How to Make Ring Bologna at Home

Ring bologna can be purchased in grocery stores or your local market. These processed bolognas are widely available. So, is there a need for you to make them yourself?

Well, the answer depends on you. I am not a fan of the commercial bologna, especially when I consider the taste of its homemade variant. The feeling is so authentic and delicious, making it a delicacy I can’t easily deny.

In this article, I will be walking you through steps on how to make simple bologna. If you are searching for the ideal way to make ring bologna at home, pay attention to this guide.

Subsequently, you will be able to modify and adapt the process to meet your cooking preferences. Let’s start now!

But first,

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What Is A Ring Bologna?

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Ring bologna is derived from the Italian mortadella. The difference is that bologna is finely ground sausage, while the mortadella usually has visible chunks of spices and fat inside the sausage. There are many types of bologna across Europe, and the main differences are the spices and grind used.

The European variants are spicy, smoky cased sausages. They are delicious, and these tubes of smoked meat are carefully made by hand.

The end product is tasty ring bologna I will eat every time I have the chance.

Ingredients and Tools

To make delicious ring bologna at home, you need to have some ingredients and tools. The following is a detailed list of the tools you’ll need.

1. Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 12 ounces of iced water
  • 4 pounds lean beef
  • 1 pound pork shoulder
  • 8 teaspoons un-toasted, ground coriander
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/8 teaspoons food-grade saltpeter
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Beef round sausage casings or 40mm collagen sausage casings

2. Tools

How to Prepare the Meat for the Ring Bologna

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  • Step 1: Place your meat on the cutting table and cut it into two-inch cubes or a small size fit enough for your grinder.
  • Step 2: After cutting the meat, I recommend you partially freeze it, so it can hold firm in the grinder.
  • Step 3: Chill your grinder parts in the freezer. The cold metal parts will operate better when you start grinding.
  • Step 4: Grind all the meat using the 1/8-inch plate. As it comes out of the grinder, mix thoroughly so you can have an even distribution of pork and beef.
  • Step 5: Combine the black pepper, coriander, saltpeter, sugar, garlic powder, and flour and 12 ounces of ice water. Stir until you have a wholly blended mixture.
  • Step 6: Using your hands, take the spice mixture in 5 above with your hands and mix it into the meat. Mix until the spices are evenly distributed.
  • Step 7: Place the mixture in a refrigerator and allow it to get cold all through.
  • Step 8: When the meat is cold, regrind it with the same 1/8-inch plate that you used in 4 above.

How to Stuff the Ring Bologna

After the steps above, it’s time to stuff the sausage.

  • Step 1: Assemble the sausage stuffer using a tube with a larger diameter.
  • Step 2: Select and tie one of the two ends of the casing and fish the other over the tube. Feed the casing continuously until this tied end touches the stuffer’s tip.
  • Step 3: Stuff the casings until everything forms tight sausages. After that cut and tie both ends.

How to Cook the Ring Bologna Sausage

After preparing the sausage, it’s time to cook it.

This cooking step is a two-part process, the first where you smoke the sausage, and the second when you have to boil it.

1. How to Smoke the Ring Bologna Sausage

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  • Step 1: Return the bologna into the refrigerator and light the smoker. Set the smoker up for indirect heat and using soaked maple chips along with your charcoal. The goal is to achieve a light smoky flavor. I recommend tending your smoker to get to a temperature of 225°F.
  • Step 2: Once you get a temperature reading of 225°F on the thermometer, bring out the meat from the refrigerator, place it on the smoker, and try to maintain the 225°F temperature. 
  • You can use a handful of wood chips at the start, but you will need to add some more if you smoke the meat for more than an hour.
  • Step 3: You need to smoke the meat for about an hour, during which you will need to check its internal temperature periodically. Cook the meat until you achieve an internal temperature of 155°F.

2. How to Boil the Ring Bologna

After smoking, it’s time for the process of boiling the ring bologna.

  • Step 1: To finish the cooking process, you need to boil the meat to a final temperature. Place the meat in a stockpot and cover with water. Boil it.
  • Step 2: Keep boiling until the meat comes to an internal temperature of 180°F.
  • Step 3: Once you achieve this temperature, remove the sausage from the water and hang dry over wooden dowels.
  • Step 4: Refrigerate sausages for about two weeks, or freeze it for longer storage.
  • Step 5: Slice and enjoy, anytime you want.
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This is how I make my ring bologna, but you can try different combinations based on your preference. You can customize the recipe to better match your taste. Many different spice combinations will completely change the sausage flavor profile.

Bologna can be spicy, bold or mild and rich. You can use peppercorns to give it more bite or mustard to make it tangy.

Aside from the recipes, you can also customize other elements of the recipe to bring about different flavors. You can adjust the ratios of meat as long as there is plenty of fat content. You may even try making your bologna with meats other than pork and beef. However, keep an eye on the final internal temperature, as some meat is more likely to have bacteria.

Finally, you can also try out different types of wood chips to modify the flavor and strength of your smoke. If you want your meat to absorb smokier flavor, you can reduce the temperature. The low temperature means you have to cook the meat longer. Ensure your meat reaches the ideal internal temperature, and the meat properly cooked.

Conclusion

The process of making bologna is quite fun and exciting. Once you learn how to make a batch, you will prefer the superior finished homemade bologna to those sold at the grocery store.

Of course, after making the first batch, you will be able to tweak the recipe on subsequent sausages. Sooner, you will include healthier ingredients to make tastier ring bologna.

Got questions, comments, or want to share your homemade bologna cooking experience? Please use the comment box below.

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