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View Full Version : A question about Texas hot links/sausage


kw
12-02-2014, 10:30 PM
All,

I lived in B/CS from '67-72 but don't recall ever having what everybody knows as hot links or Texas beef sausage. The only sausage I had while living there at the time was from the deer I harvested, processed by Hanson's meat locker plant, later Redfield's, name change as the result of a hand of poker (as I understand it).

Hanson's did a real good job with the sausage as I recall. It was cut with just enough pork to keep it somewhat juicy, and I think there may have been just a hint of garlic in it. It was stuffed pretty tight into the casing, almost as dense as pepperoni.

The local BBQ joint we went to was Randy Sims over in College Station and it was pretty good.

On to my question...

Do traditional Texas hot links have cure in them or are they just hot smoked to where the C. Bot isn't a problem?

There are so many recipes out there for them, many on this forum, I just thought it was worth asking.

I am going to have some free time over the winter, was thinking of making some sausage and I would like to try and deviate from the Kielbasa and Kabanosy.

Thanks,

Kurt

joemat
12-02-2014, 10:35 PM
My understanding is that most of these smoked sausages are cold smoked and thus have cure added. I believe only fresh sausage is cure free.

landarc
12-02-2014, 11:25 PM
All of the recipes I have seen were with cure. That is largely due to the smoking. I imagine if you are going to hot smoke, you can skip cure.

Bludawg
12-03-2014, 09:50 AM
A little cure never hurts this is my Go To recipe

Bigwheel«s Genuine Texas Hotlinks
AKA: Jeff Wheeler

6-7 lbs. Boston Butt
1 bottle beer
2 T. coarse ground black pepper
2 T. crushed red pepper
2 T. Cayenne
2 T. Hungarian Paprika
2 T. Morton's Tender Quick
1 T. Kosher Salt
1 T. Whole Mustard Seeds
1/4 cup minced fresh garlic
1 T. granulated garlic
1 T. MSG
1 t. ground bay leaves
1 t. whole anise seeds
1 t. coriander
1 t. ground thyme

Mix all the spices, cure, and garlic into the beer
and place in refrigerator while you cut up the meat
to fit in the grinder.
Pour the spiced beer over the meat and mix well.
Run meat and spice mixture through the fine plate
and mix again. Stuff into medium hog casings.
Smoke or slow grill till they are done. Wrap in
a piece of bread and slap on the mustard heavy.

Oak-n-hickory
12-03-2014, 11:41 AM
I spent about 40 years in Texas eating all the sausage and barbecue I could afford. There's one variety of sausage there that I've never quite been able to duplicate - generically, you'd call it German sausage, but it's not seasoned with nearly as many ingredients as most German sausage recipes. Mostly SPG with a lot of mustard seeds, and smoked.

In an effort to recreate those sausages, I tried several recipes including BigWheel's hot links (hot, but flavor was nowhere near what I was after). The closest I've come is by using Bohemian Garlic sausage seasoning (from Heinsohn's, in New Ulm) and adding a lot of mustard seed. In my case, since I was smoking at a temperature in between cold and hot smoking standards, I added some #1 cure, then smoked over pecan. They didn't come out exactly like the ones I remember so fondly, but they're delicious and close enough.

In addition to Heinsohn's, Zack's (in Deer Park) has some very tasty seasonings. I'm still waiting to clear out the frozen earlier experiments so I can stuff a few pounds more.

Yellowhair42
12-03-2014, 12:15 PM
We used to have a family owned butcher shop and made these German sausages you speak of. Kind of like kielbasa in look but with mustard seeds. I will try to find the recipe when I get home.

Oak-n-hickory
12-03-2014, 02:04 PM
Thanks. I used to be able to get them at one of my dad's regular beer joints that was on the way to Galveston Bay, but it burned down years ago. They got their sausages from an elderly German farm couple near Tyler, TX. Years later, my late father-in-law and I ran into sausages that tasted exactly like them, made in a little butcher shop out in the boonies somewhere in the general area of Brenham, TX. I forgot to mention the red pepper; they were hot, but just hot enough that you had to have something to drink with them, not so hot they weren't worth eating.

Other than those two places, I've had zero luck finding that exact taste again.

Wickedcajun
12-03-2014, 03:42 PM
We used to have a family owned butcher shop and made these German sausages you speak of. Kind of like kielbasa in look but with mustard seeds. I will try to find the recipe when I get home.
A recipe would be much appreciated!!! Love me some links!

Wickedcajun
12-03-2014, 03:44 PM
A little cure never hurts this is my Go To recipe

Bigwheel«s Genuine Texas Hotlinks
AKA: Jeff Wheeler

6-7 lbs. Boston Butt
1 bottle beer
2 T. coarse ground black pepper
2 T. crushed red pepper
2 T. Cayenne
2 T. Hungarian Paprika
2 T. Morton's Tender Quick
1 T. Kosher Salt
1 T. Whole Mustard Seeds
1/4 cup minced fresh garlic
1 T. granulated garlic
1 T. MSG
1 t. ground bay leaves
1 t. whole anise seeds
1 t. coriander
1 t. ground thyme

Mix all the spices, cure, and garlic into the beer
and place in refrigerator while you cut up the meat
to fit in the grinder.
Pour the spiced beer over the meat and mix well.
Run meat and spice mixture through the fine plate
and mix again. Stuff into medium hog casings.
Smoke or slow grill till they are done. Wrap in
a piece of bread and slap on the mustard heavy.

I've made these... And they are DAYUM tasty!!! Bludawg has some great recipes(his tortilla recipe is da bomb)!!!

kw
12-03-2014, 06:29 PM
Thanks all.

I have a copy of Texas on the Half Shell and the recipe from Smitty's doesn't call for cure, which lead me to believe they were cooked on the grill past the danger point.

That recipe from Bigwheel looks good. Thanks Bludawg.

fireiteup
12-03-2014, 06:40 PM
I've made these... And they are DAYUM tasty!!! Bludawg has some great recipes(his tortilla recipe is da bomb)!!!

Same, can't recommend enough

Yellowhair42
12-03-2014, 07:46 PM
OK. Here's the recipe for, what we called them, German franks. These are very similar to kielbasa in looks and texture. Tweak with it as you will to suit your preferences. 80 percent pork, 20 percent beef. For a 25 pound batch= 8 ounces salt, 8 ounces dextrose, 1 ounce mustard seeds, 3/4 ounce white pepper, 1/4 ounce mace, 1/4 ounce powdered ginger, 1 ounce MSG, 1/2 ounce paprika, 1/4 ounce sodium erythorbate, 1 ounce of cure (pink salt), 2 1/2 pounds of water. We used a bowl chopper, so I know most of you don't have access to that . You can get by with a fine grind on your meat of choice. Mix and stuff then smoke as any kielbasa type sausage.

Smokin J's PIts
12-03-2014, 09:01 PM
All,

I lived in B/CS from '67-72 but don't recall ever having what everybody knows as hot links or Texas beef sausage. The only sausage I had while living there at the time was from the deer I harvested, processed by Hanson's meat locker plant, later Redfield's, name change as the result of a hand of poker (as I understand it).

Hanson's did a real good job with the sausage as I recall. It was cut with just enough pork to keep it somewhat juicy, and I think there may have been just a hint of garlic in it. It was stuffed pretty tight into the casing, almost as dense as pepperoni.

The local BBQ joint we went to was Randy Sims over in College Station and it was pretty good.

On to my question...

Do traditional Texas hot links have cure in them or are they just hot smoked to where the C. Bot isn't a problem?

There are so many recipes out there for them, many on this forum, I just thought it was worth asking.

I am going to have some free time over the winter, was thinking of making some sausage and I would like to try and deviate from the Kielbasa and Kabanosy.

Thanks,

Kurt

Howdy

kw
12-03-2014, 09:12 PM
Howdy

Miss the big state. Big time.

jeffjenkins1
12-03-2014, 10:26 PM
I haven't made anywhere near all of these, but the one's I have made are pretty outstanding!

http://lpoli.50webs.com/Sausage%20recipes.htm

Jeff

Bols
12-05-2014, 06:10 PM
This site has some interesting history of Czech (Bohemian) sausage in Texas.
http://www.tmbbq.com/what-is-a-czech-sausage/