Saturday, March 17, 2018


I was first introduced to Knoblewurst when I was a wee tot. My family frequented Katz Deli in NYC  at least once a month or so. Not sure if visiting my Bubbe (who lived across the street) was truly a noble gesture or just an excuse to have lunch at Katz. 
My father was a lover of Knoblewurst. The world began and stopped with this tasty garlic sausage. I don't recall him ever eating anything else at Katz.  Maybe a Knish and maybe a pastrami sandwich but most of all it was all about the Knoblewurst. He was old school when it to came eating Knoblewurst too meaning nothing fancy just  slices of Rye-bread, mustard and that glorious heavenly, heavily infused garlic sausage. I believe I've only ate it maybe a dozen times. For me it was about the Hotdog and Knish. That being said I nibbled off my Mom and Dads plates often. My Mom loved the Pastrami. I always remembered her ordering it from one of the cutters at Katz and always asking for more fat. Yea everyone has a favorite cutter at Katz. It's not uncommon for people to wait in longer lines just to get the cutter they want making their sandwich. 

I chose the the clod because of the price and taste factor. I've never eaten it before now but the reviews have always been good for flavor. Great beef flavor so. what's not to love. I had trimmed it up a bit before cutting it up for the grinder. I removed a lot of silver skin and separated the fat from the lean. Looking at the fat content I am going to need add some extra fat if I want to achieve 40% Fat. 

Here we go…. I ended  up with 5500 grams of Lean and 1581 grams of Fat. To achieve 40% Fat I am going to need to add lots of other fat. 

Here's the meat spread out in a container. Before the grind I will place in freezer for about 45 minutes. I will rotate meat every 15 minutes or so. Partially frozen meat is much easier to grind than room temp. I will do the same thing with the fat. Partially frozen meat goes through the grinder without smearing.

Ahhh…. look at all that fat!!! I needed to add another 2086 grams of extra fat to achieve the 40% bench mark. I added about 1500 grams of Brisket fat and the rest from a Ribeye. Lets talk math for a sec. How does one achieve 40% fat? It's not as simple as one thinks. Here's a link to help

So we want 40% fat. We need to subtract 40 from 100. 100%-40% = 60% (60% is our Factor for the equation. So take all the lean (5500/0.60)-5500= 3667 g total fat needed which equates to 40%. So lets review quickly.

5500 g Lean Meat/.60 Factor = 9167 g equates to everything combined both Lean & Fat. We subtract 9167 g from 5500 g Lean to get the fat we need which is 3667 g. 3667 g Fat / 9167 Total of Lean and Fat = 40% Fat. Boom!!!!! We already have 1551 g of Fat from the Clod so we just need to add 2086 g which will come mostly from Brisket fat and a little from the Ribeye. 

Let's talk about some of my ingredients. It's been years since I have eaten Knoblewurst so I had to rely on memory and research. This is my take on Knoblewurst. I am constantly mixing things up and love experimenting with crazy combinations. This sausage is no different. Thinking outside the box is what I do. So in the past 1.5% salt always works with my palate so I went with that. Sodium Erythorbate is a great cure accelerator and is great at enhancing the color too. Cure # 1 is a no brainer…. I am going to smoke these babies so you need Sodium Nitrite. NFM helps as a binder and helps sausage retain moisture when cooked and improves flavor too. Soy Protein Isolate is an awesome product if used in small quantities and works like the NFM…. why both? Why not? Sodium Phosphates are awesome for moisture rentention too. Yes I am covering all bases to produce a superior product. 

Take the Demerara Sugar, Whole cloves,Whole All Spice, Coriander, Black Pepper if using whole, Bay Leaf and process in spice mill or equivalent. Mix all the ingredients together except the Sodium phosphates. Measure out the SP and place in separate bowl. We will get to this later.
Grind Fat through a 3/4 or 1/2 in die. And do the same with the lean meat (don't forget they were both partially frozen). Combine both and place in freezer for about 20 min and transfer to refrigerator until you are ready for the next step. Sometimes I will add just the spices to the cubed meat and grind. I didn't do it this time. Anyhow on your second grind use a 3/8 inch die or grind again through the 1/2 inch. For a more rustic sausage go with the 1/2 inch. I used the 3/8 inch die. Place everything back in the refrigerator until your ready for the next step which is mixing. I had to start cleaning before I could start mixing. See the vid for the grinder I use…Lem 32 Big-Bite

I have an electric mixer (see vid) that I just love. I tossed in all the meat and let it spin for about 30 secs. While the machine was running I started pouring in the bowl that contained everything but the Sodium Phosphates. After about 45 secs I combined about 1 cup of cold water to the phosphates and poured in while machine was running too. After about 60 secs I took out several samples and fried them so I can assess seasoning. Just about perfect. I made some adjustment and it was done. The adjustment was mostly texture. I ended up adding about 2 quarts of ICE COLD water. Fried up some more and once I was happy with texture I was done. Water is your friend so use as much as you want or need. 

I used my 25 year old Sausage Make sausage stuffer (see vid) It works like a charm. Now you have to decide what kind of casings you want to use. I went with traditional size which is slightly bigger than a Italian Sausage casing which is 32 mm. I used a 38 mm Collagen Casings. I could have also used my round 40 mm casings too but wanted to create this huge linked sausage. 
One Big Sausage!!!!!!!!!!! I had two of these. 25 lbs makes a lot of sausage. 
Linked with Butchers twine…. Placed in refrigerator overnight to dry and for the flavors, and cure to set. 
Before I applied cold smoke I let them sit here in a cool breeze for about 2 hours to further dry (drying will allow cold smoke to adhere better to the the sausage). They were cold smoked for about 6 hours. After Cold Smoking I placed them back in the refrigerator overnight. 
All Vac sealed and ready for the bath. Sous-Vide at 146 f for 3 hours. They were of course pasteurized. Giving most of it away as gifts so pasteurization helps me sleep better. Having them fully cooked makes it easier for most people too. All you have to do is fry them to give them a little color. 

See the mustard seeds????