There has been lots of stuff happening this year @ Mclay Bros ,the biggest being the news that we won a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championshipd in Las Vegas this November.
So my idea in this blog is to kind of trace our steps along the way right from the start of the competition year.
We had a shaky start to the competition year because I was just recovering from some surgery and we didnt know how I would feel or how long it would be until I would be able to compete.We signed up for ROC City Ribfest in Rochester New York and were all excited to go but less than a week before the contest I was called back to the hospital for a second operation.,we were very lucky that the organizers were able to return our entry fee.
We then decided that a contest almost in our back yard called Qing for life was so close and it had a whole hog category that we should go to it even if I was just going to go and not do much, and even go home for the night and not stay over.
We got everything ready for the contest with some help from a new team member and family i was only out of hospital for a week or so and i wasnt a great help but I did do what I could.So we headed to the venue in New Hamburg a small community that is between Woodstock and Kitchener it is a quaint little hamlet.The organizer for the event was Wilmot Area Life Donor Association…WALDA for short. It is an organ donor awareness organization , you should check them out at www.walda.ca
In my last blog I referred to a fundraiser we had and this blog is about the sausage we made from all the rib trimmings.We did 93 racks altogether so we trimmed 93 side ribs into St.Louis style ribs.This is a technique that is very simple that makes them look nicer than just side ribs.If you are interested in finding out more about this watch this youtube video,it is very informative.
So back to my original blog theme of sausage making, there were tubs and tubs of these trimmings ,we have made rib tips and pulled pork and almost everything out of them in the past and this time we decided that they would make good sausage with a bit of knife work.So one afternoon armed with a big tub of meat a few knives ,sharpeners and cold beer we sat down and started trimming the meat down..The large flap of meat was easy we just removed any silver skin , the tips were a little trickier they required some fileting off of the bone and silver skin removal. After trimming and such we put the meat through an electric grinder with a medium sized plate.
Grinding The Meat
After the meat was ground we got our spices together ,we decided on Old World Italian Sausage .The recipe was for 8 lbs so we times it by 8 . Here is what we used for 63 lbs.
Old World Italian Sausage
16 teaspoons of salt
8 teaspoons black pepper
32 teaspoons of fennel seeds
32 teaspoons of dried oregano
8 teaspoons of garlic powder
32 teaspoons of paprika
We were very fortunate to have access to a large mixer which saved us considerable time and energy.
So stuffing the casings came next and because I was holding the casings and controlling the flow and Randy was feeding the elecric grinder /stuffer we didn’t get a picture of this process ,however I got a picture of the finished product.
After we stuffed all the casings we cut them into about 16″ pieces and twisted them into two links and froze them six to a bag.They can be cooked as is or BBQd like a deli sausage or we thaw them and smoke them low and slow to make sausage you can slice cold and eat with crackers.and cheese.
Smoked In Green Egg
Finally Get To Try It
Well that concludes this blog I hope you enjoyed it..We have many more to come.
A while ago we decided it’s been far too long since we have made home made bacon,and with the threat of a world wide bacon shortage we thought ,heck we had better get doing this and stock up.We did a fundraiser for my Movember team at work where we sold a bunch of takeout ribs (new blog about that soon),so when i went to the pork supplier I asked her for 2 pork bellys.So the night we prepped all the ribs we decided we shud get the bellys curing also because we were going away for a few days and had lots of time to smoke them as we would have the big smoker with us.Randy is the ultimate Guru when it comes to curing meats .He weighed the bellies and they were about 16 pounds each.This is a critical step because this determines how much curing salt is needed. We use Mortons Tender Quick (TQ for short).Randys basic recipe is as follows 1 tablespoon (approx.1/2 ounce) of TQ per pound of meat,and then add to that ,the same amount of brown sugar..
So in this case he used . 16 tablespoons of TQ and 16 tablespoons of brown sugar per pork belly.Basically you rub half of the mixture on each side of the bellys as shown below.
Before cure applied.
After cure applied.
So after the cure is put on we put them separately in large ziplock bags and ito the fridge for 5 or 6 days where the cure will turn into a wet brine in the first few hours.All that we do now is flip and massage the cure in daily until its ready. The meat will firm up alot ,thats how you will know when its ready . It will be able to bend but not under its own weight if that makes sense.
Ready for Fridge.
After 6 days ours was ready ,so we removed it from bags rinsed off all the residue and put it on elevated racks to air dry, it will make a slightly white film over the meat.
On drying racks.
After a couple hours drying we put them in the smoker for about 4-5 hrs at about 150F.This batch we smoked with seasoned apple wood and smoke until internal temperature of 150 F is reached.
On the smoker.
5 hours later
Now we cool it and taste it.
I hope that you found this post informative and entertaining.Stay tuned for more Blogs.
Welcome everyone to our new website.We started this websie to try to keep everyone informed and up to date on whats going on in our little BBQ world.This blog is just a little blurb so that I can see if all is working right and if it is simple enough for me to use.Below is a picture of a typical contest set up we use.
This was in Belle River at a whole hog contest for the Knights of Columbus for a fundraiser.