Encased Meats Enthusiast in El Paso, TX

  • Good day all. Charles here in El Paso, Texas. I have been making sausage since 2008 after not being able to readily get quality sausage in El Paso. Hey - I am from Chicagoland and was raised with many traditions of being from Polish and Bohemian/Croatian decent. My friends, enemies and acquaintances joke that I am the “Sausage King of El Paso.” I am not into titles and don’t take myself that serious, so I wouldn’t go that far. I am more or less a sausage hack and I am fine by that.

    I have been a customer of Walton’s for multiple years. I have enjoyed the wide/fine selection, and by far the fastest shipping of all of the vendors for similar products.

    When it comes to sausage, I stick to the basics - fresh, smoked, poached and boiled sausages. I have tinkered in dry curing (no one died either), but will need to hone my setup before journeying down this path again. I am interested in ethnic sausages and recreating soon to be forgotten products (i.e. Prasky, Jaternice, et al).

    My approach to sausage making continues to evolve. I retired from the drink (I haven’t filed paper’s with the league office yet or anything like that…but pretty sure I am done) and picked up eating a Paleo Diet. I have been playing with multiple homespun Paleo recipes (not sure if carrot binder or phosphates are Paleo or not…but I am still using them), including a Jolokia ground chicken jerky with chia seeds. Don’t judge until you try it!

    I am a desk jockey by trade, however have multiple interested outside of work including over engineering everything including sausage making, gardening, wood working and music appreciation. I often day dream of starting up a stoner food wagon (working title is Stoned and Starving…would sell interesting flavor mixes of meat and non-meat sausage sticks, ground jerky and potato/beet chips) and/or a custom chair and table operation. One of these days…were would we be without wishful thinking?

    Look forward to learning more from everyone on this forum. Life is much better with sausage. Cheers!

  • Look forward to hearing about some more of your receipies and techneics

  • Walton's Employee

    @stanca Welcome to the board! My Grandmother was 100% Czech (according to her at least) so I remember having Jaternice as a kid, now if I remember correctly it was made from liver so as a kid I don’t think I liked it much but it might be worth trying again as an adult. I think I remember her using it as a spread more than a sausage, is that how you are planning on using it?

    Also the chia seeds are an interesting idea…my wife was a strict vegetarian for about 10 years (happy to say I have convinced her to start eating chicken again!) so she always had Chia seeds laying around. When you get them wet they do this crazy gel thing in your mouth I wonder if you are getting a binding function from them because of that?

    Paleo works for a lot of people, for me doing a modified Keto has been amazing. I basically cut all sugars and almost all bread out.

  • @jonathon Thank you! What I know and I can find on Jaternice (white jets) and Jelita (black jets) basically comes from the Crawford Sausage Company (Daisy Brand). Both are made from snouts, jowls and barley. The Jelita uses beef blood, I would assume this gives it is dark color. It can be a spread or taken out of the casing to be eaten. As a kid, we didn’t want to know what was in them or what they were made out of…they were just good! You can google both and see some funny stories and fuzzy memories.

    Products like this are dying. There were many great sausage shops on the south side of Chicago when I was growing up (Lawndale Meats, Jim’s Market, et al). Times and tastes change. These places also carried a great breakfast like sausage - Bohemian Cream Sausage. It was presented in a pinwheel with wood skewers to hold it together from top to bottom and left to right. Excalibur carried the prepared sausage spice some years back. I had a case of it and a print out of a pdf from their old website on how to prepare it. It would be pretty alright if Excalibur would share the recipes/mixes of retired seasonings. Sadly it seems some of these flavors and recipes are lost to history.

    I am glad to hear the Keto way has worked well for you. I am fairly strict Paleo eater and sausage can be very Paleo with some adaptions. I too cut grains and sugars. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty alright. I do cheat from time to time, but you need to in order to keep the little sanity you still have. I have dropped 35 lbs so far…and would like to get another 30 lbs off. Sausage plays a large part in my journey to a healthy fighting weight.

    This forum is a great tool to learn about chicken, turkey and other foul sausage. Your videos and users’ input are spectacular. The days of crumbling, dry, and pathetic chicken sausage are over (unless you are into that). I have been making much more chicken sausage lately. There are two key reasons for this. One. My wife too is not high on beef or pork. Two. The price of beef and pork is driving us all to become vegetarians! Chicken thighs are cheap and you quickly learn how to debone and process.

    As for the ground chicken jerky strips with chia seeds. It is my take on the wonderful operation out of Austin, Texas - EPIC Bar and their Sriracha Chicken Bar. They make some mighty fine meat bars and products. I will start a new conversation with the recipe I came up with, utilizing the ample chia seeds we have in our pantry. More to come on that…

    I look forward to learning much more and contributing what I can from my trials and tribulations.

  • Walton's Employee

    @stanca Yeah, I have had the bison epic bar a few times, it is very tasty for sure. I found out that they used to vegetarians or vegans (can’t remember which) from a podcast I listen to, they didnt find being vegetarian or vegan healthy for them so they did some experimenting and created Epic. It’s a pretty interesting story, vegetarianism and veganism is just like anything else, it works for some people but not all, just like Paleo or Keto!

    I feel great on my Keto (modified!) Diet, less inflammation in my joints and I dropped a stubborn 10 lb that just wouldn’t come off with anything else. My appetite control is also far better and I don’t crave bad food anywhere near as often!

    Glad someone is trying to keep the old recipes alive, it’s important!

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  • @Robert-Tartaglia Generally vinegar was added to the water to help reduce the smell. In my opinion, if you are just stuffing them the casings don’t require them nowadays, if you are boiling them then I might and add some. Some people also say it makes them more tender but this is debatable.

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  • R

    A recipe that i have says to soak the hog casings in white vinegar and water. My question is, “what does the vinegar do for the casing?”

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  • B

    @parksider Thanks. I did all that. I stuffed them tight twisted the tops down tight and secured them with twist ties. I’m going out right now to try again. Thanks for the tips!

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  • Meat Hacks: Making Bone Marrow Burgers

    Learn about Making Bone Marrow Burgers with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    Meat Hacks

    The meatgistics User @Denny recently posted a question about how much bone marrow should be added to a burger per lb. Well, I had never done anything with bone marrow before so I decided to grab some and check out the process.

    I started out with a few beef marrow bones, you can pick these up at your local grocery store or butcher shop. The bones I bought were about 2 inches thick which made getting the marrow out a lot simpler than I thought it was going to be. I just pressed on one side with my thumbs and they came out the other end in one solid piece. After doing all the bones I had set aside for testing this I had 5.7 oz.

    Once I chopped them all up I wanted to find out how much a Tablespoon of this weighed so we could give advice in both volume and weight measurements, so 1 Tablespoon of this beef marrow weighed 8 grams so .28 of an oz.

    Now, Denny pointed out that a demo he saw said 3-4 Tablespoons per 1-2 lb of burger, we are going to go with 4 because I always tend to think more is better, so would be 1.1 oz per lb or .55 of an oz per lb. That’s a pretty big range so we are going to test it by using 4 tbsp or 1.1 oz for 1 lb of burger, then 1.5 lb of burger and then 2 lb of burgers.

    Since the purpose of this is to determine the ratio of Marrow to use we didn’t want any other taste to stand out so we aren’t using any patty mix with this, so just straight ground beef. We also are making burgers with no marrow as a control.

    So after we grilled all of the burgers the one we added the most bone marrow too was my favorite. The bone marrow adds a really interesting deep flavor but I was most surprised by how much it changed the texture of the burger. It stayed juicier and almost had a creaminess to it that would be hard to replicate with any other ingredient I can think of.

    I won’t be doing this every time I make a burger, buying the bones, prepping them and then mixing them in did not take too long but it was an extra step but if I had a bunch of friends over and really wanted to impress them with something then this is a really interesting way to make an over the top burger!

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  • P

    Sitting at the beach on vacation my mind has time to wander…when you’re done stuffing give them a good twist to compact the meat. I’ve also give up on string tying I use zip ties and yes I wash them most of the time. We have zip tie loops that we’ll zip tie to the casings, makes hanging so much easier then just reuse the loops. That should help with the shrinkage issue.

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  • P

    You may not have stuffed them enough. Sometimes it hard to stuff the larger casings and if it’s not tight the may cause the shrinking during the cooling process. Those cases are extremely durable don’t be afraid to stuff them.

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