Spent Hop Sausage – Punk Meat Treats!
It happened by accident. I was cleaning out the boiler after a brew, and next to me was a pile of freshly smoked bacon waiting to be vaccuum packed. For a second the smokey sweetness of the pork mingled with the scent of the used hops, and the two just melded together – a bit like Lorraine Kelly and Myleene Klass do in my head!
Where to begin? Well, the hops were a mix of Chinook, Williamette, Cascade and Nelson Sauvin. The beer was a simple IPA. In case you’re interested, the make-up of the mix was:
20.0g Chinook @ First Wort
10.0 g Williamette @ 60 Minutes
10.0g Cascade @ 60 Minutes
20.0g Chinook @ 30 Minutes
10.0 g Williamette @ 30 Minutes
10.0 g Cascade @ 30 Minutes
13.0g Chinook @ Flameout – Steep for 30 minutes
6.0g Nelson Sauvin @ Flameout – Steep for 30 minutes
6.0 g Williamette @ Flameout – Steep for 30 minutes
6.0 g Cascade @ @ Flameout – Steep for 30 minutes
13.0g Chinook @ 20 Minutes after Flameout – Steep for 10 minutes
6.0g Nelson Sauvin @ 20 Minutes after Flameout – Steep for 10 minutes
6.0 g Williamette @ 20 Minutes after Flameout – Steep for 10 minutes
6.0 g Cascade @ 20 Minutes after Flameout – Steep for 10 minutes
I chucked a bunch of used hops into a strainer and let them dry off for around 24 hours. Then I started on the sausage. I worked through various combinations, but hit the target with the following ratio. For each kilogram of pork (fatty shoulder) I added 40g of spent hops, 15g of salt, 15g brown sugar and 100ml of Punk IPA from BrewDog! Obviously, the amount of sugar and hops will depend on your personal taste and the hops you’re using. Without sugar they did have a bitterness that clashed with the pork.
I coarsely minced the pork and the hops together, then added the salt, sugar and IPA. I gave it a bloody good mix, let the meat sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, and then stuffed it into hog casings.
Now, I did think that I might get a sausage that tasted a tiny bit like beer, but the end result was so much more, and as complex as a good IPA. The first taste is sweet pork. The sausage is very juicy because I used a fatty shoulder and minced coarsely. As the sweetness develops there’s an underlying bitterness/sourness that compliments the meat. Then, you get a hoppy citric aftertaste, just as you do with a decent IPA.
The sausage has been sat in the fridge since last night, and it has mellowed without losing any of the complexity. If anything, it has become smoother with a more sophisticated transition from taste to taste.
Don’t get me wrong, if Mister Tesco put this on his shelves, he might not get overrun with the general population. If you don’t like citric and heavily hopped beers, you ain’t going to gobble this fellow down. However, I like it, and that’s all that fucking matters! Of course, if you have spent hops, you’ve probably brewed something, and the sausages will take on the character of that beer. I’ll have to wait a while to try the sausages with the beer the hops were taken from, but that’s what freezers are for!
Most of my spent hops will still end up in the compost, but there will always be room for a few grams in the sausage-making plans.