Why does collagen solidify when heated

Cold cuts in aspic: How is aspic sausage made?

The boiled sausage is one of the cooked sausages and is made from minced, pre-cooked or pre-cured meat. A gelatinous mass made from aspic or edible gelatine or from collagen that has emerged from the chopped rind, ensures the firmness of braised sausages. They can be roughly divided into three different types: brawn, corned beef and pressed sausage.

For the brawn, meat cut into coarse pieces is pre-cooked in broth and formed into a loaf with the help of aspic. Unless the product name says otherwise, only pork is used for this. A chilled form is poured with some of the flavored, dissolved gelatin and chilled until it has set. Then the pieces of meat and, if necessary, other ingredients such as vegetables or eggs are added and then everything is poured over with the remaining gelatin mixture. Now the brawn is cooled again and thrown out of the mold as soon as the gelatine has solidified.

With corned beef, which is traditionally made from beef, the meat is not cut into pieces. Instead, the stripped, cured and pre-cooked meat is torn into fibers. The meat chopped up in this way is also solidified with gelatine to make a braised sausage.

Pressed sausages are the only brawn sausages that actually have a sausage shape. The firmness is not achieved by aspic made from gelatine, but by collagen. The pre-cooked, chopped up meat is mixed with so-called rind porridge. These are very finely chopped rinds that contain the said collagen. The mass is filled into natural or artificial casings and the press sausages are scalded. When heated, the collagen leaks out and solidifies when cooled. Depending on the type, pressed sausages can also contain tongue, heart, liver or blood in addition to meat.

Not only meat from pork or beef, but also poultry, game, fish, seafood, hard-boiled eggs and vegetables can be prepared in aspic. It can be served as a main meal with a cold sauce such as tartar sauce or mayonnaise.