~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homemade Sausages/Hot Dogs....or Romanian Carnati/Crenvusti





Homemade Sausages/Hot Dogs....or Romanian Carnati/Crenvusti. I was blessed to spend some time together with my parents recently... enjoyed Christmas and New Year's together. Precious time. Time that I don't want to take for granted... it was also a time where I spent New Year's eve with my mom... making sausages. Earlier during the week, we had talked about making some traditional Romanian dishes... carnati, or sausages, was one of the things that came up. But we wanted to make the sausages using chicken as the main meat. An even though pork is most often used, my mom has been making chicken sausages for years... We grew up eating her delicious homemade chicken sausages. They were simply the best!
My mom and I settled on having a sausage making day... and got ready for that. But we decided to try something new.... to experiment and have some fun together. Now I know where I got this from...the experimenting and trying out new recipes, I mean:). In any case, we really wanted to make some homemade hot dogs or crenvusti. So we ended up doing a trial run... ended up looking for a hot dog recipe... noticed that egg white and milk were used in some of the versions, so we added them to the meat. We also used a few spices from the pantry, and then ended up grinding the meat twice.... just so that we could get that finer texture found in hot dogs. We made a few other batches of homemade sausages/hot dogs... and in the process adjusted a few things along the way. I don't know if we made hot dogs....maybe a cross between hot dogs and sausages. But regardless, we had fun together:).
Making the sausages took some time, but it was worth it. It was a real special time for me, as I spent a few good hours with my mom. Just having her by my side... would have been enough. But she helped me stuff the sausage casings, and then she tied each sausage link with thread so they wouldn't unravel... I loved our time together. Loved hearing her share stories of her own childhood...the days when her family would butcher the pig for the winter...along with pretty much everyone in their town. Plenty of sausages were made...to last through the cold weather months. All the neighbors would have sausage links hanging outside to dry... a sign they had butchered their pig:). I could see my mom enjoying our time together... making sausages from scratch...just the two of us. We made a memory.... one that I'll cherish.
I've decided to post this recipe for myself...as a memory...and also because I will be using the recipe and technique again. I'll admit this recipe may not be "professional" in nature(see note below).... but we liked them nonetheless. Hope you enjoy...

Note: I tested a new idea when making these sausages....using unflavored gelatin to hold moisture, as well as to bind the meat together.... similar to my Romanian mititei. It worked for me...the sausages weren't dry, but moist and "bouncy". This may not be the way others make sausages... there are plenty of recipes online. Most recipes require you to use plenty of fat...or at least a 4:1 ratio of meat to fat. I prefer to not add too much fat... but you can certainly do so. Also, the meat and fat should be kept cold at all times... even while mixing/grinding. I have to admit I wasn't so strict with that....

~While I posted the recipe as we made them....I am planning on making other versions(still using the gelatin technique)... but using other spices and flavors. Would love to try a sundried tomato/pesto, mushroom, roasted pepper, spinach, cheese, cumin/curry version, etc... I think I got the sausage making "bug":)

You will need:

Version #1...without gelatin

2 lbs boneless chicken thighs(no skin, but with all the other fat)*
*you can use a mixture of other meats, as well...

seasonings: feel free to add your own seasonings... fennel seeds, dried sage, dried marjoram are all good to use.

1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsps kosher salt, or to taste
1 tsp pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cimbru(or summer savory)
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsps sugar
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 cup cold water

Extra:
1/4 cup milk
1 egg white

Additional:
casings of choice...if using natural salted hog or sheep casing, soak in water and a bit of vinegar to de-salt, and then rinse.

Version #2...with gelatin powder

2 lbs boneless chicken thighs(no skin, but with all the other fat)
3 slices of bacon, optional

seasonings: feel free to add your own seasonings... fennel seeds, dried sage, dried marjoram are all good choices.

1/3 cup onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsps kosher salt, or to taste
1 tsp pepper, or to taste
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
2 tsps sweet paprika
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cimbru(or summer savory)
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsps sugar
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 cup cold water

Extra:
1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
1/2 cup milk
1 egg white

Additional:
casings of choice...if using natural salted hog or sheep casing, soak in water and a bit of vinegar to de-salt, and then rinse.

Directions:

For Version 1:
1. Grind meat 2 times... if you like your sausages to be more chunkier, opt to grind only once. You want to grind the meat... as well as any fat pieces that are usually attached to the chicken thighs. Don't remove it, as it gives flavor and moistness to the sausages. You can opt to use whatever meat you want here. I used an equal amount of chicken and veal meat for one of the versions I made .... found it a bit drier with the veal because my veal was very lean and I added no extra fat...but you can use all chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, veal or a mixture and add a bit of fat.
2. To a food processor/blender, add seasonings with the water. Process/blend till until you get a smooth paste...or as smooth as you can get it.
3. Add spice paste, milk, and egg white to ground meat. Mix until thoroughly combined. Take a bit of meat and fry in a pan to check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.
4. Fill sausages using a sausage maker( I used my Kitchenaid attachment) by loading the casing onto attachment nozzle. Tie end of casing before starting and stuff meat into casings, trying to avoid air pockets and not overstuffing. I usually use a needle to poke small holes if I find air pockets.
5. When finished with the stuffing, tie off end and pinch and twist to form 4-6 inch sausages....or you can make them smaller/bigger. Air dry in a cool place for 24-48 hours(make sure it is cold to at least 40 deg F...My garage is cold in the winter, so I'll use that). But you can also hang the sausages in a refrigerator. Or you can simply wrap in parchment and refrigerate. The sausages will sort of wrinkle after 24 hours of air drying...and even more so after 48 hours. They won't wrinkle as much if kept covered and refrigerated
Store in refrigerator for use within 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

For Version 2:

1. Grind meat once...then place meat aside.
2. Make gelatin mixture.... add 1 tsp gelatin powder to 1/2 cup milk and stir to dissolve. Heat milk/gelatin till very hot, but don't boil....and don't stir it. Allow the gelatin mixture to cool slightly.
3. To a food processor, add seasonings with the water. Process till until you get a smooth spice paste...or as smooth as you can get it.
4. Add the ground meat to the food processor( where you have the spice mixture) and then add the slightly cooled gelatin/milk mixture. Process everything together until you get a fine paste. If you have a smaller food processor you may have to process the meat in batches as you don't want the meat to get too hot... and then combine everything by hand.
5. Take a bit of meat and fry in a pan to check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.
6. Fill sausages using a sausage maker( I used my Kitchenaid attachment) by loading the casing onto attachment nozzle. Tie end of casing before starting and stuff meat into casings, trying to avoid air pockets and not overstuffing. I usually use a needle to poke small holes if I find air pockets.
7. When finished with the stuffing, tie off end and pinch and twist to form 4-6 inch sausages....or you can make them smaller/bigger. Air dry in a cool place for 24-48 hours(make sure it is cold to at least 40 deg F...My garage is cold in the winter, so I'll use that). But you can also hang the sausages in a refrigerator. Or you can simply wrap in parchment and refrigerate. The sausages will sort of wrinkle after 24 hours of air drying...and even more so after 48 hours. They won't wrinkle as much if kept covered and refrigerated.
Store in refrigerator for use within 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

14 comments:

Andreea said...

I wish a very happy 2012, dear Ellie!

Great post!
I will print it.

My daughter loves 'crenvusti' but I hate what they put in them, so the homemade version is an excelent idea. We do have everything we need, we even bought a ... afumatoare (I really can't recall what's it called in English) :)

We made sausages too for this Chrismas, smoked most of them.
They were the best so far but still not like the ones my parents use to do when we were kids.

I will let you know how they came out. Many, many thanks for sharing!

Ellie said...

Happy New Year to you too, dear Andreea!

Looks like you had a traditional Christmas too:)...though I do think you are way ahead of me in regards to making sausages. Smoked sausages are the best! I mentioned the babic you made recently to my dad...asked him if he had heard about it( I wasn't aware of it until I saw you post the recipe). But he knew of them...said they taste delicious:)!

As for trying to make crenvusti, I don't know if we succeeded, but I love the fact that they are homemade....I'm thinking I will still play around with the seasoning ( mine were lightly seasoned....so feel free to adjust to your liking)...but I do like the idea of using the gelatin with the milk and egg white... loved the texture. And I too am like your daughter....I LOVE crenvusti! ( BTW, I noticed I misspelled crenvusti:)....fixed it now. Just shows how limited I am in Romanian:))

By now, I'm thinking you may know how to season the sausages... would love to hear if you found a combination that you like. I'm jealous that you have a smoker:)...as you can make sooo many good things. But maybe if I had one I would make smoked salmon all the time:)...
Thanks for stopping by....always love hearing from you!

Mihaela said...

Fata draga, reteta ca reteta, dar simtamintele care razbat din spatele ei (adica timpul petrecut cu mama ta si povestile repovestite de atatea ori) dau farmecul adevarat acestei postari.! Multumesc ca mi-ai reimprospata si mie amintirile..!!
La multi ani, Ellie!

Ellie said...

Mihaela draga, Iti doresc si tie un an nou plin de binecuvantari in Domnul!

Agreez cu tine...amintirele si timpul petrecut impreuna cu cei dragi este mai de folos....si chiar cand povestirile se repeta:).

In timp, retetele se pot schimba, mai ne schimbam si noi:)... nu folosim ce foloseam odata... insa, amintirile raman mereu aceleasi!

Multumesc mult de vizita, Mihaela...tot mereu ma bucur cand citesc mesajele tale:)

Dan the man! said...

These look delicious. I think when i get around to making my first sausages I might try these ones! YUM!

Ellie said...

Dan, Sausage making is fun...though it can take some time. In the end it is worth it:)!

I've posted how I made my sausages....but if you want, you can take a look at other recipes online... Simply Recipes had a good tutorial on sausage making that's great...with photos.
http://simplyrecipes.com/...just search for how to make homemade sausages.

But thanks for stopping by... appreciate it!

Mihaela said...

Hi Ellie, your time spent with your mom sounds great. I spent some time with my mom too, unfortunately we had a lot of places and people to visit (my husband relatives added to that too) and I didn't spent as much time as I wanted, neither I helped her with the sausages, but they turned out good :) Your crenvusti will make a really good hot dog! where did you get the casings? have a great week-end! It's nice to read your posts again :)

Ellie said...

Hi Mihaela, Thanks for stopping by...I'm glad you are back in your kitchen as well:). Looks like you've been baking up a storm!

I am sure you had some delicious meals in Romania... and wonderful memories were still made, for sure:).

As for the casings....I found them at our local supermarket...
Here in Montana, there's plenty of hunters who make wild game( deer, elk, etc.) sausages and other stuff. I happened to see some frankfurter size casings....called collagen casings and some hog casings as well. Bought both, but I used the collagen casings to make the hot dogs. But truthfully I don't care for them, just because they aren't natural as the hog or lamb casings. I just bought them for their smaller size...and really didn't know anything about them. They worked really nice, tasted great, but I think I would like to go natural as much as possible, by using either the hog casing or lamb casing.
I know you can buy casings at butcher shops or even if you ask at a supermarket, I am sure they could order you some. Amazon also carries them...even the lamb casings, which I plan on using next time.

Always happy to hear from you:)... Have a wonderful snowy weekend:)!

~~louise~~ said...

Cherish the moments, Ellie:)

I've always wanted to make sausage. I know I probably won't though. I'm going to save this post just in case. You just never know.

I do have an online friend who wants to make home made sausage too. You my want to visit her blog if you get a chance. I'm going to drop your link off over at her blog. Her name is Jady and she is the hostess at Cucina Panzano.

Thanks for sharing the story and the memories:)

P.S. I have a vintage cookbook (1951) titled The Romanian Cookbook by Anisoara Stan. I'll have to check it for sausage recipes:)

Ellie said...

Louise, Thanks for stopping by...it is good to hear from you:).
I really enjoyed making the homemade sausages....I've made them before, but this time around it was extra special:).
I don't think you can go wrong with making your own sausages...except maybe over-salting and under-salting. I noticed that if you use about 1 tsp salt per pound of meat it is close to being just about right(our taste, anyway).... maybe you could use a bit more salt,if you like...like a heaping tsp. I'd rather under salt than over salt the sausages.
Homemade sausages always gives you this wonderful satisfaction that you made them yourself...and that always makes them taste better:).
Anyway, thanks for the link to Jady's blog...dropped by and noticed she made some delicious looking sausages:).
Your Romanian cookbook sounds interesting... hadn't heard of the book(I'm assuming it is written in English). It would be a fascinating read...and if they have a recipe for sausages, I'm sure it would have plenty of garlic in the spice mixture:)

YankeeSoaper said...

Hi Ellie
My friend Louise headed me over in your direction to admire your sausage..& that I have! Boy they look so yummy! I've just begun making sausage & yes you are right.. I do like knowing what's going into my own and having the ability to adjust the taste to our liking:) A good friend is dropping off some mutton to me this week, so next in line for me will be spicy lamb sausages. Glad to have been sent your way! I'll be trying your recipe later this week. Thanks for sharing it.

Ellie said...

YankeeSoaper, So glad you stopped by! Sweet of Louise to send you over:).

I'm hoping you will like the sausages... but do feel free to adjust spices to preference... and the salt as well.

Ah,the spicy lamb sausages sound great! I think that's what's so fun about making our own sausages, we can be so creative:)... and yes, no preservatives:)

Would love to hear how you've made your sausages... and what spices you've used. I haven't yet made lamb sausages, but would love to one day. Gotta look for some great deal:).

Again, thanks for stopping by...

Beverly said...

I've been looking for some sausage recipes and so happy I found your site. The gelatin is a great idea. I've only made sausages twice, but they tended to be dry; you formulas will be a big help.Question about your measurements. I don't know how to tell your Tablespoon from your teaspoon.I was taught that TBSP. is tablespoon and tsp. is teaspoon. What does it mean when you use tsps. and tsp. in the same recipe?
Thanks for your help.

Ellie said...

Beverly, So glad you stopped by:). Yes, I keep the same meaning for tablespoons and teaspoons as most people. To make it easier I'll list what I mean. I may have made it harder by including the tsps.. but here is my abbreviations. Hope it helps.

TBS = Tablespoon
tsp= teaspoon
tsps= teaspoons :)

Hope you enjoy making sausages. I think I came across the gelatin idea through an America's Test Kitchen recipe for making meatloaf... and burgers. Not my idea:)... so I used the technique when making sausages. Hope it works for you as well.