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Kosher Sausages and How to Make Them

The technology of making Kosher sausages does not differ from normally accepted practices, the main difference lies in meat and fat selection. The majority of sausages are made from pork meat and pork fat because these materials produce a superior product. Even when beef, poultry, fish or venison meat is chosen, pork fat is usually added as it looks and tastes the best. As Kosher sausages cannot contain pork due to religious constraints, the selection of meats must satisfy the requirements of the Jewish Bible and allow for making a tasteful product. The best possible choices are:

1. Beef meat is fine, the fat is yellowish and of an average taste.

2. Sheep meat is fine, the fat (suet) is of poor taste.

3. Chicken meat is fine, the fat tastes good but has a very low melting point.

As shown above there is no shortage of suitable meats for making Kosher sausages, the problem is the selection of fat. Fortunately olive or vegetable oil comes to the rescue and a long as we don’t add more than 25%, the sausage will be fine. It is recommended to add about 10% of olive oil. Flax oil, sunflower oil, other vegetable oils or their mixtures can also be used at about 6 per cent or less, otherwise there might be a noticeable difference in flavor. Sausage made with olive oil is lighter in color than the one made with beef fat. Chicken fat tastes great but is semi-liquid at room temperature and vegetable oils are liquid. When added to coarsely minced meat, those oils may create pockets of fat in a finished product. Adding an emulsifier such as soy protein will reduce this problem. Emulsifying oil in a food processor with 1-3% of soy protein concentrate in relation to meat weight is a good idea as it helps to bind the sausage together. Soy protein concentrate powder is available from all distributors of sausage making equipment and supplies. Products such as hot dogs, frankfurters or liver sausages can be successfully made using kosher meats and olive oil. Head cheese can also be made from beef, poultry, and fish as long as meat cuts that are rich in collagen (connective tissue) are employed. If the resulting stock will not want to set and become an aspic, a commercial gelatin can be mixed in. To sum it up, Kosher sausages can be easily made at home and the secret lies not in a recipe, but in the knowledge of sausage making technology.

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