OK guys i told you i was gonna do some Venison Summer Sausage soon. Here's a little "how too" on the way i make mine.There are many ways to make SS. If you have never done this i would suggest giving it a try. This is a great way to use ground venison.
For the beginner it may just be easier to pick up a sausage kit. It comes with all your spices,cure and casings in one box. But if your like me you can never leave well enough alone and have to have your own mix that you constantly change...lol
Here's one of my recipes.
You will need:
5 lb Ground Venison
1 lb Ground Beef ( You can substitute with ground pork trim )
2 cup Water
3 Tbsp Morton Tender Quick (This is the cure and is VERY important)
2 TBSP Non Iodized Salt ( Kosher Salt ..ect ) ( The extra salt is optional and to my taste)
4 Tbsp Soy Flour ( Non Fat Dry Milk will work)
3 Tbsp Course Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Mustard Seed
1 1/2tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 cup Jalapeño Pepper's Chopped ( Fresh is best)
2 cup High Temp Cheddar Cheese
2 to 3 2 1/2" X 20" Fibrous Casings
Liquid smoke ( Optional)
2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes ( Optional. I only add this if I'm looking for a touch of heat. Wife and kids don't like it)
While your getting every thing together you'll need to start your casings soaking in a pan of warm water.I add a little salt to the water when i soak mine. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes in warm water for them to get pliable enough to stuff.
Now i do enough of this and various other things that it was worth it to me to buy a mixer. I've had it so long that i don't remember what i gave for it but I'm gonna guess around $100. But you do not have to have a mixer to do this. You can easily use a large plastic bowl.First off I'll start with the ground venison and ground beef in the mixer. I'll give a few turns before i add the spices.
Before we get to far let me mention if you don't already know. The cure is very important. Do not skip this part.You can play with the rest of the mix if you like. I'm using Morton's Tender Quick. Morton says use 1 1/2 tsp per pound of ground meat. There are other types of cure on the market ( pink salt cure ect..) that may call for a smaller amount of cure per pound. This is OK,you will just need to figure out the difference and the adjust amount of cure plus salt you need to add. What every you do don't add more cure then it calls for. Too much cure is a bad thing.
Now you can add the spices( not peppers and cheese). There are two ways to do this. You can just dump them in with the meat or you can mix them together with the water and pour them in.This help distribute the spices better. If you plan to add liquid smoke,add it to the water before you pour it in the meat. Even though your gonna be smoking this i still like to add a small amount. It can be hard to get that smoky flavor deep in the sausage. I use 1/2 tsp of LEM Liquid Smoke per 5 lbs of meat.Once you have all the spices and water in you can add the soy flour .It acts as a binder and helps the sausage retain some moister.
Once the mixture is mixed up good you can add the peppers. Now you can adjust the amount of peppers to your taste. if your in to adding a little kick you could add some cayenne's to it. Mix the peppers in nice and good before you add the cheese. Its the last thing you want to add because it breaks apart very easy.
I like to use the High Temp Cheddar Cheese. I can not find it local so i always order it off the Internet. There's a bunch of places that offer it for a decent price. I've tried regular cheddar cheese many times and it never comes out the way i like it.So i stick with the high temp stuff.
OK now we got to get it in the casings.First take the casing out of the water and shake the water off.Its OK if there still wet.Then get to stuffing. This is super easy to do with a stuffer but you might not have one. What i use to do before i bought the stuffer was use my jerky shooter to stuff the casings. You can pick one up a Walmart pretty cheap. Or you could just roll the meat into small balls and drop it in the casing. Then use your fingers to push it to the end like a tube of tooth paste.Whether you use a stuffer,jerky shooter or by hand the meat needs to be packed pretty tight in the casing. Completely filling it out. The casing is breathable so any air in the casing will need to be pushed out. Once full you can tie the end of the casing off with just about anything. I used bread ties this time.
Once you have the meat stuffed you will need to let it cure. The very minimum amount of time i would wait is 24 hours. I usually let mine cure 24 to 48 hours.
Once it's cured we need to smoke it . I use the MES smoker with hickory wood chips for this smoke. When using a smoker remember that a nice thin blue smoke is what you after. Keep your smoker temps in the 180 to 225 range. Your looking for an internal temp of 160 in the center of the sausage. Once it hits 160 you can remove the sausage from the smoker. I start out low on heat and bump it up as the cook goes along.
Soon as you remove it from the smoker your gonna need to cool it down. You'll need a tub,sink,cooler,ect full of ice water ready for it. Just chunk the sausage rolls in the ice water and let them soak. I let mine soak till the center temp is about 80 degrees.
Once you have the sausages out of the water you gonna need to hang and let them Bloom. If you used a clear casing you will see them take on a darker color after they have hung awhile. The mahogany casing are already dark. You will see the sausages take on a fuller look. If I'm only doing a few sausages I hang mine for a few hours over a trash can so any water will not end up in the floor.Today i had several sausages to hang so i hung them out side. After they have hung a few hours i put them in the fridge. Or you can wrap them and freeze at this point if you like.
And that's it!!! Once you have let one set in the fridge and cool down its ready to slice and enjoy
I also tried something different this time. While i was stuffing the Summer Sausage casing i figured i try adding my mix to some smaller hog casing as well. Here is the result.
I ended up chopped it into small snack pieces and putting them in a zip lock bag in the fridge. Kids wiped them out pretty fast.lol
That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed it.