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Thread: A Couple Rookie Questions

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Default A Couple Rookie Questions

    If you were just going to grind most of an animal to later use for sausages/etc., would you add suet to it now, or just grind it the way it is and mix in ground suet later if the recipe calls for it? Do you see any difference in your sausage if you grind/freeze when the animal is initially butchered and then thaw later to make sausage?

    Just looking for some pointers, this is gonna be my first attempt at sausage.

    Also, how long is suet good if it's vacuum packed and frozen?

    Lastly, are there any butcher supply shops, or even somewhere that doesn't specialize in butcher supply but still has a fair amount of product (other than SW) in the valley? I'm not opposed to going to Anchorage, but have some stuff that needs to be done today and don't really want to be on the roads with other idiots when it's snowing, if I can avoid it - plus, I've got a lot of work to do on this caribou and would rather spend my time working on it than driving.



    I really only need those 1lb plastic bags for storing ground meat today, I could wait to take a trip to Anchorage later in the week...

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    AK Butcher supply on Mountain View has everything you will ever need and then some. Their spice kits for sausage and such are priced fairly and taste amazing.

    If I was grinding meat I would add any suet I wanted at that time. Then it is done with and if I never get around to making sausage or whatever out of it I still can use it as burger.

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    AK Butcher supply on Mountain View has everything you will ever need and then some. Their spice kits for sausage and such are priced fairly and taste amazing.

    If I was grinding meat I would add any suet I wanted at that time. Then it is done with and if I never get around to making sausage or whatever out of it I still can use it as burger.

    Yeah, Rob, that's kinda what I was getting at by saying Anchorage. I was just trying to stay in the valley if possible so I can get this thing taken care of.

    I just called SW and they have bags, so I'm gonna go pick some up and then go ahead and get to grinding. Gonna try my hand at some sausages this afternoon, too.

    Any suggestions? I haven't done much searching, yet, but I know my wife is going to want something with jalapenos and cheddar.

    What are some of the mistakes you wish you had known about the first time you made sausage?

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    Not exactly a mistake, but my original sausage batches were double ground.....Now I single grind. Double grinding makes the consistency to fine and dry in my opinion.

    If you are going to grind the whole thing, definitely have a plan to use it sooner than you would roasts etc. as Ive found the extra surface area of ground meat will not keep as well unless packaged very airtight. I've not had it go bad exactly but the freezer burn permeats ground meat much quicker than roasts, and unlike roasts you can't shave it off the outside.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    Yeah, Rob, that's kinda what I was getting at by saying Anchorage. I was just trying to stay in the valley if possible so I can get this thing taken care of.

    I just called SW and they have bags, so I'm gonna go pick some up and then go ahead and get to grinding. Gonna try my hand at some sausages this afternoon, too.

    Any suggestions? I haven't done much searching, yet, but I know my wife is going to want something with jalapenos and cheddar.

    What are some of the mistakes you wish you had known about the first time you made sausage?
    Sorry missed the part about wanting to stay in the Valley area for supplies.

    Take your time and keep everything as clean as possible and get the air out of the bags as you put the burger in them, this will help it keep longer in the freezer.

    I have made sausage from a recipe someone posted on here and I have made it with the mixes I have gotten from Ak Butcher Supply. Both turned out great. For cheese you will want to get some of the high temp cheese made for mixing in. Regular cheese will just melt out as you smoke or cook things. I tried regular cheese and that didn't work, next time I will get the high temp stuff.

    The one thing I learned is have everything ready when you start that way you don't get part way through it and go oh crap I need such and such to finish.

    Catch It brings up a good point about double grinding. I only do that with pepperoni sticks and such. Burger is single grind for me.
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    3 Bears also has some supplies, the trunk rd location anyway.
    BK

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    If you were just going to grind most of an animal to later use for sausages/etc., would you add suet to it now, or just grind it the way it is and mix in ground suet later if the recipe calls for it? Do you see any difference in your sausage if you grind/freeze when the animal is initially butchered and then thaw later to make sausage?
    Everybody's taste and preference varies. I far prefer my moose and caribou as roasts, steaks, stew, etc., and don't grind a huge amount as burger. When I do, I prefer not to add feedlot beef suet to my burger or sausage; I prefer it lean and uncontaminated. For great sausage I like to grind some good organic pork shoulder in with it.
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    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    I would just cut up meat so it will go through the grinder and package it to use later. A single grind is preferable with most sausage, also as stated pork shoulder is a good way to add fat and flavor to meat. Do small batches at first and to your taste also write down what you did so when you get that great batch you can repeat.

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Just an update, this caribou is now finished and I don't think I'll ever take another animal to have it processed. Originally, I wanted to do this to avoid paying someone for something I can do myself. After doing my first animal, I think there is a certain pride about doing it yourself along with (which I've determined is the best part) being able to cut it all and prepare it all to your own standards. You can take all the time you want to make sure it's done right. I know this is going to be delicious because time and care were taken to make sure we started with a quality product. Shot up portions were discarded, all the "white stuff" was trimmed away from each piece, even the grind meat, care was taken to weigh each batch when adding suet to make sure correct proportions were used. So far we've had bacon burgers, brats, breakfast sausage, and a roast, all of which were amazing.

    It did take a little time and I'm sure I'll get quicker as I do more, but I genuinely had a good time watching the freezer fill up, little by little, and know I'll have a great time eating all of this. It's really nice to see an animal through from beginning to end and know it was all done correctly.

    I can't thank my buddy Tom (duckslayer56) enough for helping out. Neither of us had much experience and wanted to learn together and he was here through 2 out of the 3 days we worked on it. Anyone who's done it knows it isn't the most amazing way to spend a few days, but if you've gotta do it, it's good to have a buddy helping out.

    Bring on the bears!



    On a side note - if you could recommend a grinder capable of anything you could throw at it, what would you suggest? We've decided to do all of our animals from now on and want to make sure we get something that's capable of that much meat. We don't mind spending a little money now to make sure we get a good quality grinder that'll make the job a little easier; but, most importantly, last.

    Thanks!

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    If you have a decent grinder - put ice in it when you grind it. Definately use the hot melt smoking cheese. Check out butcherpackerdotcom. I buy a lot of my supplies and spices from them. Use bulk spice - much cheaper. Some storebought spice mixes are pretty good. I like SW pepp sticks and jerky mixes. I grind my jerky now (my teeth are getting older!)

    Keep a 12 pack on hand and tell stories of the hunt while you are butchering and it will be as fun as it can get.

    I ended up with a sportsmans warehouse 1hp grinder. I am pretty sure that it will last my lifetime and my son's too. Don't go smaller than a 3/4hp.

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    Vacuum packing is the way to go. Spicing ideas can be found in older cookbooks. Caribou can be quite lean so adding fat was a good idea and grinding it in at the time even better.
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    G'day d&d's, after making venison sausages, salamis etc for 25+ years I reckon the only fat to use is pork fat. I found after years of using beef or sheep fat that the pork fat produced a far better product than the others.

    Our Sambar Deer are very lean and most hunters here would use around 20% by weight of pork fat. Ie 4Kg venison and 1Kg pork fat.

    I too would mince the meat with the fat at the same time as once you have done that its all over and less cleaning up down the track.

    Pork fat properly packed will last for months in the freezer.

    Good luck with the snags, hope they come up OK

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    had about 15-20 lbs of fat from this year's caribou. These strips of fat were mixed in with the neck meat/and trimmings. still quite lean, but the burger patties hold together, as well as the sausage patties too.

    Fat/early season bull caribou has plenty of fat to work with, though we did pass one hunting party who took a caribou with spaghetti strings for front quarters, he was an old extremely thin bull, maybe even sick.

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