Ring bologna can be processed and purchased in your local markets. They are widely available, so there is no actual need for you to make them by yourself. But is that really the real score?
Well, the answer depends on you. But on my part, I have to be honest. I just don’t like commercial bologna. It is simply not my thing, especially that I already know the taste of its homemade version. The feeling is so authentic and delicious. It is a delicacy that I would never easily deny.
I have learned the fundamentals of making homemade bologna from my aunt. And this time, I am going to share this particular culinary knowledge with you. If you are searching an ideal way of how to make ring bologna, then you should pay attention to this simple tutorial.
Later on, you will be able to modify the process to cater your own preferences. But for now, just pick up this kitchen lesson first! Let’s start now!
How to Make Ring Bologna
Specifically, the ring bologna is a unique version of mortadella, a type of Italian sausage. Their main difference is that the ingredients used in ring bolognas have been ground finely. On the other hand, mortadelas have a noticeable presence of chunks from the spices and meat chunks.
By these distinctions alone, it is easy to say that a ring bologna should be finely made. The insides of the sausage should be free from those lumpy chunks. Therefore, the proper selection and tools are necessary to achieve this kitchen perfection. Gather all the following amenities and ingredients before you head to your kitchen.
Step 1: Grinding the Meat
The first thing you need to do is to gather and process the meat. You have to make sure that they can fit in your meat grinder. To do this, have the beef and pork shoulder placed in a cupboard and use a sharp cutting knife to cut them into small cubes. You grinder can perfect its job if the ingredients you shove on it fit well perfectly.
But you should never place the meat chunks right on the grinder right after you cut them. Instead, I recommend that you freeze them slightly in your fridge. Doing this will allow the grinder to process them thoroughly, as there are no mushy parts anymore.
Also, I suggest that you refrigerate the cutting parts of the grinder, especially the metal parts. Always remember that frigid metals can cut or grind better than those with lukewarm temperatures. This is the reason why a lot of restaurants have their cutting tools stored in cold containers.
When grinding the meat, make sure that you utilize the 1/8 inch plate. This one produces the finest results. As I mentioned earlier, ring bologna should have no lumps or chunky parts. Feel free to mix the pork and beef when grinding. This would give your sausage a diverse and delectable appeal.
After grinding the meat set them aside for a while. You should start combining the sugar, saltpeter, black pepper, flour, garlic powder, and coriander in a container filled with iced water. Stir the entire mixture until the ingredients have been fully blended.
Take the mixture that you made in the previous process and put it in a separate container. Put the ground meat there, too. Mix them thoroughly as well, this time, with the use of your hands. Don’t rush through this process. You have to make sure the ingredients are mixed properly.
Once done, you can refrigerate the mixture already overnight. Remove it afterward for another grinding. Just use the same 1/8 grinding plate that you used with the meat.
Stuffing the Meat Mixture
After you have processed the meat, you can already stuff them with the use of a sausage stuffer. Sausage stuffers can be purchased as a separate unit. However, some innovative meat grinders today have integrated sausage stuffers on them, too. It would be great if you can invest in one of these units.
Stuffing the meat is practically easy. Ideally, you just have to follow the procedures given by the manufacturer. When making ring bologna, make sure that you feed the casing until it can be filled to its tip. The feeding should be tight, as well. Once done, you can already cut the ends of the casing and tie it snugly. Do this for the rest of the sausages that you are going to make.
Cooking the Ring Bologna
At this point, you have already a ring bologna. But if you want to know the glorious ways of preparing the delicacy, you should have a food smoker first. The best ring bolognas that I have tasted are those that have been smoked. Fortunately, this cooking method is hassle free and straightforward.
First, you have to put the ring bologna in your refrigerator. While doing so, start preheating the smoker to around 225 degrees Fahrenheit. I love a light and sweet flavor on my bologna. Therefore, I will use cherry or apple wood as my wood chips. Just continue smoking the bologna until the internal temperature of your smoker goes down to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. You can get accurate readings if you stick a food thermometer to the sausages.
When smoking, make sure that you have an adequate supply of lump charcoal (if you are using a charcoal smoker) or appropriate fuel for gas smokers. This is necessary to ensure that the internal temperature is being maintained. This should not be a problem to electric smokers as they have the necessary ergonomics to keep the temperature in check.
After the smoking process, remove the ring bolognas from the smoker so that you can boil them. Use a stock pot to do this. Shove them into the pot filled with water and boil it. Just continue boiling the sausages until their internal temperature reaches around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to get accurate readings.
Once done, remove the sausages from the pot and hang them on the wooden dowels until they get dry. After drying, store the sausages in your refrigerator or freezer, if you don’t have plans on eating them yet.
Learning how to make ring bologna is quite fun and exciting. After all, homemade sausage recipes are afar from our comfort zones. We are not really inclined to exploring them. But once you can learn how to make a batch, you will realize that you are missing a lot for all these years.
Of course, once you can learn the right process of making sausages like bologna, you will be able to tweak the recipe by yourself. Sooner, you will be able to include more convenient and healthier ingredients to accommodate your diet.
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