I say Knockwurst, you say Knackwurst

Or, this could have been called a sausage of two cities. In America we have regional areas that where settled by different ethnic groups.  For instance, you have the Cajuns and the Creoles, simplified into country folk and city folk.  Of course there is much more to it than that, but hopefully you get my drift. But no matter how you may wish to compare our regions, their history only goes back a couple of hundred years. We may have had our Civil war but that didn’t significantly alter the ethnic background of the local residents. This can’t said about Europe. Since this is about German sausage you need to realize that the German Empire is very old and has included many diverse cultures.  Parts of France and Spain to the South and West, Czechoslovakia and parts of Western Russia were part of the Bavarian States. It took WW I and WW II to define what what we now think of as Germany.
So when I say Knockwurst and you say Knackwurst, we may be talking about the same sausage. Each region made sausage, but there may have been a shortage of spice group A in region 1 so the same sausage took on a different flavor.  When you remember that spices where a commodity greater than coinage you can better understand how flavors and techniques moved about. And who can eat a coin? The flavors evolved back and forth across Europe but not always the ingredients.  Confused?   A bag of cinnamon is easier to transport that a sack of turnips, and less perishable. So while looking for recipes to make these two sausages I settled on a Knockwurst version, but to tell the truth, the same sausage could be called Knackwurst 100 miles away. The recipes I used as my starting ground came from the cookbook Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing” Book by Rytek Kutas.  It doesn’t matter which cookbook you select, or if you find recipes on the Internet.  Just don’t use the prepackaged packets of chemicals sold by’ Hunter supply outlets’.  Mix your own spices. Our knockwurst called for veal.  Veal is hard to find and expensive. It is also out of favor by a population that thinks it has been raised inhumanly.  So, let’s not talk about Chicken. To find a substitute for veal the best suggestions I found was to get extra lean pork, cut it up and soak in whole milk for a day or two.  Chicken could also have been used but then the sausage would have to be cooked to a higher temperature.
After all the meat had been ground and then weighed, it was divided into the different sausages that would be made. The only difference was the percentage of ‘Veal’ used.
Then the spices, dried milk, protein powder, etc as added and mixed in.
The knockwurst raw sausage stuffing was then bagged, tagged and put in the refrigerator to be stuffed another day. This was because the sausage was warming up and I had three more flavors to make.

Stuffing, cooking and smoking our sausage is here.

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Sausage Stuffing Day, a day to remember

So here is all this sausage mix in the refrigerator and I am starting to dread forcing all through the Kitchenaid meat grinder and out the sausage tube.  It’s Friday afternoon and I have a job to do.  No, a real job that pays the bills.  So I decide to stop by Cabelas on the way home. There is a sausage stuffer in Portland on Craigslist by the Sausage Maker but I don’t want to drive downtown on maybe a lark.
I should have. Now there isn’t anything wrong with the Cabelas machine.  It’s quite nice actually, but if I had gone down town I wouldn’t have bought the collagen casings and used what I already had, real hog casings. I have to say after using the collagen casings, never again. The Collagen casings where supposed to hold 50 pounds of meat, mine where gone in 20 pounds. They also tore, split and ruptured in ways I have never had hog casings do. Also the Sausage Maker was a newer design and on Sunday when we finally got everything together two of the stuffing tubes where stuck together.   I had to do the round-trip thing delaying our day. Maybe the Craigslist one would have worked out of the box (they said ‘new in box’) Back to stuffing.  The stuffer should be mounted, but to what?   Drill holes in my island or counter.  I think not.  We settled on using the potting table.  We washed it off of course with a work slab of new wood on top of it.  We also had it set up on the patio so we had our little gas fire going for heat and ambiance.
After learning from our casing mistake, we ended up with 25 pounds of 4 different sausages.  If we had cooked and not smoked some of the Bratwurst and Knockwurst we would have had even more variety. After all this whole adventure was to get some good German Sausage.  See, there is even a can of German Beer on the table. In hindsight I should have had a roll of kitchen twine on hand and tied the links. The twine could have been removed after cooking and/or smoking. Smoking was the next step for the Brat and Knock Wurst, I have three different smokers and feel the Smokey Hollow upright unit would be best for this.  The Green Mount Pellet smoker/grill had difficulty maintaining an even heat when set to it’s lowest range of 150 degrees.
I believe it is better to hang the sausage in a vertical smoker if possible.
But the sausage would have to be hung in the Smokey Hollow instead of layered on racks. That’s where the kitchen twine would have come in handy. I was very unhappy with the Smokey Hollow at first.   It is a closed system so the smoke doesn’t leave.  It just builds up and will eventually over smoke, and over smoking is bitter. I installed a damper so I could have better control. There is a difference between a heavy smoke and smoking for to long. But at the end of the day we had 25 pounds of sausage that will enjoyed for a long time unless family begs it off of us, or we force it upon them.
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Bockwurst, Weisswurst, the great White Sausage

These two sausages follow the same story of Knack and Knock. They are almost the same and sometimes called by the others name.  We made both and I will show both recipes here.
Spices mixed into the meat mixture
Spices etc, mixed then added to the meat mixture

Sausage BOCKWURST

Bill’s notes: I will only make 5 lbs of Bockwurst so all ingredients will be cut in half.  Since all the sausage recipes will be made on the same day, it will be easy to combine and then divide the eggs. Ingredients for 10 Lbs. 2 cups of whole milk 5 b. Salt 2 Lb. powdered dextrose 1 Tb. Mace 1 Tb. Ground celery 4 Tb. Onion powder 1 Tb. Ground white pepper 6 pcs. fresh chopped chives or green onions 6 pcs. Chopped parsley 1 piece grated lemon peel 3 fresh whole eggs 3 lbs. boneless veal 5 lbs. lean pork shoulder 2 lbs. pork trimmings GRINDING Grind all the meat through a 1/4″ grinder plate, adding all the ingredients, and mix. Place in food processor and emulsify. STUFFING AND COOKING Bockwurst is stuffed into a 24-26 mm sheep casing and made in links 4-6 inches long, then hung on clean smokes-ticks. (Do not use a smokestick that can stain the casings, as bockwurst is a white sausage.) Sausage should be placed into the cooker or water and cooked until the internal temperature reaches 152° F. (Be sure the water temperature is not above 165° F). Place cooked sausage under cold shower for about 10 minutes to reduce internal temperature to 100° F and remove to cooler overnight. This sausage also can be frozen and cooked as it is needed. Bockwurst also is made as a very fine-textured sausage (emulsified) in the Western New York area. It is very popular at Easter time and also goes under the name of “white hot dogs”.
Water bath cooked with my Joule Souse Vide

Sausage WEISSWURST

Ingredients for 10 Lbs. 5 lbs. veal 5 lbs. lean pork butts 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk 4 Tb. salt 1/2 cup soy protein concentrate 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. dry parsley 4 Tb. ground mustard seed 1 Tb. ground white pepper 1 tsp. ground celery seeds 1 tsp. mace 3 Tb. powdered dextrose 4 cups ice water Grind meat through a 1/4″ or 3/8″ grinder plate. Add all the ingredients except the water and mix thoroughly until evenly distributed. Do not pack soy protein concentrate when measuring. Then place the meat in the food processor, adding water as you go, to help emulsify the meat. Stuff into a 32-35 mm hog casing and make into 5″ to 6″ links. Place into 160° F water and cook until an internal temperature of 150° F is attained. Then shower the sausage with cool water until the internal temperature falls to 75° F. Place in cooler overnight before using. After the casing had been filled and twisted I needed to cook them in a water bath. Since already had a souse vide that will maintain a water temp +- 1.2 degree I opted for that route.
It’s here that I watched all the links untwist and casing get ugly, but you should remove the casing from both of these sausages before serving.
Finishing up on a bed of sliced potatoes, onions and mushrooms, Francene is not a sauerkraut fan.
Of the two, we prefer the Bockwurst.  The Weisswurst has less flavor and more of a dry hamburger texture.  I wouldn’t throw it out though. It’s still good eats.
Don’t forget the hot, sweet mustard.
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