Deer Season is well under way and many of us have had our fill of chili and chicken fried venison. One of my favorite methods of preparing the rest of my venison is as different sausages. I have spent years searching for that just right blend of spices and cures to make the perfect sausage. Along the way I have come up with some great products and some that were just edible. I finally came up with a good simple sausage that works well as a fresh link, smoked link, dried links and also makes a really good Summer Sausage. Many of my friends and family have tried this and asked for the recipe so I am taking the time to put it down for all of you.
Sausage is a lot of work but the end product is worth it. When you make your own, one also knows exactly what was put in the sausage. You can remove the gristle, lymph glands and blood clots that others might not be so careful about. The amounts of spices can be changed, for instance if you want less salt or more jalapenos, you control what goes in the sausage. The seasoning I used for thirty pounds of ground meat is listed below and worked out great. The meat was stuffed into fibrous Summer Sausage casings and/or hog gut casings to be smoked later depending on the type sausage desired. The Summer Sausage was then cooked in the oven at 275 degrees until it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees and then allowed to cool in the fridge overnight before being wrapped to freeze. The Summer Sausage makes great snacks, sandwiches or an on-the-go meal with cheese and crackers. The same meat was used for the link sausage; I even smoked some of the links and then dried them to hard dried sausage that turned out great. For now here is the recipe for 30 pounds so just divide it down for a lesser amount of meat.
Wild Ed’s Summer and Link Sausage20 pounds trimmed ground venison
10 pounds of ground pork butt
3 fresh garlic gloves chopped
6 fresh jalapenos chopped with seeds
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
1 ½ pound of grated Cheddar Cheese
1 cup black pepper
1 cup of kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon of meat cure (Prague Powder) optional
3 cups of cold water
Add cheese, garlic and jalapenos to ground meat and mix.Add all other ingredients to the 3 cups of water and stir well. Pour over the ground meat and mix well. The spices and cure need to be mixed thoughout the ground meat mixture as uniformly as possible. Let the meat rest covered with Saran Wrap in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours and then stuff in casings. Cook the Summer Sausage in an oven or smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees before cooling. It is then fully cooked and does not need any more cooking to serve. Links to be smoked or cooked on the grill or smoker should just be cooked before eating. Sausage to be dried and eaten like jerky must be brought to 165 degrees in the smoker or oven while drying. I took all the temperatures with a meat thermometer probe. I hope you enjoy the sausage as much as my friends and I have, Wild Ed