6 January 2020
Prasky by Chuck Vavra
11 pounds of “Prasky” – Prasky is a nickname for Pražská klobása (Prague Sausage). It was introduced to the US by Czech-American sausage makers who wanted to recreate the street sausage of their homeland. I got my recipe from the last “old-world” Czech sausage maker in Cleveland, just before he retired. Grind all meat on a coarse plate. Mix in spices. Grind 2/3 on a fine plate. Mix. Stuff into 1.5″ casing. Smoke 4-6 hours (hickory) 130F. Sous vide 145F for 1 hour, ice bath until cold. (or if you don’t have SV finish in 160F water bath to it=150F, shower with ice water, and hang at room temp a few hours to bloom).
Chuck writes that “Vaclav was so kind to open his safe (literally) and share his family recipe with me. When he was retiring, he called and asked If I wanted to take over his sausage-making business… NO WAY I was interested in working that hard (as I know you know). I’m thrilled to be able to carry on his recipes, I know he would be thrilled that they are being used and being passed on rather than being lost forever.”
Grind all in coarse (≈ 1cm) plate, Mix in spices. Regrind 2/3-3/4 fine (≈3 mm) plate (I eyeball it, I want balance so that coarse pieces “stand out” from fine matrix), mix with reserved coarse grind. Stuff and smoke.
Original recipe calls for “Old bull meat”… Hard to find at the local store 😉. I usually use beef chuck and the fattiest pork butts I can find. – You are shooting for about 30% fat. You can vary proportion of pork:beef to your liking. Sorej shared the secret of finishing in 160F hot water bath (vs finishing in hot smokehouse). It keeps product much juicier). I now finish sous vide. A number of pluses: lower temp=still juicier, also pasteurized to core so much better fridge stability.
Let me know if you make it and howe you like it. So happy to pass on an old world recipe to live on!
Finding “Old bull meat”
Chris Farmer made the following very helpful comment to Chris’s post on his Prasky.
“I think your product looks great. I find it refreshing that you’re trying to stay true to an old simple recipe while adopting modern methods. As a meat cutter I’ll offer this for consideration in regards to the “Old Bull Meat” as being “hard to find” through your “butcher”. “Butchers” really aren’t “butchers” anymore in a meat department of tray ready boneless primals so I’ll offer you a different way to ask your “butcher” for “Old Bull Meat”…….. Consider: Texture is a big part of sausage and you’re using beef chuck that is most likely one of two grades US Select or US Choice grade beef. US select is leaner and has less marbling. In consideration of texture for your sausage ask your “butcher” what they use for their 90/10 extra lean beef grind. This varies a little from store to store and can be dependent on market prices but I’d venture to say they’re using 90/10 pre-ground beef in tubes, 60 pound blocks of frozen boneless beef from New Zealand or Austrailia, or “No Roll” or inside rounds or Sirloin tips from either the US or Canada all of which will measure in with a lean/fat ratio at 90/10 or leaner. So in consideration of texture alone and to mimic “Old Bull Meat”, ask your “Butcher” to sell you their lean grind meats if it’s “No Roll Grade Beef” or frozen New Zealand or Australian frozen beef both of which will be cheaper than Choice or Select chuck, is very lean, and not as tender…… How you want to do this is absolutely up to you, you’re the maker, I’m just trying to help you and others with a little bit of terminology to help you communicate a little better with your local meat cutters to get as close as possible to what you want.
Upload the history of Prasky: Prasky-history
Chuck Vavra. His FB site is https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007752559295
3 thoughts on “Chuck Vavra’s Prasky”
You said Chris in second paragraph of Intro – should be Chuck
Thank you very much! Will correct!
Hi Chuck. Was wondering if you cure prasky overnight like summer sausage or right to the smoker after stuffing?
Bill Vavra (yes, same last name!)