Ingredients

Ingredients

For some of the Meat Club meat projects, you're going to need some ingredients that are hard to find, or you've simply never heard of before. Here are descriptions of some of those ingredients to help get you started.

In the chile pepper descriptions below, we make sure to reference the Scoville units measurement for that chile. What are Scoville units? They’re the heat measurement for chile pepper badassedry.

Allspice Berries

Allspice Berries

Allspice is the unripe berry of the evergreen pimento tree. The dry, hardened berry resembles a seed, and its name comes from the fact that the flavor and aroma are reminiscent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves combined. Allspice can be found in the spice section at most grocery stores, as well as Mexican markets and specialty spice stores.

Ancho Chilies

Ancho Chilies

The ancho chile is the dried form of the ripened poblano chile. At 1,000 Scoville Heat Units, the ancho packs little heat, but has a dynamic aroma and flavor. Ancho chilies can be found in Mexican markets and specialty spice stores.

Annatto Seeds

Annatto Seeds

Annatto seeds are a Mexican and Latin American spice that look like and feel like tiny rocks. They're the color of an Indian red crayon, and are used to impart a red tint to meat dishes, and add pepper and fruit zest aromas. You may see these labeled as either achiote or achuete. Annatto seeds can be found in Mexican markets and specialty spice stores.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

A cooking vinegar made from apple cider. Apple cider vinegar can be found at any grocery store.

Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves

Leaves from the bay laurel tree, which are used as aromatic herbs in stews and sauces from around the Mediterranean. Bay leaves can be found in the spices section at any grocery store.

Black Peppercorns

Black Peppercorns

Black peppercorns are produced from the green, unripe fruits of the pepper plant. Once dried, the black peppercorns are crushed to create black pepper. They can be found in the spices section at any grocery store.

Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar

A sucrose sugar product that is created by adding molasses to sugar. Brown sugar can be found in the baking section of any grocery store.

Casing

Casing

Casing is the intestine of a pig or sheep that is used to house ground meat in order to make sausage.

Sheep casing is natural casing derived from sheep intestine, and can vary is size and storage capacity. It is smaller than hog casing, ranging from ½- to 1 inch in diameter. Sheep casing is used to encase Hot Dogs and Merguez sausages.

Hog casing is derived from the small intestine of the pig. It is used to stuff the meat and hold the meat for sausages such as Italian Sausage and Bratwurst. It is approximately 1 ¼ inches in diameter, and is used for most pork-based sausages.

You can purchase hog casing from your local butcher, but seldom does your local butcher carry sheep casing. You can also order hog and sheep casing online through Butcher-Packer.com.

Cayenne

Cayenne

Named after the city Cayenne in French Guiana, cayenne is a mildly spiced chile pepper, registering 40,000 Scoville Heat units. It can be purchased fresh, but for sausage making it is usually used after being dried, then pulverized or ground into a powder.

Cloves

Cloves

Cloves are the dried flower buds of the evergreen called the clove tree. It is a spice that is used often in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, and is often used in conjunction with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. They can be found in the spices section at any grocery store.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander Seeds

The seeds from the coriander, or cilantro, plant. When ground, the seeds produce flavors of orange citrus and nuts. In the United States, coriander is the name used to refer to strictly the seed of the plant. They can be found in the spices section at any grocery store.

Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup, now being labeled as the much less-maligned corn sugar, is a food syrup made from the starch of corn. It is used to soften food texture, bind the meat together, and is used in sausage making to aid in water retention.

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

This is a blend of any number of chile peppers that have been crushed and dried. The batch you purchase could include ancho, poblano, arbol, and cayenne, but will depend on the type of heat and flavor that the person blending the chilies wants to produce.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin Seeds

The dried seed of the cumin herb, which is used in North African, Middle Eastern, South Asian cuisines to produce an earthy, nutty flavor in the food. They can be found in the spices section at any grocery store.

Dextrose

Dextrose

Commonly referred to as glucose, dextrose is a synthetic sugar that is derived corn and refined. It is fine grained and dissolves easier than the standard granulated sugar. Dextrose can be purchased at a homebrewing equipment store, a specialty spice store, or from Amazon.com or Butcher-Packer.com.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seeds

Seeds produced by the fennel plant, which are used in Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern cuisines, and are the primary flavor component of Italian Sausage. Fennel seeds can be found in the produce section of any grocery store.

Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is a spicy vegetable that is used by harvesting the bulbs of the plant. It is a spicy plant, similar to its relatives - onions, shallots, and chives. Garlic is sometimes measured in heads, which means to use the whole garlic bulb, or cloves, which refers to the fleshy sections that are easily detached from the whole garlic bulb. Garlic can be found in the produce section at any grocery store.

Ginger

Ginger

A rhizome that features zesty, spicy, medicinal flavors, and is featured in most Asian and Pacific Island cuisines. It is used by peeling away the brown skin from the exterior part of the rhizome, and then minced or grated before use in order to make it ready for consumption. Ginger can be found in the produce section at most grocery stores, or at any Asian market.

Guajillo Chilies

Guajillo Chilies

The guajillo is produced by drying the Mirasol chile. It is a relatively mild chile, registering just 4,000 Scoville Heat Units, but provides an earthy, fruity flavor to many Mexican dishes. Gaujillo chilies can be found in Mexican markets.

Harissa

Harissa

A chili sauce from the country of Tunisia, that is made from piri piri, serrano peppers, and spices such as garlic, coriander, and caraway. It’s most commonly used as a condiment used for North African dishes. Harissa can be found in any Mediterranean market.

Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream

Also known as heavy whipping cream, heavy cream is a cream with a milk fat content of around 38%.

Honey

Honey

The primary food source of bees, who create the sweet food by regurgitating flower nectar and store it in wax honeycombs insde their hive. Honey can be found in any grocery store.

Instacure No. 1

Instacure No. 1

This curing salt is composed of 93.75% table salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite and goes by many names:

• Pink curing salt
• Instacure #1
• TCM - Tinted Cure Mix
• Prague Powder I

This curing salt mixture is pink in color, which is caused by the addition of the food dye FD&C Red #3, which is used to help prevent confusion between this salt and regular table salt. It will imbue most meats with a rich, pink color, and will help to prevent bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism, from growing on the meat. You will need to use Instacure #1 in all of the recipes that require smoking.

This is strong stuff - make sure you wear food preparation gloves when you handle it. You can buy this from your butcher, or you can order it online from Butcher-Packer and Amazon.com.

Instacure No. 2

Instacure No. 2

Instacure #2 is a curing salt comprised of roughly (depending on the brand you purchase) 94% salt, 5% sodium nitrate and 1% sodium nitrite. It is also known as Prague Powder II.

It is used specifically for making dry cured products such as hard salami, pepperoni, and prosciutto. It works well with meats that are aged a long time, because the sodium nitrate will break down over time and convert to sodium nitrite, then nitric oxide to cure the meat.

This is strong stuff - make sure you wear food preparation gloves when you handle it. You can buy Instacure #2 from your butcher, or you can order it online from Butcher-Packer or Amazon.com.

Kosher Salt

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is comprised of sodium chloride, and is a variety of edible salt that has a much larger grain size than table salt. It does not contain standard table salt additives such as iodine. Different brands can have grains that vary as much as 30% in size, which means there could be slight discrepancies when measuring by volume instead of weight. All of the Meat Club recipes are based on Diamond Crystal kosher salt, so be aware of that if you're using a different salt. Kosher salt can be found in either the spices, or the ethnic or Jewish section of most grocery stores.

Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest

Zest is created when you scrape or peel the outer skin off of the lemon. By adding zest instead of juice, you'll add the aroma of the lemon without adding the citric acid contained in the lemon juice, which we do a few of our Meat Club sausages to help instill a balance between the taste sensations of bitter, sweet, salty, sour and umami. Visit your local organic grocery store and ask for unwaxed lemons.

Marjoram

Marjoram

A perennial herb that features sweet pine and citrus flavors, and is very similar in look and composition to Oregano. Dried marjoram can be found in the spices section of any grocery store.

Mint

Mint

An aromatic, perennial herb that features a fresh, sweet flavor and a cool aftertaste. It is widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Fresh mint can be found in the produce section, while dried mint can be found in the spices section of any grocery store.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

The small round seeds from the mustard plant are used to add a sharp, hot, pungent flavor to dishes. They can also be ground and mixed with vinegar, lemon juice, or other liquids to create the mustard condiment. Mustard seed can be found in the spices section of any grocery store.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a small seed produced by evergreen trees that are indigenous to Indonesia, and is about the size of a robin's egg. It creates a fragrant, spicy yet sweet aroma when it is ground or grated. Nutmeg can be purchased in the spice section of any grocery store, or in any specialty spice store.

Oregano

Oregano

Oregano is a perennial herb that is widely used in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines. It has a bitter taste, and is most often used in dried form because of its stronger flavor. Oregano can be found in the spice section of any grocery store.

Paprika

Paprika

A ground spice made from dried bell and chili peppers, paprika can be purchased with sweet, hot, or smoked flavor profiles. If the paprika isn't labeled as any of those, it's generally sweet paprika. It is featured in many cuisines, but is perhaps most notable in Hungarian and Spanish dishes. The recipes in this book will all work with sweet paprika. But if you're a paprika fiend, buy all the kinds and experiment! Paprika can be found in the spice section of any grocery store.

Pasilla Chilies

Pasilla Chilies

The pasilla is the name for the dried chilaca chile pepper, which is a mild chile that registers 2,000 Scoville Heat Units. It has a sweet, nutty and roasty flavor profile, and is used in Mexican dishes. Pasilla chilies can be found in any Mexican market.

Powdered Milk

Powdered Milk

Powdered milk, also known as dried milk, is created by evaporating milk until it is completely dry. You can find powdered milk in the baking section of any grocery store.

Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

A cooking vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine, which is used in Asian cuisines. Rice vinegar can be found in the Asian section of any grocery store.

Rosemary

Rosemary

A perennial evergreen herb, with needle-like leaves used to add fragrance to Mediterranean and European dishes containing beef, lamb or pork. Rosemary can be found in the produce section of any grocery store.

Sage

Sage

A perennial evergreen shrub whose green, gray and blue leaves are used to add fragrance to many European dishes. Sage can be found in the produce section of any grocery store.

Sherry Vinegar

Sherry Vinegar

A cooking vinegar made from the Spanish fortified wine known as Sherry. Sherry vinegar can be found in any Mediterranean market.

Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

A brown, salty liquid condiment made from fermented soy beans that is prominent in Asian cuisines. Soy sauce can be found in the Asian section of any grocery store.

Sugar Cane Vinegar

Sugar Cane Vinegar

A cooking vinegar made from sugar cane. Sugar cane vinegar can be found in any Asian market.

Sumac

Sumac

Sumac is made by harvesting, drying and pulverizing the fruits, from the small shrub of the same name, into a powder. The deep purple powder is used to add lemon notes to Middle Eastern dishes such as humus and baba ganouj. Sumac can be found in any Middle Eastern market.

Thyme

Thyme

A perennial herb is used in Mediterranean cuisines to add an aromatic, floral and cedar-like flavor to dishes. Fresh thyme is typically sold in sprigs, which is a single stem of thyme. Fresh thyme can be found in the produce section of any grocery store.

White Peppercorns

White Peppercorns

White peppercorns are produced from the same fruit as the black peppercorn, except the darker colored skin of the pepper fruit is removed first. Removing the skin provides a noticeable difference in flavor and aroma - white pepper is typically lighter, earthier and less spicy than black pepper.

White Wine Vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

A cooking vinegar made from white wine. White wine vinegar can be found at any grocery store.