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    • Rick

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The"Apocalypse Sow" is gonna be one lean machine after the workout I'm putting her through this weekend. The smoke wont start until tomorrow, but prep started tonight with 10 lbs of Chili Dogs! (More like Brats) Gottem ground and stuffed and they're in the fridge. Tomorrow, I'll smoke them and start in on grinding and mixing 25 lbs of venny bacon! That will hit the smoker (probably in shifts) on Sunday. Tonight was my first stab at sausage. I've done sticks, but this was my first time using pork casings. Gotta say, it was much easier and they were more forgiving than I thought. Feeling like I'm starting to get OK at this!

Lucas, always willing to lend a hand! (Notice the vac pac of ground venison sitting next to the grill, keeping cool until it was mixing time)

2016-04-08 23.13.18.jpg

 

First I've ever stuffed and linked sausage. Not bad!

2016-04-08 23.14.13.jpg

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It looks like a canine free zone?  Those of use with house dogs have years of autonomic manners in which food is placed on counters, tables, grilling areas.  It's like when you have toddlers and have all cabinets doors secured and electrical outlets covered.  Looking good!!!

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Correct LL, Canine free zone.  Love dogs but our house is too small.  A year or two more of equity building and saving and we'll be moving out to the country.  That's the plan, anyway.  When that happens, maybe we'll look at getting a pooch.  

 

Time to guzzle some coffee and get to work for the day.  A good friend of mine may be joining me today to help out.  The carrot on the stick if we can make it efficient and get done by evening is a trip down to Montgomery Brewing for a couple cold ones and then some awesome pizza.

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Too busy to take a lot of pics, but the Chili Dogs seem to have worked out really good. I'm restraining myself and waiting for lunch to try them.

2016-04-10 10.22.53.jpg

Little wrinkly, maybe had them on the dry cyvle a little too long, we'll see. They sure smell awesome! Wrapped them up in freezer paper after a cokd water bath.

2016-04-10 10.23.49.jpg

My buddy and I got through 25 lbs of formed vennison bacon. That was a LOT of grinding but it was a good time. Ended up with 4 big loaves, 2 of which are in the smoker as I speak, gonna have to do shifts for this quantity!2016-04-10 10.21.24.jpg

More to come...

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Nice work!!!!

Once their done int he smoker, oput them in a ice bath to stop the cooking, and it keep the cassings from wrinkling.

another thing, just a tip, as learned from Reiny. wen doing sticks or brauts or anything cassing wise, when you hang them in the smoker for the first time, thats when you dry them. a little heat to dry out the cassing about half hour to an hour low heat no smoke, then add smoke, the smoke will permiate the cassing much better.

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Did all of the above, I just think they dried a little too much.  Also, it's the first time I ever stuffed with natural casings, so I think a few off them weren't stuffed as tight as they could've been.  About to try them in about 15 min!

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On 4/9/2016 at 11:22 PM, ThunderLund78 said:

First I've ever stuffed and linked sausage. Not bad!

2016-04-08 23.14.13.jpg

If my wife ever found raw meat on her dinning room table without something under it. You could all come to my funeral! :angry:  :lol:

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Technically, the meat isn't touching the table, there's thin barrier of hog intestine :)  But I washed it first!

Trust me, MUCH sanitizing was done afterwards!  Maybe I can get her to sign off on a stainless steel butcher's table.

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2 hours ago, ThunderLund78 said:

Technically, the meat isn't touching the table, there's thin barrier of hog intestine :)  But I washed it first!

Trust me, MUCH sanitizing was done afterwards!  Maybe I can get her to sign off on a stainless steel butcher's table.

My wife may careless if I died from the nu-sanitized meat I made. She just doesn't want raw meat slop on her wood table! :mad::D

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Well, even though I went to work today, my "Busy Weekend" just ended and MAN did it and well!  The Chili Dogs turned out really good, but the true success story is the venison bacon.  It's delicious, and better yet, my wife and kids LOVE it.  I really appreciate that because:

1. It's a good lesson for the boys about where food comes from and that we can make it better than the store (and they helped)

2. The better-half is much happier when I spend 4 or 5 days straight in the woods if I can continue to provide these results! :lol:

Also, I got to teach my 8-year old some responsibility and he learned to run the meat slicer.  I was a little apprehensive but he understands what I've repeated to him over-and-over in the garage or when he tags along boating, fishing and hunting "TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR SAFETY!"  After several minutes of intense supervision, I trusted him to run it while I wrapped-up the sliced stuff right next to him. More than a few times, he shut off the machine and asked me to help if a slice got stuck rather than try to do it himself.  He's a good kid.   He got to stay up a little later on a school night and he and I had a really good time. He's not as much into the grinding, mixing and stuffing part, but my 5-year-old's all over that!  Anyway, enough of the sappy stuff.  here's the last pics of the the "meat-making" weekend!

Good color coming out of the smoker!

2016-04-11 22.07.28_resized.jpg

 

Had to cut sections off and then cut them in-half  for the bigger loaves to safely fit in the slicer

2016-04-11 22.08.54_resized.jpg 

 

This is about 1/10th of the finished product.  I didn't lose as much volume during the smoke as I thought I would.  Drip pan was clean when I was done.  This stuff ROCKS!!!  It won't be the last time i make it, that's for sure!

2016-04-11 22.10.09_resized.jpg

 

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Perfect!!!  That was one of the first seasonings I tried myself.  Very nice flavor.  You and your crew did a great job!!  So nice to get the family involved.  This is why I make sausage.  I call it a adventure that never stops.  Always trying new things.  One important factor is, by making your own, you know what goes in there.  Much more healthier for the family and friends.  Great job, love the color.  good luck.

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