My next big sausage project which I have been researching for a couple weeks now, is Central Texas German style BBQ sausage. I was supposed to make it today with brisket on sale for Labor Day weekend, but all my family ate pizza when I wasn’t looking So I thought I’d start a thread instead of cooking, to document some details on this, my #1 favorite BBQ joint sausage.
I’ve read a bunch of History and probably a hundred web recipes and ingredients lists from every Texas meat market that ships their sausages. Every famous market or BBQ personality I can find. Kreuz market, Smittys, Southside Market, Elgins sausage, Franklins BBQ, Meathead, Chudds, 2guysandaCooler, and on and on. Some recipes were way out of bounds but were still labeled Central Texas style… but really shouldn’t be.
Basically the German style is all beef or a small amount maybe 15% pork, rough ground in a hog casing, usually cured then smoked. Spices are very simple, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. I used to get this delicious sausage, where beef is the primary flavor with almost no spices, all over at 20 different cities and BBQ joints when I lived there. However, the classic example is from Kreuz Market and Smitty’s Market in Lockhart and Fredericksburg.
There is another style of sausage popular in Texas barbecue which is of Czech origin, which arrived later in the 1900s with Czech immigrants, north and east of Austin, and that usually includes garlic. I’m not making this more kielbasa style garlic flavored sausage. And lastly there is the Texas hot link or hot guts, which is epitomized by Southside Market in Elgin Texas, the first producer. The ingredients for hot links or hot guts are across the board all over the place. Some are the German style with just salt pepper and cayenne, some are Polish/Czech complex ones with mustard garlic thyme and Sage included. So I’m specifically not making hot links or Elgin style sausage, since that isn’t super flavor specific, but the straight German style popular around Lockhart, Fredericksburg, and Austin Texas.
Here is my current recipe:
Beef, brisket with fat. 85%
Pork butt with fat, 15%
Sufficient brisket fat to bring fat total to 25%
1.8% salt, kosher
0.3% black pepper, coarse grind
0.2 % cayenne pepper
Coarse grind, but 8mm plate vs 10mm
Fat ground separately 6mm
Binder: 1 to 3% “Bull Flour” as used by Kreuz.
- Grind partially frozen meat at 8mm, grind fat separate at 6mm. Refreeze ground.
- All meat and fat partially frozen or very cold, 30-32f, for mix.
- Will mix meat and spices for strong protein extraction, high beef has troubles binding per the Kreuz and Smitty’s. Then add water and binder, mix well.
- Lastly will add fat to mix and blend, intent to keep the 6mm grind fat bound, but not smeared and emulsified.
- Refreeze or cool farce before stuffing.
- Hydrate hog casings well.
- Stuff into 32-34mm hog casings, link after as desired, either 12" links or 24" loops.
- Let cure and dry in fridge 12-18 hrs
- Cook: offset heat in smoker. Post oak if I can find it. BBQ pit style would be 200-225 f until Internal Temperature of 160f. However, I will likely smoke at 140 a bit, then 160, then 180 until done. My intent is to keep external temps low so no fat-out occurs.
I am still ambivalent on the cook schedule, and not sure if I want to use my sealed smoker or my Traeger on low temp smoke setting.
I am also still looking at Bull Flour as a binder. The only place I see it used is specifically in this Central Texas German style. Kreuz and Smitty’s owners are adamant that pure beef or 85% beef with the BBQ pit cook absolutely needs the cereal binder for proper texture. But my datapoints on it’s use from other makers is zero. Bull flour is hard to find, and costs $20 to ship a pound. It is basically finely ground corn, wheat, rye, oat, and rice flours mixed together.
I have all those flours, and am thinking about blending my own small bit. I only need 3% max, so for 3kg meat that’s just 90grams. Don’t really feel like ordering 1 lb for $30 at the two places Ive found with it…
Other meat f orums, notably the big polish sausage one, use a LOT of cereal binders, as does Kutas and Marianski, but their use is seldom mentioned here.
Well, that’s all I’ve got so far, I will post pics and notes when I make it! Hope the detailed plan for this great sausage was helpful and interesting for some folks