, you will see streaks of fat, whole spices, fresh herbs, etc. With an emulsified sausage, you will see one very cohesive piece of what Anthony Bourdain calls, “meat in tube form”.

Making this type of sausage is incredibly messy – at least it was for me the first time. With a regular sausage (btw – I’ve made like 25 lbs of sausage since last month it’s so easy!) you just grind everything, add some liquid to bind it, and put it into casings. With this, you have to grind meat separately from fat, then emulsify them to exact temperatures, then add liquids and poach them at a very low simmer (170 degrees). My entire kitchen was covered in meat goo and it took forever to clean.

I made mortadella. I love mortadella – it’s a sausage with big chunks of glistening pork fat and crunch pistachios. Unfortunately, it’s a bologna. But it’s not your Lunchables bologna. The name bologna doesn’t even do it justice – it’s an exquisite piece of porky perfection that will change your mind about bologna forever. What got me was that I had to stuff it inside a “beef bung”. I won’t elaborate on that name. You can look it up if you want. But it is what it sounds like. After some thorough cleaning of said bung and a nauseating smell, I stuffed it with the mortadella forcemeat and poached it for about two hours before chilling it thoroughly in an ice batch.

Here’s a picture of that (taken right before Zarna fled to the cape!)

The final product, however, is sublime. With emulsified sausages, you achieve this beautiful airy, almost light sausage. It’s absolutely delicious! Although a bit time consuming.

I have some more emulsified sausages in the works, but those will have to wait – I got some bratwursts, some hot dogs, and boudin blanc. I realized I really need a new sausage stuffer (the Kitchen Aid attachment is atrocious). Hopefully that will come with some more pictures.

I hope you guys are enjoying this Charcutepalooza posts. Which one has been your favorite so far? If you were ever crazy like me and decided to do a meat project, which one would you choose?



5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2011 7:44 AM

    Mortadella really is a project, but what a sublime result! Thanks so much for playing along, Vivek.

  2. July 15, 2011 10:30 AM

    Great post! I made hot dogs & bratwurst. Bratwurst were my favorite. Must try to make mortadella! Can’t wait to see your photos! And agreed, the KitchenAid stuffer is not user friendly at all, so slow!

  3. July 15, 2011 11:51 AM

    Beautiful Mortadella. I couldn’t bring myself to make it. I made the hot dogs and they were seriously amazing. The clean-up would make me only tackle it once a year or so, but they were awesome.

  4. July 17, 2011 11:29 AM

    Meat goo all over your kitchen huh? I bet it was worth it!


  1. Charcutepalooza Project #12 – The Grand Finale « Vivek's Epicurean Adventures

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