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Sausage Making Hardcover – 1 May 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (1 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452101787
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452101781
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.5 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"You hold in your hands the La Technique of sausage-making. Loaded with beautiful photo-process and unparalleled information, this is the new gold standard for books on the subject. Ryan Farr is a stuffing savant and instructor extraordinaire. Meat, Salt, Fat and Technique is a must-have for anyone interested in making links from amateur to experienced." - John Currence, chef/owner, City Grocery Restaurant Group

About the Author

Ryan Farr is chef, butcher and founder of 4505 Meats, who has been a leader in the American butchery revival. He is a self-taught butcher and an irrepressible entrepreneur. He sells his patented chicarrones, artisan sausages and artisan meats at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, at his Mission District butcher shop, in gourmet markets throughout California (and soon, nationwide), and online. He also teaches sellout butchery classes.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim on 14 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book suffers from a condition many new, restaurant produced cook books are suffering from.

More effort has been put in to making a good looking book that reminds you how good they are/ their restaurant is/ their product is.

The book is beautiful to look at but only contains relatively few recipes and they are really not the best recipes.

If you really want to have a go at making sausages get a copy of the sausage book by Paul Peacock. It is cheap, full of instruction and recipes and they really work. Best book on the subject i have come across.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent book with lots of good ideas and information!
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By mr p harrington on 7 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover
great book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Photos and First Chapter Are 'One of A Kind' 15 May 2014
By James Ellsworth - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ryan Farr, a trained chef and professional butcher, scored big with his first book 'Whole Beast Butchery'. Book number two is this very interesting introduction to sausage making. I've been making sausages for--well, thirty years. I keep buying books on this subject. This is the 'book to buy' for first-time sausage makers. Why?: this is a 'hands on book.' The first section is what is 'definitive.' In text and about the best photos ever, Mr. Farr both shows and tells wannabe sausage makers every last basic technique we need to know: trimming, cutting into pieces for grinding, fat-to-meat ratios, the importance of emulsification, spicing and mixing and...well, whatever. He goes on to inform readers about cooking techniques and he concludes with a chapter on condiments and 'bread' items to go with good sausage.

I come from a time and a place where we could purchase excellent hot dogs in local supermarkets. They were so good that we could grill them and sell them as a fund-raiser for our 4-H club at our county fair! My grandfather sourced them for his 'mom and pop' restaurant. Here is a recipe for the hotdog of your dreams: snappy chew, all-beef stuffing, all natural casing. Ryan Farr doesn't stop with making the sausage: he goes on to stress the importance of proper cooking, tailored to the type of sausage you have made: poaching for delicate items like seafood sausage and boudins, grilling for 'gutsy' items and so on.

The big caveat: the first section is worth the whole price of the book. Farr incudes recipes but they are 'illustrative' of different types of the sausage maker's art. Rytek Kutas, while more 'commercial' in his focus, gives more recipes for more types of ground meat stuffed in casings. Farr's book includes terrines and 'pate en croute' (seasoned ground meat in a pastry case), a subject Rytek does not address. If you want more recipes, see the Marianski brothers' books, also available on Amazon. I own them as well and rate them highly. The Marianski books are more authoritative but Farr's first chapter tells a story, with those great photos by Ed Anderson, that earlier books do not provide. Speaking of the photos, this book is the only one I own that shows longitudinal cuts down the length of a cased sausage to show you the result of the recipe. Maybe you, like my wife, don't want to see any bits of fat in the product: just process the meat through a finer disc and you will have all the flavour and none of the 'flak' from picky eaters in your family. Real sausage lovers will appreciate the photos of what a well-made sausage can be and should look like! Good sausage doesn't need to be 'ground to death'...and Farr is not the only sausage maker to suggest, through his photos or in so many words, that it shouldn't be.

I am probably 'preaching to the choir' on this: if you are making sausage, you already know that you can find plenty of recipes and you can make really good sausages that will even have you giving up beef steak once in a while. A good meat meal does not need to cost top steak prices!

Okay: this is not the only book a sausage lover should buy to guide themselves to sausage heaven. It is the best existing book I have purchased to introduce meat lovers to the craft.
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
far from "a definitive guide" 26 May 2014
By Larbo - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a book that aims to be "the definitive guide" to "sausage making," this one falls far short of the mark.

It stumbles, right out of the gate, by failing to understand what makes a sausage. The opening words of the first chapter declare in bold type: "Sausage is an emulsification of meat, fat, and liquid, and it's the relative proportion of these ingredients that determines the texture of the sausage. When protein (ground meat) and liquid are combined, the mixture forms a sticky paste, called farce, that can readily absorb fat."

Not one of these statements about the nature of the meat mixture in a sausage is accurate.

An emulsion is defined as a mixture of two immiscible liquids, one of which is dispersed in the other liquid as small droplets or globules. A sausage is not a mixture of liquids. Proteins in the meat (principally myosin) are water-soluble under the right conditions, and the goal in sausage-making is to release or introduce enough protein to be able to encase or entrap the fat globules and prevent them from coalescing. That's what makes a tasty, juicy sausage. The proteins may be dissolved in liquid, but since they are not themselves liquid it is more accurate to speak of forming a protein web, matrix, or gel (when cooked), and not an emulsion -even for what are traditionally called "emulsified sausages".

This may seem like pedantic nit-picking. But his misunderstanding of the nature of a sausage informs his technique and his recipes.

His "master technique" for making sausage says to continue mixing it until you have "a homogenous paste," as if you were beating or whipping it to make something like a mayonnaise. Such overmixing is entirely unnecessary, and for many types of sausage "a homogenous paste" is simply undesirable. Such overmixing can easily degrade your sausage, because, as he acknowledges, it "damages the cell structure of the meat so that it can no longer absorb the added liquid and fat." (27-8)

This is another misunderstanding. A proper protein matrix does not absorb fat; it isolates and traps it. The reason to avoid damaging the cell structure of the meat (by overchurning it in the grinder, not cutting it cleanly, or by overmixing the farce) is simply that ruptured cells will leak their contents. Again, it is not an emulsion, where you are trying to maximize the amount of liquid that can be dispersed in or "absorbed" by another. You're simply trying to prevent the stuff you're putting in your sausage from leaking out.

Instead of overmixing your farce to extract enough protein to make it bind together, better technique is to cube or coarse grind lean meat, salt it (using the entire amount called for by your recipe), vacuum seal it if you can, and let it sit in the refrigerator until you extract enough myosin (a few hours up to two days, depending on the meat and the degree of bind desired). Then you grind it to the desired fineness with the fat, mix it with the seasoning and liquid just enough to combine, and then stuff in casings. If you follow the sequence in Ryan Farr's master technique, and hold the farce in the refrigerator after you salted and (over)mixed it, it could well bind together so thoroughly that it will be difficult to force through the stuffer.

This misunderstanding of meat batters and the faulty technique he derives from it results in some bizarre recipes. For his Cajun Boudin, he has you grind the meats into a bowl over a bowl filled with ice, apparently forgetting that the meats have just simmered for an hour and a half and so concerns about heating them up in the grinder are a little misplaced. Then he has you hold the farce in the refrigerator overnight, a step traditionally intended to extract the water-soluble proteins from the meat and improve the bind. Except, in this case, the meats are cooked, which means that the proteins have coagulated and are no longer soluble. Instead, this sausage relies on the starch in the rice for the bind, and if you think about how hard rice sets up as it gets cold, you'll understand why it would be better to stuff the sausages warm and then refrigerate.

Finally, in his introduction to the chapter on "smooth sausages," he writes, "Temperature is extremely important when making a smooth sausage. Your farce must not ever get warmer than 40ºF/4ºC or the emulsion will break, just as when making a mayonnaise, and you'll end up with a sausage that has a grainy texture and a greasy mouthfeel." (112)

Again, this is quite inaccurate. When preparing a meat batter by chopping or grinding, the maximum desirable temperature is significantly higher than he says and depends on the meat: approximately 15ºC for poultry, 20ºC for pork, and 26ºC for beef.

The reason for these temperatures is not that "the emulsion will break" (which happens when you simply can't disperse any more of one liquid in another and it begins to separate out); instead, these temperatures are based on the melting point of the fat, for the simple reason that when fat melts the droplets run together or coalesce and quickly become larger than the soluble proteins can coat and trap.

If I could give this three and a half stars, I would. But since everyone else gives it four or five stars, not appreciating the misinformation it contains, three stars will help to restore a little balance.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great book for your first sausage. 14 May 2014
By P. Dean - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great intro to the basics of sausage making. It has some very solid recipes and practical advice for a home chef. If your looking for a book with an extensive recipes, this is not it. It does have master ratios to help you follow some guide lines for your own creations. It has some great photography and a key to show you what the sausages are on the cover. The printing on this first edition seemed a little wonky as well. The cover was cupped on both side.

For the price its a great addition if you collect cook books.
Another books i would recommend reading is Charcuterie or Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
everybody must be making sausages 14 May 2014
By john e stewart - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
how can I be the first to review this book, it must be because everybody who has gotten the book is busy making sausage. Anyone who is truly interested in sausage making should buy this book, and then thank Ryan. This is not a cookbook to be flipped thru and put on a shelf never to be used, it is a book that should be beside you while you make all these delicious sausages. It is the perfect book for the start of the summer grilling season
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A book I am pleased to own 13 July 2014
By John Bailey - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well crafted description of sausages making. I am able to read and comprehend all Ryan Farr presents, but this might be in the middle to more experience end for readers and those wishing to make sausages and charcuterie.
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