Sausage: casing information preparation


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Preparation Time:
10 Min
Serves:
1
Difficulty:
Easy
Cost:
cost recipe

Main Ingredients:

See below ingredients and instructions of the recipe


Cooking Preparation of the Recipe:

Information Only

Sausage has to be stuffed into something and that something is most
often the intestine of a hog, cow, or sheep. Before you gasp, rest
assured that these casings are kept scruplously clean and are packed
in salt which keeps them fresh indefinitely. Natural casings come in
an array of sizes, ranging from under one inch to a lillt over four
inches in diameter. The smallest are usually sheep casings, 1/2" to 1
1/16" and the largest are from beef, 2 1/2" to 4'. think of sheep
casings as being the size of most hot dogs, and beef casings the size
of a large salami. The hog casings are the most common since many
sausages are made in the two inch diameter range. Their sizes range
from small (1 1/2 inch), medium (2 inch), and large (2 1/2 inches).
all should be kept refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. You
should be familiar with two other types of casing; collagen and
muslin. Collagen casings are made of natural, pure, edible protein.
They generally cost a little more than intestines, are sometimes a
little harder to find, but are convienent to use and usually can be
substituted freely for recipes calling for natural casings. Muslin
casings can be purchased or homemade and are sometimes used with
summer sausage and salami. One needn't be a Betsy Ross to stitch up a
muslin casing. Just follow the instructions given in Chapter 4.

Muslin Casing: You will need a piece of unbleached muslin about 12"
long and 8" wide. Fold the muslin lengthwise and tightly stitch a
seam across one of the short ends and continue along the open side.
Keep the stitching about an eight of an inch from the edge of the
material. The short side of the seam can be curved in a semi-circle
to give the finished product a rounded end. Turn the casing inside
out so that the stitching is on the inside. Set it aside until you
are ready to stuff it.

Casing Preparation: Snip off about four feet of casing. (Better too
much than too little because any extra can be repacked in salt and
used later.) Rinse the casing under cool running water to remove any
salt clinging to it. Place it in a bowl of cool water and let it soak
for about a half an hour. While waiting for the casing to soak, you
can begin preparing the meat. After soaking, rinse the casing under
cool running water. Slip one end of the casing over the faucet
nozzle. Hold the casing firmly on the nozzle, and turn the cold water
on, gently at first, and then more forcefully. This procedure will
flush out any salt in the casing and pinpoint any breaks. Should you
find a break, simply snip out a small section of the casing. Place
the casig in a bowl of water and add a splash of white vinegar. A
tablespoon of vinegar per cup of water is sufficient. The vinegar
softens the casing a bit more and makes it more transparent, which in
turn makes your sausage more pleasing to the eye. Leave the casing in
the water/vinegar solution until you are ready to use it. Rinse it
well and drain before stuffing.

Source: Home Sausage Making by Charles G. Reavis Garden Way
Publishing ISBN 0-88266-477-8
Submitted By CAROLYN SHAW On 12-03-94

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