Cooking Sausages Tenderly?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by ibrewster, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. ibrewster

    ibrewster

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    When I order sausage links (specifically, breakfast sausage) from a restaurant, or pay extra to get the pre-cooked links, I (generally) get a nice, tender sausage link that practically melts in my mouth, and doesn't have a skin covering. However, when I buy bulk uncooked breakfast sausage links and cook them myself, I generally end up with something that is much tougher, and of course does have the skin on.

    What am I doing wrong? I'm not too concerned about the skin, but it would be nice to be able to get a tender sausage, rather than the tough ones I generally get. Is it how I cook it? The brand/style of sausage I'm getting? Something else entirely? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Hard to say, but I lean toward your method. How are you cooking them?
     
  3. ibrewster

    ibrewster

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    Lately I've been baking at 400ºF for about 9 minutes, and then doing a quick pan fry to brown and bring them up to temp (if baking didn't do that already). I've done straight pan frying in the past, but I can't say that turned out any better.
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Well, some sausages are encases in skin and some are not. I personally like the skin. The precooked sausages do not have skin. If it has skin before you cook it it will have skin after you cook it. With a sharp knife you might be able to remove it gently.

    As for coooking I like to steam fry. I think I just made up that term. Basically I place in a pan with a little oil and gently fry until browned. Then I add a tablespoon of water, turn down the heat and cover and let them gently steam until cooked through. Remove the lid and cook until it's your desired color.
     
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  5. ibrewster

    ibrewster

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    Right. Which is why I said the skin wasn't so important. I only mentioned it because it was a difference, and it could well have been a critical one - maybe the sausages without skin are more tender than the ones with, or maybe removing the skin was a crucial step that I was missing. Obviously the skin doesn't magically disappear during cooking :)

    Sounds interesting. I'll have to give it a shot. Although in my experience, by the time the sausages are browned when frying, they are also cooked through. Perhaps a temperature adjustment is in order.
     
  6. summer57

    summer57

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    I do something similar to Kou's 'steam fry'. First, I 'poach' in a little water with the lid on, drain off any water, dry the pan, add oil, turn up the heat & brown. Gentle is important, otherwise they split and the fat comes out. I like the skin because it keeps the sausages from drying out.
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Sorry that wasn't clear from your post. It sound like you were saying that you cook them and the skin magically appears. Also, skin does not make the sausage tough, it simply encases the meat and helps it retain the juiciness. You might want to check around and get different kinds of sausages and yes, a temperature adjustment is important because if you cook them hard and fast they might toughen up on you. You may also be interested in making your own breakfast sausages which is not too difficult to make. At your butcher you'll want to ask for ground pork, with a bit of extra fat ground in it. Take it home and add all the seasonings and spices you prefer and then form into patties. You could encase it yourself if you have the proper equipment but since you don't like the skin anyway patties might be the way to go. Freeze them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and when slightly frozen tuck them into a ziploc bag and store in the freezer, pull out as many as you like whenever you need them.
     
  8. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Your roasting method should be fine, although I'd use a lower heat. Myself, I sear gently first to brown, then roast, but it shouldn't make much difference.

    Question: when you finish cooking, how much fat do you find in the pan? A tough, dry sausage can be a result of the forcemeat "breaking," which means that the fat all runs right out when you cook the sausage.

    If the "steam-fry" method doesn't solve your problem to your standards, I suggest digging around to find a very good butcher and buying a smallish order of very high-quality sausage, something the butcher made himself and swears by. See how that goes. That will tell you whether it's the product or the method.