Sausage: hot-smoked, cold-smoked and cured

I had an experiment making home sausage.
The essence of the experiment was to choose the right method of cooking, which provided most pleasant flavor and at the same time looked nice, in customers´ opinion, of course.

Following the conditions of the problem the following minced meat was cooked.
Pork shoulder — 2450 gr Pork fat — 600 gr Beef (plate) — 1300 gr Salt 2,3% (nitrite)
Ground pepper — 0,5%
Garlic — 25 gr Hot Chili pepper — 1 gr Sweet marjoram — 3 gr Juniper berry — 1 gr The beef and pork fat were chopped manually by cubes of 5−8 mm. The pork was milled in mincing machine with a 10 mm disc. All the mixed meat was salted and put into the fridge for 24 hours.
Later I added all the spices, kneaded it well and stuffed the casing of 35−40 mm with the resulting paste. Then the product was hung over the grate in the fridge and left for 24 hours.
The temperature outside was 10−15 C, that’s why I decided to hang the sausage in a room without heating so that it could gain a color, «open» its flavors and dry at the same time. In three days it was the time to experiment to the full.
Here comes the experiment itself. In total there were 6 m of the product which I cut in three equal parts:
First part was sent to hot-smoking with apple sawdust (4 hours up to 62 C)
Second part was used for cold-smoking with apricot sawdust (24 hours)
Third part was simply left hanging so that it could be cured properly.
We tried the hot-smoked sausage and after that it was left hanging to dry as the rest sausages. In fact, strong taste of spices was detected and the increased saltiness was also vivid. However, the product was quite edible.
4−5 weeks passed and the sausages lost its 40% of weight. It was time to taste it. My friends who usually visit me on weekends agreed to become guinea-pigs. The experiment showed the following results.
Hot-smoked sausage completely lost all the disadvantages detected when tasting it first time. The taste was well-balanced though a little dull. It might happen due to high-temperature processing. The mark is 8.
Cold-smoked sausage dried a bit faster. It was nice-looking, of deep-red color. 73% of tasters liked it very much. The mark is 8.
Cured sausage was characterized by faded color from the outside but that was perfectly complemented by the rich taste and texture. Again the mark is 8!
My friends were arguing and shouting and finally came to the conclusion that the sausage was good but since there were different types of it they couldn’t figure out which one was the best. So they refused to judge what the tastiest one was. In the beginning, some of my friends were shouting for hot-smoked sausage, others — for cold-smoked option and the cured sausage was tested by my daughter, an always-hungry student.
My Spanish friend said a typical phrase: «Very delicious Russian sausage» but when he learnt it was elaborated at home, he was really shocked and couldn’t believe it was true.

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