Inspired by a couple of fellow members on Sausagemaking.org’s forum, thanks Zulululu, and Culinairezaken! I have made an all beef rookworst, rookworst is a smoked sausage from The Netherlands, available from a couple of major producers it is very popular. Unlike the commercial versions, this sausage contains no fillers or added binders, simply meat, fat, salts and spices. Because of this, temperature control is critical, and the ground meat has to be thoroughly worked to achieve the primary bind.
1.5 kgs of boned beef rib
Cubed and all gristle removed.
Fresh ground Nutmeg 1 1/2 tsp.
Dry Ginger freshly ground 3/4 tsp.
Freshly ground Chili 1/2 tsp.
Freshly ground Coriander 1 1/2 tsp.
Pepper white 3/4 tsp.
Freshly ground Clove 1/2 tsp.
Dextrose or sugar 1 tsp.
3 mtrs of Natural Sheep Casing
200 grams of crushed ice
100 mls of iced water
Place the cubed beef on a tray and place in the freezer to chill, it needs to be crispy but not frozen.
Mix the spices, and the cubed beef.
Grind the meat through the course disc of your grinder.
If the fat starts to smear, stop grinding and clean the cutter blade of the meat grinder, you are looking to have clean definition between meat and spices at this stage.
Place the ground meat and spices into a bowl and place into the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight to cure.
Place the ground meat onto a tray and place into the freezer until it firms up and becomes crisp, do not freeze.
Prepare 200 grams of crushed ice and 100 mls of iced water.
Place the frosted meat and spices into the bowl of your food mixer, mix in the iced water, start the mixer with a beater installed and run the machine on medium speed for 5 minutes, slowly adding the crushed ice to keep the farce cold you are aiming to release the water and salt soluble proteins from the meat, and allow them to coat the fats and liquids, this will make the farce sticky.
Once the farce is sticky, prepare to stuff your casings.
The next picture shows one of two coils of sausage made with 1.5 kg of meat.
Next step is to tie the ends and make rings of the casings, this is traditional for Rookworst, and allows hanging the sausages on smoke sticks in the smoker.
After all the rings are tied, the sausages should be placed into the fridge, uncovered, to allow the casings to dry a little.
Once dried, the sausages can be prepared for smoking. I used a recently acquired vertical smoker bought second hand.
The sausages were simply hung up on their strings by passing a wooden skewer through the twine loops on the sausages.
These sausages were destined for cold smoking, they can also be hot smoked if required. The cold smoke was supplied by a ProQ Cold Smoke Generator from Mac’s BBQ, the smoker was filled with oak chips.
This was fired up and placed into the bottom of the vertical smoker, the sausages were hung above it. Just to maximise the benefit from the smoke, some Norvegia cheese, together with a Norwegian Camembert, and some almonds were also added to the smoker!
The sausages smoked for about 10 hours, which is what the amazing ProQ will do with one filling! The cheeses and almonds had about 8 hours.
A large pot of water was brought to the boil, and the heat switched off, the sausages were added to the pot and a plate was placed on top to keep them submerged, the pot was then placed into a preheated oven set to about 95 degC. It would be quicker to heat on the stove top, but this way the heat is more evenly applied and more importantly more gently applied, we are not only trying to cook the sausages, we have to set the emulsion which holds the sausages together, this is what holds the moisture and fats in the sausage.
Once the internal temperature of the sausage reached 68-70 degrees they are removed from the oven and chilled with very cold or iced water then dried, as they are cooked they will keep for a week in the fridge, or for months in the freezer.
These sausages are extremely juicy, and very beefy, if I was to make again I would increase the spicing a little. They are good to eat either poached in water, shallow fried, or grilled, and at a minimum they simply need heating through as they are already cooked.