Dried Pork Sausage Throwdown! - Part 1.
Its time to test out the golden rule of sausage making. Does using pork from heritage pigs make a difference?? Every cookbook and recipe you read talks about it, but is it true? I decided to have a Dried Pork Sausage Throwdown to find out! I am making two sets of dried sausage using the exact same recipe. Same spices, same fermenting culture, same curing chamber, same exterior mold spray. The only difference is the source of the pork.
I sourced the heritage pork from Dartagnon.com. They had a sale on heritage pork butts. The package contained two 8 pound butts that were already skinless. I de-boned them and cut into cubes which I then froze for 3 weeks in order to eliminate the possibility of trichinosis. I put aside 5 pounds of the meat for this throwdown. The rest I used for other sausage.
My challenger pork source was Costco. I purchased their double boneless pork shoulder pack, which was also cubed and frozen as above. It was less than 1/3 the cost per pound even with the sale at Dartagnon. I also only used a portion of this package for the contest, the rest went to merguez fresh sausage.
My first impressions of each meat was that both were well marbled, but the fat cap on the heritage pork was firm and solid. I trimmed some of it off and saved it for future recipes where the meat is too lean for sausage. The fat on the Costco pork was not as firm and seemed slimier.
The recipe for the throwdown is my Dry Cured Finocchiona. Click on the link to go to the recipe. I created both sausages in the same preparation session. The Bactoferm culture was from the same flask. Warm Fermentation also was in the same room for the same duration.
I weighed each sausage, tagged them and then it was off to cure in my chamber with a spray down of the same Mold 600 mixture. The end result should be ready in mid to late April. At that point, I will be having blind taste tests to see personal preferences.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Throwdown. Is the golden rule fact or fiction.......