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Saturday, May 19, 2012


The alternative title would be; Homemade (how to make) turkey bologna. But it was lacking any type of pizazz. And as you know, I am so into the glitz and glam. . . . No wait, it freaking looks like brains.

I do have recipes for cooking brains if any one is interested. I, myself ain't too keen on the flavor, nor the texture, but if you wish to be prepared, and perhaps a posh zombie, I will gladly hand it over to you. For now though, let's make do with a bit of bologna.

I did a ton of research on nitrates. I know a lot of you don't want to eat it. Too bad, we eat it all the time in green veggies. And this thing about meats proclaiming no nitrates, they use celery juice or salt, which is chalk full of nitrates. Problem with it however, is that the levels aren't reliable and end up not working as it should. Nitrate is dormant until the bad bacteria decided to throw a party. Nitrate acts as the unscrupoulous bouncer throwing every one out that isn't dressed to the bouncer sexual desires. There are even studies out there that are showing that a tad bit of nitrates are actually good for humans. As long as you aren't eating a bowl of over heated pinksalt day after day, it isn't toxic. But just about anything in over abundance will toxify in your system.

But in my great search for the no nitrate lunch meat recipe, I continued to run into writers that would say "I don't want nitrates in my diet so I make my own lunch meat" then proceeded to give me recipes calling for tender quick or pink salt. So there is a huge lack of understanding in what nitrates are. And I do hope those writers went unpaid for those articles. Sorry, but research and fact checking falls on both writer and editor.

Now turkey bologna is a difficult mistress. No one has a good recipe out there. And I don't like liquid smoke. It reminds me of the hamburgers in hospitals. Gag. So I remove it from all recipes from the get go. I found a total of two recipes for it. One called for an entire turkey, everything but the bones and feathers. And a 50 lbs turkey to boot! Honestly, how many of you butcher out and receive 50 lbs of bird. And here I thought I hit the worlds record at 42 lbs. I digress. The second read more like summer sausage than bologna. So I have had to make a trial run, so lay off the pictures. The loaf will eventually start to look more gourmet as I play with it. ( you are older than 12. Though mentally I just giggled as well)

Homemade turkey Bologna ( any one else sing the song as they write out that word?)

3 lbs ground turkey (I used dark meat and whatever fat was on it)
3 tablespoons sugar based curing mix ( here's the make your own version I do)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup water
Semolina flour for dusting

The texture of ground turkey is way off base for bologna ( I sung that again) it comes out more like a meatloaf, edible, but lacking in what one desires in a ( ready? Sing it with me) B O L O G N A. So, let's participate in some attempted murder of your food processor. Purée the turkey. You will want to add a handful of crushed ice as you purée as you might end up cooking the turkey meat as the blades heat up.

In a bowl, hand mix, that would be literal, all ingredents together. Dust wax paper with the semolina, wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.


After the 24 hours, preheat oven to 300f. The flour will have congealed, well it will have the look of congeal-ment. You are going to have to get your hands all dirty and work it in. It will be super sticky and slimy. If you have large enough casings, you can stuff them with this now. I didn't, all I have is lamb intestine and that would only produce those tiny cracker size bologna. Instead I used a loaf pan. Do not add oil to the pan. And I highly suggest that you fill the pan to the brim, and have a catch pan under it, as the meat will shrink up on you, considerably.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove and cool in pan. Remove from pan and chill in the fridge. Slice and eat.


Now remember, we are working with a sexist bouncer here that has the potential to turn violent on you or not have enough muscle to stop them from over running the joint. So do not double or reduce the recipe. I search long and hard to come up with the correct proportions.

Now I have thinking that this could be canned like spam. Will need to try. However I need to warn you that the FDA considers canning your own meat evil and suicidal.


Carolyn said...

Well, I have to admit the first picture almost had me totally turned off from EVER making my own bologna (yes, I did sing it), but the last picture looked wonderful!

Next time I find myself with a fifty pound turkey, I'm definitely trying this.....and thanks for being the lab rat for us on this one! :)

You ARE still with us...right?

Phelan said...

Yes, I still lived through it. I will be completely honest and say that even I surprised myself when I tasted it. Turned out wonderfully. Taste like store bought, but not as greasy. And you don't need 50 lbs for this recipe, only 3 lbs.

The 50 lb recipe was a bit busy.

kymber said... are awesome. that is all.

your friend,

Beth of Red Barn Farm said...

This is awesome..I'm wierd I get a craving for grilled cheese and bologna sandwhichs sometimes but never keep the stuff in the house!

I will so be trying this! Great way to use turkey leftovers even!

Phelan said...

Kymber, I know. ;)

Beth, no not weird, I do at times as well. I argue with people about bologna being only for kids way too often.

Niki said...

MMMMmmmmmm, that sounds delightful, does it fry up well? Love some fried b-o-l-o-g-n-a!!
I have been contemplating the whole Charcuterie side of things, a great way to use up the bits!!
Thanks Phelan!!

Phelan said...

I have yet to fry it. As soon as I get that craving, I will let you know.

Anonymous said...

this looks interesting and something I'd love to try.

Rae said...

Mmmm... Fried. With fresh tomato sliced on top... Mmmmm... Crap. I knew I should have waited to read this. My lunch is still over an hour away. :)

Cheryl said...

That's so cool, I never would have thought of making my own bologna. Looks better than store bought!

Judy said...

You mentioned canning the bologna. FDA also doesn't recommend canning really dense foods. They say the center of the jars doesn't get hot enough for long enough. Are you going to use smaller jars, say 1/2 pints? Or are you going to process the bologna longer or maybe use higher pressure?

I do some 'experimental' canning and was wondering what your thoughts/reasoning/logic might be on how you plan to can the bologna.

Phelan said...

Judy, I have canned homemade spam without issue before. I figured I would try it just like that.

The FDA wants you to be safe. So canning foods that may not process correctly is a no no. I do not recommend canning things the FDA says not to. But to each their own.

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