googleef07aada28e0acf5.html Weston Brands Blog: Little Smokies from Scratch

Little Smokies from Scratch

You know us — from scratch doesn't mean we threw some store-bought smokies in a slow cooker with some ketchup. We made the cocktail franks ourselves, smoked them, made a homemade sauce... and then we threw them in the slow cooker. 

- Ingredients -

Cocktail Franks
1 lb venison or beef, cubed
¼ lb fat, cubed
¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
small white onion*
3 garlic cloves*
2 tablespoons paprika
¼ teaspoon cure #1
(you can use 1 tablespoon of kosher salt if you don't have cure. the cure just helps with color and will bring the franks closer to those store-bought ones that your guests are likely accustomed to)

19mm casings

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup beer (an Amber or Christmas Ale works well here)
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

- Tools - 
Weston Kitchen Chopper & Kit
Weston Tomato Press
Weston Slow Cooker
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Sausage Stuffer or Jerky Gun
Weston Smoker
wood chips (we used hickory), soaked in water for 30 minutes

*Use a Kitchen Chopper to dice the garlic and onion. Divide it in half - half will be used in the franks and half will go into the sauce.

Step One | Prepare Sauce
Use a Tomato Press to puree your tomatoes. Combine all ingredients for the sauce (follow instructions on the package for the corn starch) in your Slow Cooker and set to low while you prepare the franks.

Step Two | Grind Meat
Use a meat grinder to grind together the venison and fat through a coarse plate. Regrind through a medium plate, then finally through a fine plate. Mix the grind with the remaining frank ingredients.

Step Three | Stuff Cocktail Franks
Use a Sausage Stuffer or Jerky Gun to stuff the franks into casings. If you leave the casings loose enough, you may be able to tie one long link into several links. It's much more difficult to use this technique with smaller casings, so if you find that the casings are bursting, you may want to tie them off one at a time as you stuff.

Step Four | Smoke Cocktail Franks
Fill your smoker water bowl, fill the wood chip box, and smoke the franks at 170° F for 1 hour. Check their internal temperature - you're targeting 140° F. You'll likely need to smoke for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step Five | Combine
Once smoked, cut apart your little smokies and add them to the slow cooker with the sauce.

Continue to cook on low for at least an hour before serving.

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