Specialty Sausage 103: Making Landjaeger
Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
What is Landjaeger?
Landjaeger is a German sausage that is made from a combination of beef and pork. It is stuffed into natural casings and can be smoked and semi-dried or just smoked. Before smoking, it will be pressed either flat or formed with a mold to give it its classic flattened look.
6 lb of Untrimmed Pork Butts
4 lb of Lean Beef
1 Bag of Landjaeger
1 Bag of Sure Gel
1 Bag of Encapsulated Citric Acid
1 oz of Sure Cure (Included with purchase)
Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder
Walton’s 11 lb Sausage Stuffer
20 lb Meat Mixer
Landjaeger needs to be stuffed into a natural hog casing for it to really be an authentic landjaeger and we also want to press and form it so natural hog is the best choice. I’m using a home pack of hog casings so they need to have the salt rinsed off of the casings, then the insides need to be flushed with running water and then let them soak for an hour in warm water.
We need to cut up our beef and pork into pieces that a grinder will easily handle. The smaller the grinder you are using the smaller you will need to cut up your product. With something like this Weston #12 Butcher Series, we want to cut our product into chunks between 2 and 3 inches.
I have had our meat in the freezer for about 45 minutes before to make it ice cold, cold meat will always grind better than warm meat. We will we are going to grind the beef once through a 3/16th plate, before we started we made sure our plates and knives were well oiled to prevent any friction between the plate and knife, this would cause the plate to heat up and it would add unnecessary wear and tear on our equipment. Then we will grind the pork twice, first through a 3/16th-inch plate to break down the meat and then through a 1/8 plate to finish it off.
We are going to smoke this so we need to get good protein extraction when mixing. Place in a mixer with water, seasoning, and cure and mix until you have achieved protein extraction. Remember to mix it an even amount of time forward and reverse, about 8 minutes should do it. Remember if you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid like we are that it needs to be added during the last 60 seconds of mixing or you run the risk of breaking the encapsulation.
Before you load your stuffer you should oil your piston gasket with White Oil to make sure it moves smoothly along the walls of the canister. Load your stuffer, being careful not to create any air pockets in the canister and stuff it somewhat loosely into the casings, you will want to stuff them loosely so you can form them before smoking.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Lay them out on screens in a smoker and cook with no smoke at 120° for 30 minutes, then 140° for 1 hour, again with no smoke at this stage and dampers still wide open, then at 145° with smoke for an hour and finally 180° until internal temp reaches 160°. The smoking process is a lot easier with something like the Grilleye Pro Plus thermometer that can track your temperature and alert you when you have reached your desired temps. Adding a water pan is a good idea to help add some moisture to the smoker.
Once you are done smoking them leave them out for an hour at room temperature to allow them to cool and then place them in a fridge for 24 hours before vacuum packing.
All in all the largest difficulty we faced was flattening the Landjaeger out. Other than that it was really very similar to making any other cured sausage. Adding more water might have made the flattening the meat out easier and allow it to hold it’s shape better, if we do this again we will try that.
I would also either use less Encapsulated Citric Acid as the seasoning appears to have some tang to it by itself. So if you still want to use a cure accelerator I would recommend Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate
- As always make sure you keep your meat as cold as you can before grinding. This not only helps speed the grinding process but also helps with food safety which is especially important here if you are going to try to flatten it out.
- *In the end, flattening out the sausage was the hardest part, getting it between two hard surfaces with a LOT of weight is important. *
We also tried to take an extra stuffing tube and flatten the opening with a vice to give us the desired flattened outlook. I was limited in how much I could flatten it out and still be able to get the hog casing over the flattened out portion. Once I stuffed the meat into the casings it immediately took on the shape of the casing so it did not work.
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